Not to be too picky, but your ping command almost certainly _does_ require root permissions.
It's because for ICMP 'echo replies' to get back to the program, it effectively has to snoop the interface - there's absolutely no state in ICMP, so it just has to listen to see if it gets something that matches.
Of course, since it's a compiled binary that's _generally_ trusted, that's not a huge problem. Course, you could probably just do a system("ping -c 1 $host");(syntax dependant on OS) and grep for 'bytes from'.
It's not pessimism if there is a worse option, it's not paranoia when they are and it's not cynicism when you're right.
In reply to Re: Nonroot ping with Net::Ping::External (was: Re: packet types & ports)