How to Ping an IP Address

By Techwalla Computers Editor

The ability to ping an IP address is vital to network troubleshooting. Ping utilizes the ICMP ECHO protocol and simply sends a packet to a specified destination. The packet that is sent is called an ECHO_REQUEST. If the target destination is reachable, it will generate an ECHO_REPLY and send it back. When the ECHO_REPLY is received, connectivity between two hosts on a network is verified.

Things You'll Need

  • computer running Linux

Step 1

Open a terminal session on your Linux PC by clicking on the terminal icon at the bottom bar or clicking on the "Home" button and looking for "Xterm."

Step 2

Once in the terminal, type "ping"; do not press "Enter."

Step 3

Press the spacebar and input any options you want to enable; do not press "Enter." These options can specify exactly how the packet travels the network.

Step 4

Press the spacebar and input the destination IP address. This is the IP address of the host with which you want to verify connectivity.

Step 5

Press "Enter" to initiate the "Ping" command.

Step 6

Press "CTRL+C" to end the ping and view a summary of the results.

Tips & Warnings

  • A detailed explanation of all Ping parameters can be obtained at any time by typing "ping -help."
  • For troubleshooting purposes, remember that the IP address 127.0.0.1 is the loopback. Ping this first to ensure that the local NIC is functioning properly.
  • By default, the "Ping" command in Linux will continue to send ECHO_REQUESTS until you terminate it with "CTRL+C." To define how many packets are sent before finishing, add -c [number], number being the number of requests you want sent.