What is a Ping?

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A ping is a specific type of network packet termed an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packet. Pings run by sending a particular type of network traffic, called an ICMP echo request packet, to a particular interface on a computer or network device. If the device (and the attached network card) that received the ping packet is turned on and not limited from responding, the receiving machine will respond back to the originating machine with an echo reply packet.

It shows us that a host is alive and accepting traffic, it also provides other important information including the total time it needed for the packet to travel to the target and return. Pings also report traffic loss that can be used to gauge the reliability of a network connection.

To run the command from your Linux machine, open a terminal and write the following command:
“ping destination_ip”
You will need to replace the “destination_ip” part of the command with the actual IP address or hostname of the machine you are trying to reach.

All recent versions of Linux and Windows contain the ICMP command. The main difference between the Windows and Linux version is that the Windows ping command will send 4 echo request packets then automatically stop, whereas the Linux ping command will continue to send echo request commands until you force it to stop. On a Linux system, you can force a ping command to stop sending packets by using the Ctrl + C combination.

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