Ping(1M) on OpenSolaris Easter Egg

/ping1m-on-opensolaris-easter-egg 2010-07-11T19:12:43+01:00

It's amazing what you discover whilst working a weekend shift with a bit of time to spare. Whilst perusing through the shell scripts used as part of the Sun in-house built VPN solution (Oracle are giving it the chop in favour of Cisco SSL AnyConnect client which doesn't officially work on Solaris x86 - it does with the help of openconnect though ;-) ), I discovered a little easter egg in ping(1M).

Fire up a terminal and ping a host:

$ ping google.com             
google.com is alive
$

Nothing fancy there and exactly as I expected. However, if you're a Linux/Mac user, this is NOT what you were expecting. So lets make the Linux/Mac users happy with our new little easter egg...

$ export MACHINE_THAT_GOES_PING=1
$ ping google.com                
PING google.com: 56 data bytes
64 bytes from ww-in-f104.1e100.net (209.85.229.104): icmp_seq=0. time=23.248 ms
64 bytes from ww-in-f104.1e100.net (209.85.229.104): icmp_seq=1. time=50.359 ms
64 bytes from ww-in-f104.1e100.net (209.85.229.104): icmp_seq=2. time=25.421 ms
64 bytes from ww-in-f104.1e100.net (209.85.229.104): icmp_seq=3. time=50.336 ms
64 bytes from ww-in-f104.1e100.net (209.85.229.104): icmp_seq=4. time=11.788 ms
^C
----google.com PING Statistics----
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip (ms)  min/avg/max/stddev = 11.788/32.230/50.359/17.331
$

Now that looks familiar to Linux/Mac users and Solaris users will recognise this as the output you get when using the -s flag.

So, whilst not really anything amazing, this little undocumented environment variable allows you to get the output Linux/Mac users are used to without the need for setting up an alias of continually remembering to add the -s flag.

I've only tested this on OpenSolaris so your experience may vary.

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