SUMMARY: why traceroute can only be run by root?

From: Carlos Carvalho (
Date: Mon Apr 26 1993 - 16:49:22 CDT

Well, I've got lots of answers, looks like an easy question.

The outcome is that traceroute needs access to /dev/nit, which is
available only to root, for security reasons. That's because it works
by sending packets with special values of the time-to-live parameter,
and to construct them it's necessary to have access to the raw
protocol, which is a root priviledge.

It should thus be made suid root if others want to use it. Notice that
this is the same for ping.

Thanks to all who responded:

Timothy G. Smith <tgsmith@Sun.COM>
Jim Lick <>
Casper Dik <>
Dan Schlitt <>
Christopher Hoover <>
Steve Simmons <> (Daniel Trinkle) (Luis Fernando V. Gomes)


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