Traceroute is a network diagnostic tool used to check the network between two locations. For example, to determine the cause of slowness or timeouts a traceroute must run from the starting point of a network connection to your DreamHost server.
When should I use Traceroute?
Below are some examples of when a traceroute might be needed to troubleshoot an issue that you are experiencing.
If you notice your site running slow, run a traceroute from your computer to your website to see if there are networking issues between your location and the DreamHost server.
Email client timeouts
If you are experiencing issues related to your mail connection, run a traceroute to determine the quality of of the connection to the mail server. In order to do this, you must first find out which email server you are using.
To find out your email server:
- Navigate to the (Panel > 'Support' > 'Data Centers') page.
- Under the 'Mail services' section you'll see your mail cluster to the right of your domain.
- In this case, the sub4 email cluster is being used.
- Run a traceroute to sub4.homie.mail.dreamhost.com.
- The following example shows a traceroute running in Windows for for the sub4 mail server:
The above example shows the network hops to the server and lists no timeouts on the network connection. If timeouts are listed, there may be a network related issue occurring.
How to run a traceroute
- Open the Command Prompt.
- Type in the word ‘tracert’ followed by a space, and then followed by the name of the site/server to which you’d like to connect. For example, if you wish to connect to example.com you’d run this:
[server]$ tracert example.com
- Click the “Enter” key to run the tool.
- You can also test your DreamHost mail server by running a traceroute to the mail subdomain. For example:
[server]$ tracert sub4.mail.dreamhost.com
- Or, you can use the full mail servername as mentioned above.
For most Linux distributions, you’ll need to first install the traceroute package.
- Open your terminal.
- Run the following to install in Ubuntu:
[server]$ sudo apt-get install traceroute
- Once installed, you can run the command as follows:
[server]$ traceroute example.com
- Some Linux variants require you to also specify the protocol after -I. For example:
[server]$ traceroute -I ICMP example.com
Mac OS X
To run traceroute:
- View the SSH for Mac OS X article for instructions on how to open your terminal.
- Run the following command.
[server]$ traceroute example.com
Another option is to use the Network Utility graphical program (usually found in the Utilities folder inside of Applications).
- Click the Traceroute button in the top bar.
- Type the server name.
- Click the Trace button.
- The Network Utility Traceroute results should look like this:
Copying and pasting the results
If you’d like to share your results with a support representative, you’ll need to paste them into your ticket.
- In the Windows command prompt, right click and choose ‘Mark’.
- Drag your mouse over the entire area you wish to copy
- Right click again.
You can then paste into any text editor or your support ticket.
Another option is to have traceroute results written directly to a text file.
To create a text file of your traceroute results, run the following command:
[server]$ tracert example.com > C:\tracert.txt
This creates a file named tracert.txt within your C:\ folder. You can select any folder in which you wish to save the file.
Mac & Linux
You can run the following command to write the results of traceroute to a file, and you can specify any location you wish.
In the following example, the results are written to a file named trace.txt under the user named ‘username’:
[server]$ traceroute -I example.com > /home/username/trace.txt