Traceroute command (a.k.a tracert command)

25.08.2020 4,117 28

What is traceroute/tracert

Traceroute or Tracert is yet another network diagnostic software. It does what it says – it completely traces the route frоm the device who makes the request to an IP address or hostname. It provides you with statistics about the final point as well as the routers on the way.

You can find it on macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS as traceroute and on Windows as tracert.

Windows tracert syntax

Let’s first start with the Windows version called tracert. You can use it inside the Command Prompt of Windows. Its syntax is as follows:

tracert [-d] [-h maximum_hops] [-j host-list] [-w timeout] [-R] [-S srcaddr] [-4] [-6] target_name

macOS traceroute syntax

To start traceroute on macOS, you will need to use Terminal.

traceroute [options] host [packetsize]

Linux traceroute syntax

On Linux, you can also use Terminal for traceroute. You can use $traceroute –help and see all the possible options on Linux.

traceroute [options] host_Address [pathlength]

Comparison table

Here’s a comparison between the commands on the different OSes.

Option Description Windows macOS Linux
-d Not to resolve addresses to the hostnames Yes No No
-d –debug Linux debugging enable No No Yes
-h aximum_hops Set the maximum hops of the request No No Yes
-m max_ttl Max number of hops No Yes Yes
-j host-list Loose source route along host-list, works only with IPv4
-w timeout Maximum time in milliseconds for each reply Yes Yes No
-w waittime –wait=waittime Maximum time in milliseconds for each reply No No Yes
-I –icmp ICMP echo for the command No No Yes
-R Trace the return path too, works only with IPv6 Yes No No
-S srcaddr Source address, works only with IPv6 Yes No No
-4 Use only IPv4 Yes Yes Yes
-6 Use only IPv6 Yes Yes Yes
-p port Set the port for the probe No Yes No
-F No packet fragmentation No Yes Yes
-n Do not resolve IP address No Yes Yes

Conclusion

Traceroute or tracert is a really good command for checking the route. You will get important statistics and you can do it on every major OS. Use it to determine the number of hops it takes for a query and the response times of different network component.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traceroute
https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/traceroute-command-in-linux-with-examples/
https://ss64.com/osx/traceroute.html

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