Linux networking command cheatsheet


I used FreeBSD in the computer networking course but the UNIX commands should work the same in Linux also.


ping <host> —- sends an ICMP echo message (one packet) to a host. This may go continually until you hit Control-C. Ping means a packet was sent from your machine via ICMP, and echoed at the IP level. ping tells you if the other Host is Up.

telnet host <port> —- talk to “hosts” at the given port number. By default, the telnet port is port 23. Few other famous ports are:

  • 7 – echo port,
  • 25 – SMTP, use to send mail
  • 79 – Finger, provides information on other users of the network

Use control-] to get out of telnet.


Arp is used to translate IP addresses into Ethernet addresses. Root can add and delete arp entries. Deleting them can be useful if an arp entry is malformed or just wrong. Arp entries explicitly added by root are permanent — they can also be by proxy. The arp table is stored in the kernel and manipulated dynamically. Arp entries are cached and will time out and are deleted normally in 20 minutes.

  • arp –a : Prints the arp table
  • arp –s <ip_address> <mac_address> [pub] to add an entry in the table
  • arp –a –d to delete all the entries in the ARP table


  • netstat –r —- Print routing tables. The routing tables are stored in the kernel and used by ip to route packets to non-local networks.
  • route add —- The route command is used for setting a static (non-dynamic by hand route) route path in the route tables. All the traffic from this PC to that IP/SubNet will go through the given Gateway IP. It can also be used for setting a default route; i.e., send all packets to a particular gateway, by using in the pace of IP/SubNet.
  • routed —– The BSD daemon that does dynamic routing. Started at boot. This runs the RIP routing protocol. ROOT ONLY. You won’t be able to run this without root access.
  • gated —– Gated is an alternative routing daemon to RIP. It uses the OSPF, EGP, and RIP protocols in one place. ROOT ONLY.
  • traceroute —- Useful for tracing the route of IP packets. The packet causes messages to be sent back from all gateways in between the source and destination by increasing the number of hopes by 1 each time.
  • netstat –rnf inet : it displays the routing tables of IPv4
  • sysctl net.inet.ip.forwarding=1 : to enable packets forwarding (to turn a host into a router)
  • route add|delete [-net|-host] <destination> <gateway> (ex. route add to add a route
  • route flush : it removes all the routes
  • route add -net : to add a default route
  • routed -Pripv2 –Pno_rdisc –d [-s|-q] to execute routed daemon with RIPv2 protocol, without ICMP auto-discovery, in foreground, in supply or in quiet mode
  • route add : it defines the route used from RIPv2
  • rtquery –n : to query the RIP daemon on a specific host (manually update the routing table)


  • nslookup —- Makes queries to the DNS server to translate IP to a name, or vice versa. eg. nslookup will gives you the IP of
  • ftp <host>water —– Transfer files to host. Often can use login=“anonymous” , p/w=“guest”
  • rlogin -l —– Logs into the host with a virtual terminal like telnet


  • /etc/hosts —- names to ip addresses
  • /etc/networks —- network names to ip addresses
  • /etc/protocols —– protocol names to protocol numbers
  • /etc/services —- tcp/udp service names to port numbers


  • ifconfig <interface> <address> [up] : start the interface
  • ifconfig <interface> [down|delete] : stop the interface
  • ethereal & : it allows you open ethereal background not foreground
  • tcpdump –i -vvv : tool to capture and analyze packets
  • netstat –w [seconds] –I [interface] : display network settings and statistics
  • udpmt –p [port] –s [bytes] target_host : it creates UDP traffic
  • udptarget –p [port] : it’s able to receive UDP traffic
  • tcpmt –p [port] –s [bytes] target_host : it creates TCP traffic
  • tcptarget –p [port] it’s able to receive TCP traffic
  • ifconfig
  • netmask [up] : it allows to subnet the sub-networks


  • ifconfig sl0 srcIP dstIP : configure a serial interface (do slattach –l /dev/ttyd0 before, and - sysctl net.inet.ip.forwarding=1 after)-
  • telnet : to access the - switch from a host in its subnetwork-
  • sh ru or show running-configuration : to see the current configurations-
  • configure terminal : to enter in configuration mode
  • exit : in order to go to the lower configuration mode


  • vlan n : it creates a VLAN with ID n
  • no vlan N : it deletes the VLAN with ID N
  • untagged Y : it adds the port Y to the VLAN N
  • ifconfig vlan0 create : it creates vlan0 interface
  • ifconfig vlan0 vlan ID vlandev em0 : it associates vlan0 interface on top of em0, and set the tags to ID
  • ifconfig vlan0 [up] : to turn on the virtual interface
  • tagged Y : it adds to the port Y the support of tagged frames for the current VLAN


  • socklab udp – it executes socklab with udp protocol
  • sock – it creates a udp socket, it’s equivalent to type sock udp and bind
  • sendto <Socket ID> <hostname> <port #> – emission of data packets
  • recvfrom <Socket ID> <byte #> – it receives data from socket
  • socklab tcp – it executes socklab with tcp protocol
  • passive – it creates a socket in passive mode, it’s equivalent to socklab, sock tcp, bind, listen
  • accept – it accepts an incoming connection (it can be done before or after creating the incoming connection)
  • connect <hostname> <port #> – these two commands are equivalent to socklab, sock tcp, bind, connect
  • close – it closes the connection
  • read <byte #> – to read bytes on the socket
  • write (ex. write ciao, ex. write #10) to write “ciao” or to write 10 bytes on the socket


  • rm /etc/resolv.conf – it prevent address resolution and make sure your filtering and firewall rules works properly
  • ipnat –f file_name – it writes filtering rules into file_name
  • ipnat –l – it gives the list of active rules
  • ipnat –C –F – it re-initialize the rules table
  • map em0 -> em0 : mapping IP addresses to the interface
  • map em0 -> portmap tcp/udp 20000:50000 : mapping with port
  • ipf –f file_name : it writes filtering rules into file_name
  • ipf –F –a : it resets the rule table
  • ipfstat –I : it grants access to a few information on filtered packets, as well as active filtering rules
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