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Describe ICMP Describe the ICMP message format Identify ICMP error message types Identify potential causes of specific ICMP error messages Describe ICMP control messages Identify a variety of ICMP control messages used in networks today Determine the causes for ICMP control messages

Table of Content 1 Overview of TCP/IP Error Message 2 TCP/IP Suite Control Messages


Error reporting and error correction

Destination unreachable IP

Workstation 6

Workstation 1

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)

Network Transport


Destination unreachable Echo (Ping) Others





ICMP simply sends error message to the sender of the data, indicating that problems occurred with data delivery ICMP is the component of the TCP/IP protocol stack that addresses this basic limitation of IP. It does not propagate information about network changes to routers. Does not correct the encountered network problem ICMP do not overcome the unreliability limitation that

Encapsulation of an ICMP in an IP packet

Frame Header Datagram Header ICMP Header ICMP Data

0 Type Option Header Option Data

8 Code

16 Checksum


Destination unreachable
I don not know How to get to Z! Send ICMP A To Z Destination unreachable C Data network

Send Data To Z

An ICMP destination unreachable message is send if: Host or port unreachable.


Destination unreachable message

0 Type(3) 8 Code(0-12) 16 Checksum 31

Unused (must be zero) Internet Header + First 64 bits of datagram

The value of 3 in the type field indicates it is a destination unreachable message. The code value indicates the reason the packet could not be delivered.

Code values for destination unreachable message

Code Description 0Net unreachable. 1Host unreachable. 2Protocol unreachable. 3Port unreachable. 4Fragmentation needed and DF set. 5Source route failed. 6Destination network unknown 7Destination host unknown 8Source Host Isolated 9Communication with destination network administratively prohibited 10Communication with destination network administratively prohibited

Using ping to test destination reachability

Is B reachable A Yes, I am here.

ICMP echo request

ICMP echo reply

ICMP echo messages

0 Type (0 or 8) Identifier Option Data 8 Code (0) 16 Checksum Sequence number 31

The value of 0 in the type field indicates it is the echo request. The value of 8 in the type field indicates it is the echo reply.

Miscellaneous error reporting

0 Type (12) Pointer 8 Code (0-2) 16 Checksum Unused ( Must be zero) 31

Internet Header + First 64 bits of datagram

Parameter problem. When the code value is 0, the pointer field indicates the octet of the datagram that produced the error.

Detecting excessively long routes

When the TTL of the datagram value reaches zero, the packet is discarded. ICMP uses a time exceeded message to notify the source device that the TTL of the datagram has been exceeded


ICMP Type of Control messages

Type Description 0Echo reply. 3Destination unreachable. 4Source quench. 5Redirect / Change request 8Echo Request 9Routers advertisment 10Router Selection 11Time exceeded. 12Parameter problem. 13Timestamp. 14Timestamp reply. 15Information Request 16Information Reply 17Address Mask Request

Unlike error messages, control messages are used to inform hosts of conditions such as network congestion or the existence of a better gateway to a remote network. Like all ICMP messages, ICMP control messages are encapsulated within an IP datagram. ICMP uses IP datagrams in order to traverse multiple networks.

18Address Mask Reply

ICMP redirect/change requests


Router A E 0 E 0

Router B Default GW:

Router A sends an ICMP redirect/change request to Host B telling it to use Router B as the gateway to forward all future requests to

Conditions to send ICMP redirect/change request

Default gateways only send ICMP redirect/change request messages if the following conditions are met: The interface on which the packet comes into the router is the same interface on which the packet gets routed out. The subnet/network of the source IP address is the same subnet/network of the next-hop IP address of the routed packet. The datagram is not source-routed. The route for the redirect is not another ICMP redirect or a default route. The router is configured to send redirects. (By default, Cisco routers send ICMP redirects. The interface subcommand no ip redirects will disable ICMP redirects.)

The ICMP redirect/change request message

0 Type (5) 8 Code (0-3) 16 Checksum 31

Router Internet address Internet Header + First 64 bits of datagram

The Router Internet Address field in the ICMP redirect is the IP address that should be used as the default gateway for a particular network.

Clock synchronization and transit time estimation

0 Type (13 or 14) Identifier Originate Timestamp Receive Timestamp Transit Timestamp 8 Code (0) 16 Checksum Sequence number 31

Allows a host to ask for the current time according to the remote host. More robust protocols such as Network Time Protocol (NTP) at the upper layers of the TCP/IP protocol stack perform clock synchronization in a more reliable manner.

Information requests and reply message formats

0 Type (15 or 16) Identifier 8 Code (0) 16 Checksum Sequence number 31

Originally intended to allow a host to determine its network number, is considered obsolete. Other protocols such as BOOTP and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) are now used to allow hosts to obtain their network numbers.

Address mask requirements

0 Type (17 or 18) Identifier Address Mask Subnet mask is crucial in identifying network, subnet, and host bits in an IP address. 8 Code (0) 16 Checksum Sequence number 31

If a host does not know the subnet mask, it may send an address mask request to the local router or broadcast. When the router receives the request, it will respond with an address mask reply. This address mask reply will identify the correct

Router discovery message

0 Type (9) Number of addresses Router address 1 Preferences Level 1 Router address 2 Preferences Level 2 8 Code (0) Address entry size 16 Checksum Lifetime 31

Hosts use router discovery message to learn of available routers (gateway). Using the multicast address as the destination address. May also be broadcast. If router that does not support the discovery process, the solicitation will go unanswered.

Router solicitation message

0 Type (10) 8 Code (0) Reversed 16 Checksum 31

A host generates an ICMP router solicitation message in response to a missing default gateway.

This message is sent via multicast and it is the first step in the router discovery process. A local router will respond with a router advertisement identifying the default gateway for the local host.

Congestion and flow control messages

Network congestion is experienced at the WAN link

High speed LAN

w lo S

k lin

ICMP source-quench messages are used to reduce the amount of data lost. The source-quench message asks senders to reduce the rate at which they are transmitting packets. Most Cisco routers do not send source-quench messages by default


IP uses Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) to notify the sender of data that there was an error in the delivery process. ICMP messages are transmitted using the IP protocol so their delivery is unreliable. ICMP echo request and echo reply messages allow the network administrator to test IP connectivity to aid in the troubleshooting process.