Check ping


Sends ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to network hosts using the built-in ping command. Without any parameters it tries to send five packets within one second (so its fast!) and exits after five seconds timeout at the latest. It doesn’t care about round trip times or packet loss as long the host is still reachable in some way. That means 90% packet loss is ok, while 100% are not. Why? If this check is used to test the host-liveliness (which in 99.9% is its use case), mostly all other service checks depend on its result. For that reason it should be as tolerant and reliable as possible and only throw CRIT (equal to DOWN) if the host is definitely not reachable at all.

check_ping from nagios-plugins just prints PING OK - Packet loss = 0%, RTA = 3.79 ms, while this check tells you everything that you are used to if using the ping command directly: PING localhost(localhost (::1)): 5 packets transmitted, 5 received, time 828ms. rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.029/0.113/0.189/0.052 ms.

This command works with both IPv4 and IPv6.

The --always-ok parameter is useful for hosts that do not allow ping, but which can still execute check-plugins. The packet loss will be reported, but the state will be OK.

Fact Sheet

Check Plugin Download

Check Interval Recommendation

Once a minute

Can be called without parameters


Available for

Python 2, Python 3




usage: ping [-h] [-V] [--count COUNT] [-H HOSTNAME] [--interval INTERVAL]
            [-t DEADLINE]

Sends ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to network hosts using the built-in `ping` command.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit
  --count COUNT         Stop after sending count ECHO_REQUEST packets.
                        Default: 5
  -H HOSTNAME, --hostname HOSTNAME
                        The ping destination. Default:
  --interval INTERVAL   Wait interval seconds between sending each packet.
                        Default: 0.2
  -t DEADLINE, --timeout DEADLINE
                        Specify a timeout, in seconds, before ping exits
                        regardless of how many packets have been sent or
                        received. Default: 5

Usage Examples

./ping --hostname localhost
./ping --interval=0.2 --count=5 --timeout=5 --hostname localhost


PING localhost: 5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 829ms. rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.036/0.082/0.103/0.023 ms


  • CRIT if sending ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to network host fails

  • UNKNOWN if name or service is unknown, out of memory, etc.

  • Otherwise OK

Perfdata / Metrics

  • transmitted packets

  • received packets

  • duplicate packets

  • checksum_corrupted packets

  • errors

  • packet_loss (%)

  • time (ms)

  • rtt_min (ms)

  • rtt_avg (ms)

  • rtt_max (ms)

  • rtt_mdev (ms)

Credits, License