This is a handy bit of Perl code I wrote years ago

It will quickly and efficiently tell you which of a group of machines you specify are ‘up’ – in the case of this code it is that they are listening on the port for ssh but it is trivial to change the code to look for something else e.g. http server on port 80.

The trick to the speed is that all machines are pinged at once and only then are the answers collected.

The other nice feature is that it will expand ranges in the form name[01..10] will ping machines called name01, name02 etc. This part can be adapted to suit whatever naming convention you have on your site. As we are using the Time::HiRes module we get detailed stats about how long it takes to resolve the name of each machine.

# general machine existance test. Martin Houston.
# checks that ssh service is running on a set of machines
# could be adapted to test another port e.g. 80 for http.
use Net::Ping;
use Data::Dumper;
use Time::HiRes qw( usleep 
 ualarm gettimeofday tv_interval nanosleep
 clock_gettime clock_getres clock_nanosleep clock stat );

# Take the names of the systems to ping on the command line
my (@systems) = @ARGV;
# or piped as a list
@systems = (<STDIN>) unless scalar(@systems) > 0;
# remove newlines
chomp for @systems;

@systems = expand_ranges(@systems);

my %trial = ();
my %lookuptimes = ();

# first we get how long it takes to look each system up 

for(@systems) {
    my $before = [gettimeofday];
    $lookuptimes{$_} = tv_interval ($before);
# allow 2 sec response
my $p = Net::Ping->new('syn',2);
# we check they are listening on the ssh port
$p->{port_num} = getservbyname('ssh', 'tcp');
# just send syn packets
map { $p->ping($_) } (@systems);
# collect all acks that arrive within 2 secs
while(my($host,$rtt,$ip) = $p->ack) {
    $trial{$host} = "'$ip' : $lookuptimes{$host} : $rtt";
# these machines have a ssh (port 22) service running
my @live = grep { defined $trial{$_} } @systems;
print join("\n", map { "$trial{$_} : '$_'," } @live), "\n";

# This works with computer names with numbers
# name[1..10] will expand to name01 name02 name03...
sub expand_ranges {
    my @res = ();
    for my $sys (@_) {
        if($sys =~ /\[/) {
            my $pre = $`;
            my $pat = '[' . $';
            # get Perl to do the hard work on pattern expansion
            my ($numbers) = eval($pat);
            for(@{$numbers}) {
                # 01 not 1, change to suit your conventions
                $_ = '0' . $_ if $_ < 10;
                push @res, "$pre$_";
       else {
           # not special
           push @res, $sys;
   return @res;

Please take and adapt this to what suits your site. A handy adaptation is to make a notpingable script that instead returns just the list of systems that are not responding. This, combined with testing various ports can be the basis of a very lightweight system monitor.

Author: Martin Houston

This is my own little corner of the Internet. You will find a mixed bunch of stuff about Open Source (what I have done for a job for the last quarter of a century) and wider issues of what is wrong with the world. I am a freelancer so if you would like any software written (for money) get in touch!

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