I am trying to write a bash script in a file that would, when run start pinging a host until it becomes available, when the host becomes reachable it runs a command and stops executing, i tried writing one but the script continues pinging until the count ends,

Plus i need to put that process in the background but if i run the script with the $ sign it still runs in foreground,

ping -c30 -i3
if [ $? -eq 0 ]
then /root/scripts/test1.sh
exit 0
else echo “fail”

Any help would be appreciated tnx in advance!


I would use this, a simple one-liner:

while ! ping -c1 HOSTNAME &>/dev/null; do echo "Ping Fail - `date`"; done ; echo "Host Found - `date`" ; /root/scripts/test1.sh

Replace HOSTNAME with the host you are trying to ping.

I missed the part about putting it in the background, put that line in a shellscript like so:


while ! ping -c1 $1 &>/dev/null
        do echo "Ping Fail - `date`"
echo "Host Found - `date`"

And to background it you would run it like so:

nohup ./networktest.sh HOSTNAME > /tmp/networktest.out 2>&1 &

Again replace HOSTNAME with the host you are trying to ping. In this approach you are passing the hostname as an argument to the shellscript.

Just as a general warning, if your host stays down, you will have this script continuously pinging in the background until you either kill it or the host is found. So I would keep that in mind when you run this. Because you could end up eating system resources if you forget about this.

  • Tnx for the answer and the warning, this is a visualized environment so the script will start after the physical servers boot so the VM's will start certainly, but will keep in mind if i delete a VM, tnx again – dusan90 Feb 12 '15 at 9:18
  • In particular by logging the failures every time, and storing all the output in a file in /tmp, if the host goes down you'll end up filling /tmp. That tends to be bad news... – Stephen Kitt Feb 13 '15 at 16:57

By passing the parameters '-c 30' to ping, it will try 30 ping and stop. It will check after if the command succeeds. I think it is best to do a loop that contains one ping and check if this ping succeed. Something like that:

while true;
  ping -c1 google.com
  if [ $? -eq 0 ]
    exit 0

If by still running on the foreground, you mean it is still printing on the terminal, you can redirect stdin and stdout to /dev/null . Hope it helps

  • By unlocking the prompt so i could work on something else, tnx for help – dusan90 Feb 12 '15 at 9:17
ping -oc 100000 Hostname > /dev/null && /root/scripts/test1.sh 
  • ping -o exits the ping after the first packet is received
  • > /dev/null redirects the output, so you won't see it
  • && would run the next command, if the previous command ere successful

In addition, you can run any process in the background by adding & to the end of it; for example, echo "123" & will run in the background


An old post, but as a suggestion you can use the -w option on ping to avoid the loop. For example,

ping -w 30 -c 1 host

will try for 30 seconds with one ping per second (default ping has 1 second interval between pings) and will exit on the first successful ping.

If you don't need a timeout, I.e. wait for ever, just use a very large value with -w.

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