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GTrace - A Graphical Traceroute

GTrace is a graphical front-end to traceroute. It uses a combination of methods to determine or guess at the physical location of a node in a traceroute path.

Traceroute, written by Van Jacobson has become a classic tool for determining the routes that packets take from a source host to a destination host. While traceroute has become a very handy debugging tool, it does not provide any information on the physical location of each node along the path. GTrace is a graphical front-end to traceroute that depicts geographically the IP path information between source and destination hosts. It is written in Java and works under the Solaris, Linux and FreeBSD platforms.

GTrace uses a combination of methods to either determine or guess at the physical location of a node in the traceroute path. It is flexible enough to support addition of new databases, heuristics to map IP addresses to physical location and maps.

For additional information, please refer to the section entitled "Usage Notes" on the menubar to the left.


Highlights of GTrace

  • Flexible and extensible techniques determine the locations of nodes along the path
  • Multithreaded architecture allows locations for multiple hops to be determined in parallel
  • Validates location information, eliminating data judged incorrect
  • Indicates the method for determining geographic mapping and level of trust in results
  • Links to current whois information, for nodes along the path
  • View routes traced via third-party traceroute servers
  • Allows user to zoom into various regions of the maps (Maps courtesy of
  • Enables users to maintain trace archives
  • Supports the addition of new maps and non-geographical network diagrams
  • Uses NetGeo service for mapping IP addresses to location. (
GTrace appeared at the USENIX LISA '99 conference in November. You can read the LISA '99 paper, "GTrace - A Graphical Traceroute Tool" for more details on the architecture and implementation. Development of this tool was partially funded by NSF under ANI-9996248.

Related Objects

See to explore related objects to this document in the CAIDA Resource Catalog.
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