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Linux networking tools

List of Linux networking tools

netstat (ss)

Displays contents of /proc/net files. It works with the Linux Network Subsystem, it will tell you what the status of ports are ie. open, closed, waiting, masquerade connections. It will also display various other things. It has many different options. Netstat (Network Statistic) command display connection info, routing table information etc. To displays routing table information use option as -r.

Sample output:

Proto Recv-Q Send-Q  Local Address          Foreign Address        (state)    
tcp4       0      0        ESTABLISHED
tcp4       0      0         *                     LISTEN


This is a sniffer, a program that captures packets off a network interface and interprets them for you. It understands all basic internet protocols, and can be used to save entire packets for later inspection.


The ping command (named after the sound of an active sonar system) sends echo requests to the host you specify on the command line, and lists the responses received their round trip time. PING (Packet INternet Groper) command is the best way to test connectivity between two nodes. Whether it is Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN). Ping use ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) to communicate to other devices. You can ping host name of ip address using below command.

$ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=46 time=6.108 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=46 time=6.222 ms
--- ping statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 6.108/6.165/6.222/0.057 ms


traceroute will show the route of a packet. It attempts to list the series of hosts through which your packets travel on their way to a given destination. Also have a look at xtraceroute (one of several graphical equivalents of this program). traceroute is a network troubleshooting utility which shows number of hops taken to reach destination also determine packets traveling path. Below we are tracing route to global DNS server IP Address and able to reach destination also shows path of that packet is traveling.

$ traceroute -I
traceroute to (, 128 hops max, 72 byte packets
1 (  6.361 ms  6.229 ms  6.106 ms
2 (  5.939 ms  5.460 ms  5.914 ms
3 (  6.012 ms  5.694 ms  5.761 ms
4 (  5.079 ms  4.776 ms  4.662 ms
5 (  6.650 ms  5.509 ms  5.596 ms


tracepath performs a very simlar function to traceroute the main difference is that tracepath doesn't take complicated options.


“ network exploration tool and security scanner”. nmap is a very advanced network tool used to query machines (local or remote) as to whether they are up and what ports are open on these machines.


Dig (domain information groper) query DNS related information like A Record, CNAME, MX Record etc. This command mainly use to troubleshoot DNS related query.

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 30832
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 6, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;			IN	A

;; ANSWER SECTION:		17	IN	A		17	IN	A		17	IN	A		17	IN	A		17	IN	A		17	IN	A

;; Query time: 3 msec
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 29 13:56:22 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 124


nslookup command also use to find out DNS related query. The following examples shows A Record (IP Address) of


Non-authoritative answer:


host command to find name to IP or IP to name in IPv4 or IPv6 and also query DNS records.

$ host has address has address has address has address has address has address mail is handled by 10


hostname is to identify in a network. Execute hostname command to see the hostname of your box. You can set hostname permanently in /etc/sysconfig/network. Need to reboot box once set a proper hostname.

$ hostname -f


ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) is useful to view / add the contents of the kernel’s ARP tables. To see default table use the command as.



This command is used to configure network interfaces, or to display their current configuration. In addition to activating and deactivating interfaces with the “up” and “down” settings, this command is necessary for setting an interface's address information if you don't have the ifcfg script.

  • ifup - Use ifup device-name to bring an interface up by following a script (which will contain your default networking settings). Simply type ifup and you will get help on using the script.
  • ifdown - Use ifdown device-name to bring an interface down using a script (which will contain your default network settings). Simply type ifdown and you will get help on using the script.
  • ifcfg - Use ifcfg to configure a particular interface. Simply type ifcfg to get help on using this script.


The route command is the tool used to display or modify the routing table. To add a gateway as the default you would type:

$ route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface         UG    0      0        0 eth0     U     0      0        0 docker0   U     0      0        0 eth0


iwconfig command in Linux is use to configure a wireless network interface. You can see and set the basic Wi-Fi details like SSID channel and encryption. You can refer man page of iwconfig to know more.



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ghost commented Feb 4, 2018

Loved it. Thank you.


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cha0sthe3ry commented Mar 14, 2018


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