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hping3 - Man Page

send (almost) arbitrary TCP/IP packets to network hosts

Examples (TL;DR)


hping3 [ -hvnqVDzZ012WrfxykQbFSRPAUXYjJBuTG ] [ -c count ] [ -i wait ] [ --fast ] [ -I interface ] [ -9 signature ] [ -a host ] [ -t ttl ] [ -N ip id ] [ -H ip protocol ] [ -g fragoff ] [ -m mtu ] [ -o tos ] [ -C icmp type ] [ -K icmp code ] [ -s source port ] [ -p[+][+] dest port ] [ -w tcp window ] [ -O tcp offset ] [ -M tcp sequence number ] [ -L tcp ack ] [ -d data size ] [ -E filename ] [ -e signature ] [ --icmp-ipver version ] [ --icmp-iphlen length ] [ --icmp-iplen length ] [ --icmp-ipid id ] [ --icmp-ipproto protocol ] [ --icmp-cksum checksum ] [ --icmp-ts ] [ --icmp-addr ] [ --tcpexitcode ] [ --tcp-timestamp ] [ --tr-stop ] [ --tr-keep-ttl ] [ --tr-no-rtt ] [ --rand-dest ] [ --rand-source ] [ --beep ] hostname


hping3 is a network tool able to send custom TCP/IP packets and to display target replies like ping program does with ICMP replies. hping3 handle fragmentation, arbitrary packets body and size and can be used in order to transfer files encapsulated under supported protocols. Using hping3 you are able to perform at least the following stuff:

- Test firewall rules
- Advanced port scanning
- Test net performance using different protocols,
  packet size, TOS (type of service) and fragmentation.
- Path MTU discovery
- Transferring files between even really fascist firewall
- Traceroute-like under different protocols.
- Firewalk-like usage.
- Remote OS fingerprinting.
- TCP/IP stack auditing.
- A lot of others.

It's also a good didactic tool to learn TCP/IP. hping3 is developed and maintained by antirez@invece.org and is licensed under GPL version 2. Development is open so you can send me patches, suggestion and affronts without inhibitions.

Hping Site

primary site at http://www.hping.org. You can found both the stable release and the instruction to download the latest source code at http://www.hping.org/download.html

Base Options

-h --help

Show an help screen on standard output, so you can pipe to less.

-v --version

Show version information and API used to access to data link layer, linux sock packet or libpcap.

-c --count count

Stop after sending (and receiving) count response packets. After last packet was send hping3 wait COUNTREACHED_TIMEOUT seconds target host replies. You are able to tune COUNTREACHED_TIMEOUT editing hping3.h

-i --interval

Wait the specified number of seconds or micro seconds between sending each packet. --interval X set wait to X seconds, --interval uX set wait to X micro seconds. The default is to wait one second between each packet. Using hping3 to transfer files tune this option is really important in order to increase transfer rate. Even using hping3 to perform idle/spoofing scanning you should tune this option, see HPING3-HOWTO for more information.


Alias for -i u10000. Hping will send 10 packets for second.


Alias for -i u1. Faster then --fast ;) (but not as fast as your computer can send packets due to the signal-driven design).


Sent packets as fast as possible, without taking care to show incoming replies. This is ways faster than to specify the -i u0 option.

-n --numeric

Numeric output only, No attempt will be made to lookup symbolic names for host addresses.

-q --quiet

Quiet output. Nothing is displayed except the summary lines at startup time and when finished.

-I --interface interface name

By default on linux and BSD systems hping3 uses default routing interface. In other systems or when there is no default route hping3 uses the first non-loopback interface. However you are able to force hping3 to use the interface you need using this option. Note: you don't need to specify the whole name, for example -I et will match eth0 ethernet0 myet1 et cetera. If no interfaces match hping3 will try to use lo.

