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7 ping: Packets to network hosts

ping uses ICMP datagrams to provoke a response from the chosen destination host, mainly intending to probe whether it is alive.

The used datagram, of type ECHO_REQUEST, contains some header information and some additional payload, usually a time stamp. By a suitable choice of payload, different host or router properties are detectable, as the emitted datagram travels to its destination.


ping [option…] host

Sending echo requests is the standard use of ping, but by far not the only use case.