Mike Sampson

Linux Systems Administrator




21 Aug 2014

Pinger - A simple ICMP monitor.

When it comes to monitoring hosts, most people go with Nagios or similar. Nagios is great, can monitor pretty much most standard services out of the box and is easily extendible. For my home network I really just wanted a simple ICMP check. For this, Nagios was overkill. This is what I came up with.


Pinger is a simple Python based ICMP monitor with Pushover integration. What is Pushover? From their website:

In short, Pushover is a service to receive instant push notifications on your phone or tablet from a variety of sources.

One of these sources is a simple REST API. There are no monthly fees and the app costs $5.00 after a 5 day free trial.

Pinger is fast. All hosts are pinged asynchronously in parallel. Pinging ten hosts takes the same amount of time as pinging one host. Each host is pinged five times with a one second interval. As long as at least one packet is returned the host is considered up.

As mentioned above. I use pinger to monitor my home network including my router. To ensure I receive notification of issues that may effect network traffic I run pinger from one of my VPS instances hosted off site. This machine connects to my home network via an OpenVPN link.


A requirements.txt file is included to make installation easy using a virtual environment. Execute the following commands:

git clone
cd pinger
virtualenv pinger_env
. pinger_env/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

You should then be able to execute pinger:

$ ./pinger -h
usage: pinger [-h] config

positional arguments:
  config      config file

optional arguments:
  -h, --help  show this help message and exit

Setup a cronjob that calls pinger every 5 minutes or so. Don't forget to activate the virtual environment. A simple wrapper script may be handy:

cd /root/pinger
. pinger_env/bin/activate
./pinger config.yml


Configuration is simple and in the form of a yaml file:

        user: <PUSHOVER_USER_KEY>
        token: <PUSHOVER_API_KEY>

        - name: host1

        - name: host2

        - name: host3

Add your pushover user key, application token and define some hosts. You are then good to go.

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