-V --verbose

Enable verbose output. TCP replies will be shown as follows:

len=46 ip= flags=RA DF seq=0 ttl=255 id=0 win=0 rtt=0.4 ms tos=0 iplen=40 seq=0 ack=1380893504 sum=2010 urp=0

-D --debug

Enable debug mode, it's useful when you experience some problem with hping3. When debug mode is enabled you will get more information about interface detection, data link layer access, interface settings, options parsing, fragmentation, HCMP protocol and other stuff.

-z --bind

Bind CTRL+Z to time to live (TTL) so you will able to increment/decrement ttl of outgoing packets pressing CTRL+Z once or twice.

-Z --unbind

Unbind CTRL+Z so you will able to stop hping3.


Beep for every matching received packet (but not for ICMP errors).

Protocol Selection

Default protocol is TCP, by default hping3 will send tcp headers to target host's port 0 with a winsize of 64 without any tcp flag on. Often this is the best way to do an 'hide ping', useful when target is behind a firewall that drop ICMP. Moreover a tcp null-flag to port 0 has a good probability of not being logged.

-0 --rawip

RAW IP mode, in this mode hping3 will send IP header with data appended with --signature and/or --file, see also --ipproto that allows you to set the ip protocol field.

-1 --icmp

ICMP mode, by default hping3 will send ICMP echo-request, you can set other ICMP type/code using --icmptype --icmpcode options.

-2 --udp

UDP mode, by default hping3 will send udp to target host's port 0. UDP header tunable options are the following: --baseport, --destport, --keep.

-8 --scan

Scan mode, the option expects an argument that describes groups of ports to scan. port groups are comma separated: a number describes just a single port, so 1,2,3 means port 1, 2 and 3. ranges are specified using a start-end notation, like 1-1000, that tell hping to scan ports between 1 and 1000 (included). the special word all is an alias for 0-65535, while the special word known includes all the ports listed in /etc/services.
Groups can be combined, so the following command line will scan ports between 1 and 1000 AND port 8888 AND ports listed in /etc/services: hping --scan 1-1000,8888,known -S target.host.com
Groups can be negated (subtracted) using a ! character as prefix, so the following command line will scan all the ports NOT listed in /etc/services in the range 1-1024: hping --scan '1-1024,!known' -S target.host.com
Keep in mind that while hping seems much more like a port scanner in this mode, most of the hping switches are still honored, so for example to perform a SYN scan you need to specify the -S option, you can change the TCP windows size, TTL, control the IP fragmentation as usually, and so on. The only real difference is that the standard hping behaviors are encapsulated into a scanning algorithm.
Tech note: The scan mode uses a two-processes design, with shared memory for synchronization. The scanning algorithm is still not optimal, but already quite fast.
Hint: unlike most scanners, hping shows some interesting info about received packets, the IP ID, TCP win, TTL, and so on, don't forget to look at this additional information when you perform a scan! Sometimes they shows interesting details.

-9 --listen signature

HPING3 listen mode, using this option hping3 waits for packet that contain signature and dump from signature end to packet's end. For example if hping3 --listen TEST reads a packet that contain 234-09sdflkjs45-TESThello_world it will display hello_world.

Common Options

-d --data data size

Set packet body size. Warning, using --data 40 hping3 will not generate 0 byte packets but protocol_header+40 bytes. hping3 will display packet size information as first line output, like this: HPING www.yahoo.com (ppp0 NO FLAGS are set, 40 headers + 40 data bytes

-E --file filename

Use filename contents to fill packet's data.

-e --sign signature

Fill first signature length bytes of data with signature. If the signature length is bigger than data size an error message will be displayed. If you don't specify the data size hping will use the signature size as data size. This option can be used safely with --file filename option, remainder data space will be filled using filename.

-j --dump

Dump received packets in hex.

-J --print

Dump received packets' printable characters.

-B --safe

Enable safe protocol, using this option lost packets in file transfers will be resent. For example in order to send file /etc/passwd from host A to host B you may use the following:

# hping3 host_b --udp -p 53 -d 100 --sign signature --safe --file /etc/passwd
# hping3 host_a --listen signature --safe --icmp
-u --end

If you are using --file filename option, tell you when EOF has been reached. Moreover prevent that other end accept more packets. Please, for more information see the HPING3-HOWTO.

