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Ping range of IP addresses in parallel with fping

fping is a program which uses the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request to determine if a host is up. fping is different from ping in that you can specify any number of hosts on the command line, or specify a file containing the lists of hosts to ping. Instead of trying one host until it timeouts or replies, fping will send out a ping packet and move on to the next host in a round-robin fashion. If a host replies, it is noted and removed from the list of hosts to check. If a host does not respond within a certain time limit and/or retry limit it will be considered unreachable.

Basically fping is meant to be used in shell scripts and its output is easy to parse. This command can be very useful to when you have to scan whole network for alive or unreachable hosts. In case of usage regular ping command you’ll have to write shell script and parse each hosts icmp replies but fping can do the same in one line:

To scan range of IP addresses from to just run:
sudo fping -s -g -r 1

That will output: is alive is alive is unreachable is unreachable is unreachable is unreachable is unreachable is unreachable is unreachable

9 targets
2 alive
7 unreachable
0 unknown addresses

14 timeouts (waiting for response)
16 ICMP Echos sent
2 ICMP Echo Replies received
0 other ICMP received

0.05 ms (min round trip time)
0.44 ms (avg round trip time)
0.84 ms (max round trip time)
2.183 sec (elapsed real time)

In order to scan /24 network (254 hosts) and show only alive hosts the following command can be used:

sudo fping -a -q -g

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My name is Stefan, I'm the admin of LinuxScrew. I am a full-time Linux/Unix sysadmin, a hobby Python programmer, and a part-time blogger. I post useful guides, tips, and tutorials on common Linux and Programming issues. Feel free to reach out in the comment section.

19 thoughts on “Ping range of IP addresses in parallel with fping”

  1. from "man fping" –

    -f Read list of targets from a file. This option can only be used by the root user. Regular users should pipe in the file via stdin:

    % fping

  2. ok…. obviously i need to put <code> tags in there :0 i'll try again:

    <code>-f Read list of targets from a file. This option can only be used by the root user. Regu?

    lar users should pipe in the file via stdin:

    % fping

    hope that's clearer…

  3. dammit! ok – type "man fping" and look for the "-f Read list of targets from a file…." bit. it's not showing it all when i paste in in here, dont know how too fix that, sorry.

  4. ok, one last try –

    <code>-f Read list of targets from a file. This option can only be used by the root user. Regular users should pipe in the file via stdin:</code>

    <code>% fping

    if that hasn worked, i'm leaving it alone 🙂

  5. cool 🙂 i tried the <code></code> tags, but it kept cutting out bits anyway – nevermind – you got the important info up there, and that's what matters.

    another victory for the www! knowledge is power! 😀

  6. sudo fping -f /tmp/ips is alive is alive is alive

    Hi pellgarlic

    Thanks for all the above comments,i followed the above with little modification to suit my need and it's working fine.


  7. Hi admin,pellgarlic

    I am using below script my problem is here,i put this script in crontab to run daily 3 times and move the file "stb" to desktop of another system in the network by using " mv /root/stb /root/livestb.`date +%d%I%M` && scp livestb.* [email protected]:/root/Desktop" as a script but final output on the desktop is empty file.



    #Script to ping all the hosts


    rm /root/livestb.* && echo "File removed successfully" #To remove previously run file

    fping /root/stb

    echo " ***completed*** "

    exit 0

    Please can u correct me.

    thanks in advance.

  8. hi kalyan, what you're missing is the redirection… you would need to replace "fping /root/stb" with something like this:

    "fping -f /file/with/list/of/ips/to/ping > results/of/fping"

    (i.e. – you need 2 files –

    1 – the list of ip addresses to ping

    2 – the output of the fping command)

  9. it seems that you may be confusing the file that fping reads from, with a file you want to have the output stored in –

    to have fping read from a file, do this:

    fping -f /path/to/file

    to save the ouput of fping to a file, do this:

    fping -f /path/to/file > /path/to/save/to

    (the ">" can be used to redirect the terminal output of any command-line command to a file)

  10. Personally, i think it's better to use

    <code> rm -rf /root/livestb.* </code>


    <code> rm /root/livestb.* && echo "File removed successfully" </code>

    By the way, i recommend you not to make scripts with root powers (uhm, quite dangerous).


  11. For ugly scan :

    for i in `seq 1 255`; do echo -n “192.168.1.$i – ” >> scan_lan.txt ;fping -n 192.168.1.$i >> scan_lan.txt; done

    (need improvement ;p)

  12. Hi, is anybody here yet?

    I have a problem with fping or I dont know which parametr I have to use, becouse my result are diffent in many times:

    root@deb0-manager:~# fping -a -q -g
    root@deb0-manager:~# fping -a -q -g
    root@deb0-manager:~# fping -a -q -g

    The first is how it is in reality…
    Have I change some parameters of fping? How? Please help me. Thnaks


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