Network Information: ping, finger, and host in Software

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Network Information: ping, finger, and host
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You can use the ping, finger, traceroute, and host commands to find out status information about systems and users on your network. ping is used to check if a remote system is up and running. You use finger to find out information about other users on your network, seeing if they are logged in or if they have received mail. host displays address information about a system on your network, giving you a system's IP and domain name addresses. traceroute can be used to track the sequence of computer networks and systems your message passed through on its way to you. Table 21-1 lists various network information tools. Table 21-1: Network Tools Network Information Tool Description ping finger who host traceroute Detects whether a system is connected to the network. Obtains information about users on the network. Checks what users are currently online. Obtains network address information about a remote host. Tracks the sequence of computer networks and hosts your message passes through.
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Table 21-1: Network Tools Network Information Tool Description knu Gnetutil gfinger KFinger gHostLookup Gwhois The KDE Network utilities featuring finger, ping, traceroute, and host commands. The Gnome Network utilities featuring finger, ping, traceroute, and host commands. Gnome finger client. Kde finger utility. Gnome utility to find IP addresses for hostnames. Obtains information about networks, hosts, and users.
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On the Gnome desktop, the Gnetutil utility provides a Gnome interface for entering the ping, finger, and host commands. On the K Desktop, you can use the KDE network utilities (knu) to issue ping , finger, traceroute, and host commands. Select the appropriate tabbed panel. For the Ping panel, enter the address of the remote system at the box labeled Host and click Go. The results are displayed in the pane below, as shown in Figure 21-1. Neither utility is installed on Red Hat 7.1, though you can obtain packages from apps.kde.org and www.gnome.org.
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Figure 21-1: K Desktop network utilities (knu) showing ping
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The ping command detects whether a system is up and running. ping takes as its argument the name of the system you want to check. If the system you want to check is down, ping issues a timeout message indicating a connection could not be made. The next example checks to see if www.redhat.com is up and connected to the network:
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$ ping www.redhat.com PING www.portal.redhat.com (206.132.41.231): 56 data bytes 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=0 ttl=248 time=24.0 ms 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=1 ttl=248 time=124.5 ms 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=2 ttl=248 time=77.9 ms 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=3 ttl=248 time=220.1 ms 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=4 ttl=248 time=14.9 ms --- www.portal.redhat.com ping statistics --6 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 16% packet loss round-trip min/avg/max = 14.9/92.2/220.1 ms
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You can also use ping with an IP address instead of a domain name. With an IP address, ping can try to detect the remote system directly without having to go through a domain name server to translate the domain name to an IP address. This can be helpful for situations where your network's domain name server may be temporarily down and you want to check if a particular remote host on your network is connected. In the next example, the user checks the Red Hat site using its IP address:
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$ ping 206.132.41.231 PING 206.132.41.231 (206.132.41.231): 56 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=0 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=1 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=2 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=3 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=4 64 bytes from 206.132.41.231: icmp_seq=5 data bytes ttl=248 time=16.6 ms ttl=248 time=65.1 ms ttl=248 time=70.1 ms ttl=248 time=336.6 ms ttl=248 time=53.6 ms ttl=248 time=42.1 ms
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--- 206.132.41.231 ping statistics --6 packets transmitted, 6 packets received, 0% packet loss round-trip min/avg/max = 16.6/97.3/336.6 ms
Note ping operation could also fail if ping access is denied by a network's firewall. See 39 for more details.
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