MTR – A Network Diagnostic Tool

MTR combines the functionality of the ‘traceroute’ and ‘ping’ programs in a single network diagnostic tool.
As mtr starts, it investigates the network connection between the host mtr runs on and a user-specified destination host. After it determines the address of each network hop between the machines, it sends a sequence ICMP ECHO requests to each one to determine the quality of the link to each machine. As it does this, it prints running statistics about each machine. For a preview take a look at the screenshots.

MTR screenshots

Here is the “graphical” version. It opens a window of its own, and you can change the target host by typing in the input box at the top.

Here is the “text” verison. It runs in the terminal window that you start it from.

Compatibility

Mtr uses autoconf. This should allow compatibility with a large range of operating systems. Feel free to report problems. We can then try to iron them out.
I don’t have much experience in using autoconf. Therefore I’m eager to learn more about it, as it seems a very useful tool. I’ve been editing small sections of the autoconf files, but I welcome suggestions on how to do things better. There usually IS a way to do it better….

Compiling MTR

Compiling mtr should be as easy as “make”. If it is harder for you, your computer is misconfigured, or there is a problem with mtr that we should take care of. Please report this kind of problems.

Binary distributions

Ryan’s build and/or mirror apparenltly stopped working somewhere in 1999, 14 years ago and nobody noticed. Apparently not worth maintaining.
kanedaaa has packages up to slackware 12.1, also a while ago. Possibly because mtr is included in the distribution.
The debian distribution has mtr builtin, so it would be preferrable to just use that.
The freebsd ports link still works and has a reasonably recent version.
If you want to contribute binaries in a way similar to this, feel free to volunteer.

Live on the web

Christian Pekeler has setup a web-frontend for running mtr from six (or maybe more by now) different places around the globe on mtr.guru .
This is great for figuring out if your server is really down or just unreachable from part of the world. Of course, if all of Christian’s servers can reach your target, that doesn’t guarantee that it is reachable from everywhere, but it does make it clear that a possible problem is not “near” your server network-wise.

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