[root tip] [How To] Basic network know-how and troubleshooting

Difficulty: ☆☆☆☆☆

Network connections

This is not a guide on troubleshooting hardware and drivers but the network connection itself. The guide is assuming your hardware and driver(s) are in a working state.

The guide is intended as a reference for working your self through situations like

  • I can’t connect to the internet
  • I ping an IP but not a domain name
  • How can I find my printer’s IP
  • My browser is slow when browsing

Every user will be in a situation when network troubleshooting is necessary - it is almost inevitable.

NOTE: This is a work in progress … please add a comment if there is a network topic you would like covered - maybe in a separate guide.

IPv6 is a topic on it’s own - completely different and I know nothing - so please don’t ask.


Network troubleshooting is like an onion. You peel one layer at a time until you reach the core.

Always start with the system having issues.

Having additional packages installed before problems arise is useful but not necessary.

$ sudo pacman -Syu whois arp-scan net-tools

Network info

Getting some basic info can be done numerous ways using a variety of utilites. In the context of providing basic info NetworkManager’s CLI tool provides a good overview and is Manjaro default network manager.

Example output

$ nmcli device show | grep IP4
IP4.ROUTE[1]:                           dst =, nh =, mt = 100
IP4.ROUTE[2]:                           dst =, nh =, mt = 100
IP4.DOMAIN[1]:                          lan.nix.dk
IP4.GATEWAY:                            --

Using the output from your system - look for answers to the following questions

  • Do I have an address: → IP4.ADDRESS?
  • Is the IP in the expected sub net: → IP4.ROUTE dst =?
  • Is the gateway correct: → IP4.GATEWAY?
  • Is the DNS correct: → IP4.DNS?
  • Is the route correct:→ IP4.ROUTE?

If everything checks - continue to testing your connection - use the data from your system.

connectivity check

From man ping

When using ping for fault isolation, it should first be run on the local host, to verify that the local network interface is up and running. Then, hosts and gateways further and further away should be “pinged”. Round-trip times and packet loss statistics are computed. If duplicate packets are received, they are not included in the packet loss calculation, although the round trip time of these packets is used in calculating the minimum/average/maximum/mdev round-trip time numbers.

The ping app will continue sending packages until you terminate with Ctrlc. This can be useful if you want to know when your router becomes available after restart. But you can also limit the number of packages when you invoke the command

Gateway connection

ping -c 3 IP4.GATEWAY

Name server connection

ping -c 3 IP4.DNS

routing check

To check how the package travels in the network we use tracepath. This app sends back all the hops it makes until it reaches it destination. These hops are useful to determine if the issue at hand is internal or external.

You can verify the internal hops by comparing the output of the traceroute command with the output of the above nmcli command.

To check external routing use a known external IP address e.g. one of Google’s nameservers


dns check

Verify if the name lookup works as expected using drill.

Using a couple of different domain names will ensure it is not a cached result. Try a domain you have never looked up before e.g. nix.dk (one of mine)

➜  ~ drill nix.dk
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, rcode: NOERROR, id: 44615
;; flags: qr rd ra ; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; nix.dk.	IN	A

nix.dk.	3600	IN	A



;; Query time: 18 msec
;; WHEN: Tue Dec 21 13:29:08 2021
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 40

domain trace check

Being able to resolve the domain name does not imply you can reach the domain - so knowing where the connection breaks is often informative. ISP support if often more responsive the more you know.

tracepath nix.dk

dns response check

If your browser is slow to resolve domain names the reason may be the servers used to translate a domain name into the IP address where the service is located.

@cscs factored a small script to average your current dns and compare to a list of publicly available services - read more at Dnsdig - script to test common resolvers

Locating devices on your network

:information_source: Requires arp-scan

Every network’d device has several unique identifiers.

  • MAC address
  • IP address
  • hostname

Locating the devices on your network can be done using arp-scan.

You will need to be root, or arp-scan must be SUID root, in order to run arp-scan, because the functions that it uses to read and write packets require root privilege.

# arp-scan --localnet
Interface: eno1, type: EN10MB, MAC: 00:d8:61:xx:yy:zz, IPv4:
Starting arp-scan 1.9.7 with 256 hosts (https://github.com/royhills/arp-scan)      fc:ec:da:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.      14:91:82:xx:yy:zz	Belkin International Inc.	    8e:3b:ad:xx:yy:zz	(Unknown: locally administered)	    b8:27:eb:xx:yy:zz	Raspberry Pi Foundation	    fc:ec:da:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.	    00:11:32:xx:yy:zz	Synology Incorporated	    94:57:a5:xx:yy:zz	Hewlett Packard	    18:e8:29:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.	    fc:ec:da:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.	    b4:fb:e4:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.	3c:d9:2b:xx:yy:zz	Hewlett Packard	b4:fb:e4:xx:yy:zz	Ubiquiti Networks Inc.

12 packets received by filter, 0 packets dropped by kernel
Ending arp-scan 1.9.7: 256 hosts scanned in 2.039 seconds (125.55 hosts/sec). 12 responded




  • VPN connectivity using OpenVPN
  • how to connect to a wireless printer/scanner
  • why your system won’t connect to your printer

As your profile is hidden, responding here. :innocent: :wink:

  1. should read “inevitable”

  2. As this is for a beginner’s public, can you ensure the address you’re pinging comes from the nmcli device show | grep IP4 command above as most N00bs will just copy-paste any code.


    Can you ping your gateway:

    ping m.n.o.p

    where m, n, o, p are the numbers displayed on your screen for IP4.GATEWAY when executing the nmcli command above…

  3. Excellent idea to post this. as I’ve even known system programmers not having the faintest clue about networking… :grin:


1 Like

Could this be expanded to scanners as well? I have an Epson all in one printer/scanner. I have no issues at all with printer but the scanner is being a real pia

In the context of network connection it doesn’t matter if it is a printer or a scanner.

If you can locate the device using e.g. arp-scan you can use the discovered IP address to configure the software.

If one is more to the GUI type of utilities - one of my favorites is Angry IP scanner (ipscan package)

1 Like

It finds the scanner but identifies it as a different model and says unable to connect to scanner when I try and scan. Thanks for the tips though I’ve been trying with simple scan from the aur

There is no package named bind-tools in the repository, nor in the AUR. Likewise, there is also no package named host in the repository, although there are several AUR packages that start with the string “host”, e.g. hosts, hostctl, hostsctl, and so on.


1 Like

typo with host

and for bind-tools - it seems it has been replaced with the full bind package.

The bind-tools package has been included with the Openbox ISO since I began maintaining the ISO - and it needs an update - I know.


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