Traceroute command explained
Traceroute is a built-in command with a command-line interface that you can use through the Terminal application. It serves as a diagnostic tool most commonly used to trace a route from the computer, sending the traceroute request to a hostname or IP address. It will send the query and get back a result, showing the query’s route and statistics about time and packets lost.
You can find Traceroute on Linux (almost all distros), macOS, Windows (there it is called tracert), and even Android (though you will need extra installation).
The software’s benefits are that it is free, easy to use, and serves well its purpose of tracing the route to a target.
How does traceroute work?
When you are using the traceroute, your device will send packets of data starting from your IP address, going through various hops, and reaching its target – hostname or IP address. The software will use packets with a short TTL (time to live) value and listen for the ICMP replays. The probes continue until a message “port unreachable (ICMP) or rest (TCP), which will indicate host.
As a result, you will see TTLs, addresses of the hops, and round time per probe, and extra data if you used some of the options.
If you need more detailed information about the Traceroute command we recommend you this article – Traceroute command and its options
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Get ready to learn about a built-in utility tool that you can find on most Linux distros and use for domain probing. The tool is called Dig.
What is the Dig command?
Dig command is a built-in Linux command that you can access through the Terminal application and perform DNS queries. The full name is Domain Information Groper. You can troubleshoot your domain, get all kinds of information about it, including DNS records, name servers, and general network data. What is awesome about it is that it has more functionality than some other built-in tools like nslookup, and it is very easy to use. This is why many network administrators are using it daily, despite its basic command-line interface.
If you are interested in Dig commands we recommend you to look at this article – 10 most used Dig commands!
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What is the Linux host command?
The Linux Host command is utility software for DNS probing that you get pre-installed on most Linux distros like – Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Red Hat, CentOS, Arch Linux, and more.
Linux Host command can show you different information for the host, its IP addresses, DNS records, and check name servers.
It does not have a graphical interface, but its CLI is enough to display all the information needed. It is a very light and fast tool that can show you information about DNS records like A, AAAA, MX, NS, SOA, and more. You could have already guessed. It can show you information about the host like its IP addresses and more.
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How to use the MTR command on Linux?
It is very easy to use the MTR command through the Terminal on your Linux computer. Just follow these 3 steps:
- First, you need to be an administrator. That means to have a Linux account with sudo privileges.
- Second, you will need to install it. The MTR command is not pre-installed like other popular commands. The package name is “mtr”. For that purpose, you will need to execute one of the following commands, depending on your Linux distro:
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, and others based on Ubuntu or Debian:
sudo apt-get install mtr
Red Hat, CentOS, and Fedora:
sudo yum install mtr
Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, and other Arch-based:
pacman -Sy pacman -S mtr
- Third, use the basic MTR command or combine it with some of the options that you have for it. See the complete list of options below.
Basic MTR command:
*Change the domain name with the one you want.
Suggested article: What is Traceroute command?
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You can do a lot using just commands on Linux. Through the Terminal, you can type the command that you want and perfume many actions and diagnostics. Depending on the distro you are using, you will have a different shell pre-installed (bash, dash, etc.). They can have small differences, but for the majority of command, they will work the same.
You can also change the shell if you like. Here you can see a Linux commands cheat sheet with the main commands and what they do.
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