-T --traceroute

Traceroute mode. Using this option hping3 will increase ttl for each ICMP time to live 0 during transit received. Try hping3 host --traceroute. This option implies --bind and --ttl 1. You can override the ttl of 1 using the --ttl option. Since 2.0.0 stable it prints RTT information.


Keep the TTL fixed in traceroute mode, so you can monitor just one hop in the route. For example, to monitor how the 5th hop changes or how its RTT changes you can try hping3 host --traceroute --ttl 5 --tr-keep-ttl.


If this option is specified hping will exit once the first packet that isn't an ICMP time exceeded is received. This better emulates the traceroute behavior.


Don't show RTT information in traceroute mode. The ICMP time exceeded RTT information aren't even calculated if this option is set.


Exit with last received packet tcp->th_flag as exit code. Useful for scripts that need, for example, to known if the port 999 of some host reply with SYN/ACK or with RST in response to SYN, i.e. the service is up or down.

TCP Output Format

The standard TCP output format is the following:

len=46 ip= flags=RA DF seq=0 ttl=255 id=0 win=0 rtt=0.4 ms

len is the size, in bytes, of the data captured from the data link layer excluding the data link header size. This may not match the IP datagram size due to low level transport layer padding.

ip is the source ip address.

flags are the TCP flags, R for RESET, S for SYN, A for ACK, F for FIN, P for PUSH, U for URGENT, X for not standard 0x40, Y for not standard 0x80.

If the reply contains DF the IP header has the don't fragment bit set.

seq is the sequence number of the packet, obtained using the source port for TCP/UDP packets, the sequence field for ICMP packets.

id is the IP ID field.

win is the TCP window size.

rtt is the round trip time in milliseconds.

If you run hping using the -V command line switch it will display additional information about the packet, example:

len=46 ip= flags=RA DF seq=0 ttl=255 id=0 win=0 rtt=0.4 ms tos=0 iplen=40 seq=0 ack=1223672061 sum=e61d urp=0

tos is the type of service field of the IP header.

iplen is the IP total len field.

seq and ack are the sequence and acknowledge 32bit numbers in the TCP header.

sum is the TCP header checksum value.

urp is the TCP urgent pointer value.

UDP Output Format

The standard output format is:

len=46 ip= seq=0 ttl=64 id=0 rtt=6.0 ms

The field meaning is just the same as the TCP output meaning of the same fields.

ICMP Output Format

An example of ICMP output is:

ICMP Port Unreachable from ip= name=nano.marmoc.net

It is very simple to understand. It starts with the string "ICMP" followed by the description of the ICMP error, Port Unreachable in the example. The ip field is the IP source address of the IP datagram containing the ICMP error, the name field is just the numerical address resolved to a name (a dns PTR request) or UNKNOWN if the resolution failed.

The ICMP Time exceeded during transit or reassembly format is a bit different:

TTL 0 during transit from ip= name=nano.marmoc.net

TTL 0 during reassembly from ip= name=UNKNOWN  

The only difference is the description of the error, it starts with TTL 0.


Salvatore Sanfilippo <antirez@invece.org>, with the help of the people mentioned in AUTHORS file and at http://www.hping.org/authors.html


Even using the --end and --safe options to transfer files the final packet will be padded with 0x00 bytes.

Data is read without care about alignment, but alignment is enforced in the data structures. This will not be a problem under i386 but, while usually the TCP/IP headers are naturally aligned, may create problems with different processors and bogus packets if there is some unaligned access around the code (hopefully none).

On solaris hping does not work on the loopback interface. This seems a solaris problem, as stated in the tcpdump-workers mailing list, so the libpcap can't do nothing to handle it properly.

See Also

ping(8), traceroute(8), ifconfig(8), nmap(1)


2005 Nov 5