xtraceroute - graphical (X11) traceroute
xtraceroute is a graphical version of the traceroute program, which traces the route your IP packets travel to their destination.
On the display:
* Green dots have good location information that came from LOC fields in the DNS, which is the best data out there.
* Orange ones has been guessed from the sites' suffix.
* Yellow ones got resolved via a database of city names and "known" routers. That data is old and inaccurate and it's not getting any younger.
* Red ones are completely unknown.
* You can select dots by clicking on them both on the globe and in the list.
* Pressing and holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse will rotate the globe. Using the middle mouse button will move it, and the right mouse button will zoom it (only vertical movement counts). You can generally get the view you want this way.
The yellow dots has been guessed by looking at the top level domain (TLD) of the hostname. This works fairly well for most countries, but there's a few exceptions where some small countries (like Niue (.nu) and Tuvalu (.tv)) will let anyone register domains in their space for a fee. I don't care, If it says .nu and it hasn't got a LOC record, it'll get plotted in Niue. Also, very few US sites actually use the .us TLD.
If it finds a very high-latency link, it will assume it it a satellite hop and plot it accordingly. If you have some other kind of slow link, like PPP over something slow or a really busy router, it might show up as a satellite hop as well.
The two files above are filled in by hand, following the model of /usr/lib/xtraceroute *.cache files.
These three personal files are typically filled in via the Database menu.
How to get LOC data for your site into the DNS:
Ask your local sysadmin that maintain your nameserver to read the RFC. It's a fairly easy read as RFCs go, but it might help if you find out the location of your site in advance using, say, a GPS or a site like http://www.mapblast.com. Sysadmins are busy people.
When xtraceroute tries to resolve a hostname it will try the proper name first, and then higher domains. For example if our hostname is "apa.bepa.cepa.com", it will try that, "bepa.cepa.com" and "cepa.com". (But not just "com")
This means that if you're a big site and it's hard to persuade the admins to add individual LOC entries for all machines, you can try getting them to add one or two for the whole domain.
More information on xtraceroute is in /usr/doc/xtraceroute.
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Created 1996-2022 by Maxim Chirkov
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