BASH Programming

How to Check Availability by Using ping in Bash Scripts

ping is a command-line tool used to test connectivity between two network devices, typically over the Internet Protocol (IP) network. It sends ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) packets to the target host and measures the response time. In Bash scripts, the ‘ping’ command can be used to check the availability of a host.

In this article, we will discuss how to use ‘ping’ in Bash scripts to check the availability of a host.

Checking Host Availability Using ping in Bash

The ‘ping’ command in Bash can be used to check the availability of a host, and the syntax for using ‘ping’ is as follows:

ping [-c count] [-i interval] [-t ttl] [-w deadline] destination

The options available for the ‘ping’ command are:

‘-c count’: determines how many packets to send.

‘-i interval’: Specifies the interval between sending packets, in seconds.

t ttl’: Specifies the Time To Live (TTL) value for the packets.

w deadline’: specifies in seconds how long you must wait for a response.

‘destination’: This parameter specifies the hostname or IP address of the target host to ping.

Here is an illustration of how to use “ping” to determine whether a host is accessible:



# Ping the host

ping -c 1 $HOST > /dev/null

if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then

echo "Host $HOST is available"


echo "Host $HOST is not available"


Here I have first defined the host that we want to ping, which is ‘’ and then used the ‘ping’ command to send a single packet to the host. The output of the ‘ping’ command is redirected to /dev/null to suppress any output to the terminal.

Ne,xt I have checked the exit status of the ‘ping’ command using the ‘$?’ variable and if the exit status is 0, it means that the host is up, and we print the message “$HOST is available”. If the exit status is non-zero, it means that the host is down and the message “$HOST is not available” is printed.


The ‘ping’ command is a simple and effective way to check the connectivity between two devices on a network. By following the examples provided in this article, you can start using ‘ping’ in your own Bash scripts to check the availability of hosts.

About the author

Aaliyan Javaid

I am an electrical engineer and a technical blogger. My keen interest in embedded systems has led me to write and share my knowledge about them.