For each of several different packet sizes, the target is pinged a few times. Response time is plotted against packet size. From each group, the minimum response time is taken and used in a straight line fit, which is also plotted. The fitted line is used as an indication of available bandwidth and baseline delay to the node.
The tool may run either as a CGI script on a Webserver, or standalone using X-11.
When running standalone, the node to ping is given as an argument, eg.
When running as a CGI script, the node is given as an argument using http GET. Usually the shell script visual-ping is used as a wrapper, in order to generate the GIF as an inline image. If no argument is given, the script may either use the browser's address, or prompt for an address, depending on the configuration.
The script requires Perl 4, gnuplot, ping and optionally giftool to render the GIF transparent. It should run on any Unix system (it has been tested on Linux and Irix)