Basic Network Tools

Alpine Linux Network Tools #

Busybox Network Tools #

Alpine Linux employs BusyBox to provide essential network tools such as ping or wget. Most of the commands supplied by BusyBox are stripped-down versions of their original (GNU) implementation and do not support all parameters and use cases.

When building BusyBox, you can configure which commands you want your version to support, and Alpine chooses to support only a subset of all available commands.

The following table lists the network commands supported by the generic version of BusyBox, whether included in the bespoke Alpine version, and which package contains the “original” version of the tool.

Command Path Description Alpine BusyBox Package with original
arp /sbin Manipulate ARP cache ✔️ net-tools
arping /usr/sbin Send ARP requests/replies ✔️ iputils
brctl /usr/sbin Manage ethernet bridges ✔️ bridge-utils
dhcprelay Relay DHCP requests between clients and server dhcrelay
dnsd Small static DNS server daemon
dnsdomainname /bin ✔️ net-tools
dumpleases Display DHCP leases granted by udhcpd
ftpd ftpd should be used as an inetd service.
ftpget Retrieve a remote file via FTP
ftpput Store a local file on a remote machine via FTP
hostname /bin Get or set hostname or DNS domain name ✔️ net-tools
httpd Listen for incoming HTTP requests
ifconfig /sbin Configure a network interface ✔️ net-tools
ifdown /sbin ifdown [-ainmvf] ifaces… ✔️ ifupdown-ng ifupdown
ifenslave /sbin Configure network interfaces for parallel routing ✔️ ?
ifplugd Network interface plug detection daemon
ifup /sbin ifup [-ainmvf] ifaces… ✔️ ifupdown-ng ifupdown
inetd Listen for network connections and launch programs
ip /sbin ✔️ iproute2-minimal
ipaddr /sbin ✔️ iproute2-minimal
ipcalc /bin Calculate IP network settings from a IP address ✔️ ?
iplink /sbin ✔️ iproute2-minimal
iproute /sbin ✔️ iproute2-minimal
iprule /sbin ✔️ iproute2-minimal
iptunnel /sbin ✔️ net-tools
nameif /sbin Rename network interface while it in the down state ✔️ net-tools
nc /usr/bin ✔️ netcat-openbsd
netstat /bin Display networking information ✔️ net-tools
nslookup /usr/bin ✔️ bind-tools
ping /bin Send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to network hosts ✔️ iputils
ping6 /bin Send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to network hosts ✔️ iputils
popmaildir Fetch content of remote mailbox to local maildir
route /sbin Edit kernel routing tables ✔️ net-tools
rx Receive a file using the xmodem protocol
sendmail /usr/sbin Read email from stdin and send it ✔️ postfix ssmtp opensmtpd
slattach /sbin Attach network interface(s) to serial line(s) ✔️ net-tools
tcpsvd Create TCP socket, bind to IP:PORT and listen for incoming connection.
telnet Connect to telnet server
telnetd Handle incoming telnet connections
tftp Transfer a file from/to tftp server
tftpd Transfer a file on tftp client’s request
traceroute /usr/bin ✔️ traceroute
udhcpc /sbin ✔️ dhclient dhcpcd
udhcpd DHCP server dhcp-server-vanilla
udpsvd Create UDP socket, bind to IP:PORT and wait for incoming packets.
wget /usr/bin Retrieve files via HTTP or FTP ✔️ wget

To replace the most commonly used BusyBox network commands with their originals, execute:

apk add bind-tools dhclient net-tools net-tools bridge-utils ifupdown-ng iputils iproute2-minimal netcat-openbsd traceroute wget 

Some of these packages do not just install the command listed above but also deploy other tools. For example, the entire content of the package net-tools is here and of iproute2-minimal here.

The package iproute2 depends on and hence installs: iproute2-minimal, iproute2-ss and iproute2-tc (see below for details). Its own additional tools are here.

Other Network Tools #

Other important network tools which are not part of BusyBox are:

Command Path Description Package with original
dig /usr/bin Tool for interrogating DNS name servers bind-tools
mdig /usr/bin Multiple/pipelined query version of dig bind-tools
iptables /sbin Administration tool for IPv4 packet filtering and NAT iptables
ip6tables /sbin Administration tool for IPv6 packet filtering and NAT ip6tables
ss /sbin Another Utility to investigate sockets iproute2-ss
tcpdump /usr/bin Prints contents of packets on a network interface tcpdump
tc /sbin Traffic control iproute2-tc
dhcping /usr/bin Dhcp daemon ping program dhcping

Install them all by running:

apk add bind-tools iptables ip6tables iproute2 tcpdump dhcping


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