Basic Networking Utilities

This chapter contains some tools that come in handy when the network needs investigating.


Introduction to Traceroute

The Traceroute package contains a program which is used to display the network route that packets take to reach a specified host. This is a standard network troubleshooting tool. If you find yourself unable to connect to another system, traceroute can help pinpoint the problem.

Package information

Installation of Traceroute

Install Traceroute by running the following commands:

mv &&
sed 's/-o bin/-o root/' > &&
./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make &&
make install &&
make install-man

Command explanations

sed 's/-o bin/-o root/'...

Adjusts the Makefile so that the program is installed with user root instead of user bin (which doesn't exist on a default LFS system).

make install: Installs traceroute with SUID set to root in the /usr/sbin directory. This makes it possible for all users to execute traceroute. For absolute security, turn off the SUID bit in traceroute's file permissions with the command:

chmod 0755 /usr/sbin/traceroute

The risk is that if a security problem such as a buffer overflow was ever found in the Traceroute code, a regular user on your system could gain root access if the program is SUID root. Of course, removing the SUID permission also makes it impossible for users other than root to utilize traceroute, so decide what's right for your individual situation.

Our aim is to be completely FHS compliant, so if you do leave the traceroute binary SUID root, then you should move traceroute to /usr/bin with the following command:

mv /usr/sbin/traceroute /usr/bin

This ensures that the binary is in the path for non-root users.


The Traceroute package contains traceroute.



traceroute does basically what it says: it traces the route your packets take from the host you are working on to another host on a network, showing all the intermediate steps (gateways) along the way.