Linux Journal: An Overview of ping

“ping is a diagnostic tool used for verifying connectivity
between two hosts on a network. It sends Internet Control Message
Protocol (ICMP) echo request packets to a remote IP address and
watches for ICMP responses. The author of the initial version of
the ping program that we use today was Mike Muss. Many other people
have tweaked, rewritten and variously abused ping since then.

“The name ping itself is somewhat colorful. Some people claim
that it is an acronym standing for Packet INternet Groper, but this
is not the case. ping was named after the sound a sonar tracking
system makes. There even is a story claiming that a system
administrator wrote a script that repeatedly pinged a host on the
network and made an audible ‘pinging’ alert for each success. The
system administrator then was able to go through his network
methodically checking BNC connectors until he found the dodgy
connector that had been plaguing his network. When the noises
stopped, he’d found the culprit…”


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