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I was testing traceroute between two servers (single hop only) and I wonder why subsequent run shows different results?


# traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1  0.167 ms  0.634 ms  0.152 ms


# traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
     1  * * *
     2  * * *
     3  * * *
     4  * * *
     5  * * *
     6  *  0.120 ms  0.094 ms

EDIT: Wed Dec 18 18:09:23 GMT 2013

Why this question has negative votes? I would like to know why traceroute shows different results (the number of hops) each time.

EDIT: Wed Dec 18 19:05:44 GMT 2013

Both servers are connected to a single switch so there is no any 'routing' and path should be the same:

# ping -R -c 5
PING ( 56(124) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.161 ms

64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.470 ms (same route)
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.113 ms (same route)
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.162 ms (same route)
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.160 ms (same route)

--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4001ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.113/0.213/0.470/0.130 ms
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closed as unclear what you're asking by joeqwerty, mdpc, ceejayoz, cole, Ward Dec 19 '13 at 5:32

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You should post a second, different copy of the results you are getting. – Bert Dec 18 '13 at 18:27
Because internet. – dmourati Dec 18 '13 at 18:43
It's a single hop? There's no routing being done between the hosts, is that correct? – mfinni Dec 18 '13 at 18:47
Please see my edit EDIT: Wed Dec 18 19:05:44 GMT 2013. – HTF Dec 18 '13 at 19:09
What is the IP of the source server you are running the traceroute/ping from? – Rex Dec 18 '13 at 19:14

The second traceroute, with the 5 sets of * * * , does not indicate a different path. You've told us that you know there isn't another path, these things are in the same L2 domain and even on the same switch. Tracert will never show an intermediate hop, and in fact it is not doing so in this case.

For whatever reason, your target host isn't replying to ICMP the first few tries on that second tracert. That is all that you're seeing. Maybe it's too busy to reply to ICMP? That's one reason that simple ping tests aren't good determiners of a service being up or down.

(I have no idea why you're using a L3 tool to show some behavior that has nothing to do with L3. )

share|improve this answer

IP traffic does not necessarily follow the same path. So in the case of traceroute that is sending ICMP packets they don't always necessarily follow the same path too (ICMP runs on top of IP)

There's a whole wikipedia entry on traceroute

Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer
Both servers are connected to the same switch. – HTF Dec 18 '13 at 19:11
But your questions states "tested with different servers/locations" so which is it? – Rex Dec 18 '13 at 19:13
on your edit your are running ping and not traceroute. Where does the traceroute going as a first hop in the case where they are different ? – Rico Dec 18 '13 at 19:16
It's the same location and I used PING to indicate that it's the same route – HTF Dec 18 '13 at 19:25

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