Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP
More options
HP.com home
HP-UX Reference > P


HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

» Feedback
Content starts here

 » Table of Contents

 » Index


ping — send ICMP Echo Request packets to network host


ping [-oprv] [-f address-family] [-i address] [-I interval] [-t ttl] host [-n count [-m timeout]]

ping [-oprv] [-f address-family] [-i address] [-I interval] [-t ttl] host packet-size [ [-n] count [-m timeout]]


The ping command sends ICMP Echo Request (ECHO_REQUEST) packets to the host once per second. Each packet that is echoed back via an ICMP Echo Response packet is written to the standard output, including round-trip time.

ICMP Echo Request datagrams ("pings") have an IP and ICMP header, followed by a struct timeval (see gettimeofday(2)) and an arbitrary number of "pad" bytes used to fill out the packet. The default datagram length is 64 bytes, but this can be changed by using the packet-size option.


The following options and parameters are recognized by ping:

-i address

If host is a multicast address, send multicast datagrams from the interface with the local IP address specified by address in ``dot'' notation (see inet(3N)). If the -i option is not specified, multicast datagrams are sent from the default interface, which is determined by the route configuration.


Insert an IP Record Route option in outgoing packets, summarizing routes taken when the command terminates.

It may not be possible to get the round-trip path if some hosts on the route taken do not implement the IP Record Route option. A maximum of 9 Internet addresses can be recorded due to the maximum length of the IP option area.


The new Path MTU information is displayed when a ICMP Datagram Too Big message is received from a gateway. The -p option must be used in conjunction with a large packetsize and with the -v option.


Bypass the normal routing tables and send directly to a host on an attached network. If the host is not on a directly-connected network, an error is returned. This option can be used to ping the local system through an interface that has no route through it, such as, after the interface was dropped by gated (see gated(1M)).

-t ttl

If host is a multicast address, set the time-to-live field in the multicast datagram to ttl. This controls the scope of the multicast datagrams by specifying the maximum number of external systems through which the datagram can be forwarded.

If ttl is zero, the datagram is restricted to the local system. If ttl is one, the datagram is restricted to systems that have an interface on the network directly connected to the interface specified by the -i option. If ttl is two, the datagram can be forwarded through one multicast router at the most; and so forth. Range: zero to 255. The default value is 1.

-I interval

This option specifies the interval in seconds, between each packet to be transmitted. The default interval is 1 second.


Verbose output. Show ICMP packets other than Echo Responses that are received.

-f address-family

The address-family determines whether the host is an IPv4 or IPv6 host. The address families currently supported are inet for IPv4 addresses and inet6 for IPv6 addresses.


Destination to which the ICMP Echo Requests are sent. host can be a hostname or an IPv4 or IPv6 Internet address. All symbolic names specified for host are looked up by using gethostbyname() (see gethostent(3N)) for IPv4, and getaddrinfo() (see getaddrinfo(3N)) for IPv6. If host is an Internet address, it must be in "dot" notation (see inet(3N)) for IPv4, and in "colon" notation (see inet6(3N)) for IPv6.

If the address-family is specified, and host is an Internet address, the address family of the Internet address must be the same as that specified in the address-family option. If the address-family is not specified, and host is a symbolic name, an attempt will be made to resolve host into an IPv4 address first. If that fails, a second attempt will be made to resolve host into an IPv6 address.

The ping command does not accept IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses. To ping an IPv4 node, an IPv4 address should be used. IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses are used to address IPv4-only nodes from an IPv6 node in a socket program only. IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses are always converted to an IPv4 address before they are used in packets sent over the network.

If a system does not respond as expected, the route might be configured incorrectly on the local or remote system or on an intermediate gateway, or there might be some other network failure. Normally, host is the address assigned to a local or remote network interface.

(inet only) If host is a broadcast address, all systems that receive the broadcast should respond. Normally, these are only systems that have a network interface on the same network as the local interface sending the ICMP Echo Request.

If host is a multicast address, only systems that have joined the multicast group should respond. These may be distant systems if the -t option is specified, and there is a multicast router on the network directly connected to the interface specified by the -i option.


The size of the transmitted packet, in bytes. By default (when packet-size is not specified), the size of transmitted packets is 64 bytes. The minimum value allowed for packet-size is 8 bytes, and the maximum value is 65500 bytes. If packet-size is smaller than 16 bytes, there is not enough room for timing information. In that case, the round-trip times are not displayed.

-n count

The number of packets ping will transmit before terminating. The -n is not needed if also specifying packet-size. Range: zero to 2147483647. The default is zero, in which case ping sends packets until interrupted.

-m timeout

Override the default timeout value (10 seconds) which ping uses to timeout (in seconds) when a host or network is unreachable. This option is valid only with the -n option or when count is specified. The -m option should not be used with count equal to 0.

The -m option is not effective for reachable hosts or networks.

Using ping for Fault Isolation

When using ping for fault isolation, first specify a local address for host to verify that the local network interface is working correctly. Then specify host and gateway addresses further and further away to determine the point of failure. ping sends one datagram per second, and it normally writes one line of output for every ICMP Echo Response that is received. No output is produced if there are no responses. If an optional count is given, only the specified number of requests is sent. Round-trip times and packet loss statistics are computed. When all responses have been received or the command times out (if the count option is specified), or if the command is terminated with a SIGINT, a brief summary is displayed.

This command is intended for use in testing, managing and measuring network performance. It should be used primarily to isolate network failures. Because of the load it could impose on the network, it is considered discourteous to use ping unnecessarily during normal operations or from automated scripts.


ping exits with one of the following values:


On success.


On failure such as unknown host, illegal packet size, etc.


On a unreachable host or network.


ping was developed in the Public Domain.



Printable version
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to webmaster
© 1983-2007 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.