How to ping and test for a specific port from Linux or Unix command line

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I wanted to see if a specific port of a desktop computer or server is open from a Linux or Unix command line shell. How do I ping a specific port? Is it possible possible to ping an or ports?

Can you ping a specific port of a server?
You use the ping command to send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to network computers, routers, switches and more. Ping is using ICMP protcol. The ping command can not be used to ping a specific port. However, use any one of the following command to see if a port is open or not as follows:

Use telnet command

The syntax is:
telnet {host} {port}
telnet 80
telnet 80

Sample outputs:

Connected to router.
Escape character is '^]'.
telnet> q
Connection closed.

To close your session, press Ctrl+]+q.

Use nc command

The syntax is:
nc -vz {host} {port}
nc -vz 80
nc -vz 443

Sample outputs:

found 0 associations
found 1 connections:
     1:	flags=82
	outif utun1
	src port 54997
	dst port 443
	rank info not available
	TCP aux info available

Connection to port 443 [tcp/https] succeeded!

Use nmap command

The syntax is:
nmap -PNp {port} {host}
nmap -p {port} {host}
nmap -p 22
nmap -p 443

Sample outputs:

Starting Nmap 7.40 ( ) at 2017-05-24 01:00 IST
Nmap scan report for router (
Host is up (0.00034s latency).
443/tcp open  https

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.04 seconds

See “Top 32 Nmap Command Examples For Sys/Network Admins” for more info.

Use bash shell

The syntax is as follows:

## check for tcp port ##
## need bash shelll ##
(echo >/dev/tcp/{host}/{port}) &>/dev/null && echo "open" || echo "close"
(echo >/dev/udp/{host}/{port}) &>/dev/null && echo "open" || echo "close"
(echo >/dev/tcp/ &>/dev/null && echo "Open 22" || echo "Close 22"
(echo >/dev/tcp/ &>/dev/null && echo "Open 443" || echo "Close 443"

Sample outputs:

Close 22
Open 443

Use nping command

Nping is an open-source tool for network packet generation, response analysis and response time measurement. Nping allows users to generate network packets of a wide range of protocols, letting them tunevirtually any field of the protocol headers. While Nping can be used as a simple ping utility to detect active hosts, it can also be used as a raw packet generator. The syntax is:
sudo nping --tcp -p {port} {host}
sudo nping --tcp -p 443

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: nping just pinged host at port 443
Fig.01: nping just pinged host at port 443

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

5 comment

  1. The nping utility that comes with NMap allows you to ‘ping’ a port by making a TCP connection to it. This does more than just check if the port is open. It verifies that it can be connected to.

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