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8 ping6: Packets to IPv6 network hosts

ping6 uses ICMPv6 datagrams to get a response from the chosen destination host. The most common use is to probe whether the remote system is responsive. Observe that this program only uses IPv6 datagrams.

Each datagram, of type ECHO_REQUEST, carries some header information and some additional payload, usually a time stamp. Making a suitable choice of payload, it is possible to probe different host or router properties on the way as the emitted datagram travels to its destination.


ping6 [option…] host

Sending simple, timed echo requests is the standard use of ping6, but is by far not the only use case.

This command is a close parallel to ping, except that it handles IPv6 and is thus not able to handle peculiarities of IPv4.

8.1 Command line options

-c n

Stop after sending and receiving answers to a total of n packets.


Set the SO_DEBUG option on the socket being used.


Flood ping. Outputs packets as fast as they come back, or one hundred times per second, whichever is more. For every ECHO_REQUEST packet sent, a period ‘.’ is printed, while for every ECHO_REPLY received in reply, a backspace is printed.

This provides a rapid display of how many packets are being dropped. Only the super-user may use this option. This mode can be very hard on a network. It should be used with caution!


Limit maximal distance to n. Acceptable values are 1 to 255, inclusive.

-i n

Wait n seconds until sending next packet. The default is to wait for one second between packets. This option is incompatible with the option -f.

-l n

Sends n packets as fast as possible before falling back to the normal mode of operation.


Numeric output only. No attempt will be made to resolve symbolic names for host addresses.

-p pattern

Up to 16 hexadecimal pad bytes are given as pattern. These are use for filling out the packets you send. This option is useful for diagnosing data-dependent problems within a network. As an example, -p ff will cause the sent packets to have payloads with every bit set to one.


Do not print timing result of each transmitted packet.


Bypass the normal routing tables and send directly to a host on an attached network. If the host is not on a directly attached network, an error is returned. This option can be used to ping a local host through an interface, for which there is no assigned route, such as when the interface was dropped by routed.

-s n

Specifies the number of data bytes to be sent. The default is 56, which translates into 64 ICMP data bytes, taking the 8 bytes of ICMP header data into account.

-T num

Set the traffic class to num on transmitted packets.


Synonym for --hoplimit.


Produce more verbose output, giving more statistics.

-w n

Stop after n seconds.

The documentation of ping provides several pieces of information, and discussions, relevant to the use of ping6. Keep in mind, though, that the differing address family causes some discrepancy. See ping: Packets to network hosts.

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