Skip to main content

A simple way to ping in Python

Project description


PythonPing is simple way to ping in Python. With it, you can send ICMP Probes to remote devices like you would do from the terminal. PythonPing is modular, so that you can run it in a script as a standalone function, or integrate its components in a fully-fledged application.

Basic Usage

The simplest usage of PythonPing is in a script. You can use the ping function to ping a target. If you want to see the output immediately, emulating what happens on the terminal, use the verbose flag as below.

from pythonping import ping

ping('', verbose=True)

This will yeld the following result.

Reply from, 9 bytes in 0.17ms
Reply from, 9 bytes in 0.14ms
Reply from, 9 bytes in 0.12ms
Reply from, 9 bytes in 0.12ms

Regardless of the verbose mode, the ping function will always return a ResponseList object. This is a special iterable object, containing a list of Response items. In each response, you can find the packet received and some meta information, like the time it took to receive the response and any error message.

You can also tune your ping by using some of its additional parameters:

  • size is an integer that allows you to specify the size of the ICMP payload you desire
  • timeout is the number of seconds you wish to wait for a response, before assuming the target is unreachable
  • payload allows you to use a specific payload (bytes)
  • count specify allows you to define how many ICMP packets to send
  • interval the time to wait between pings, in seconds
  • sweep_start and sweep_end allows you to perform a ping sweep, starting from payload size defined in sweep_start and growing up to size defined in sweep_end. Here, we repeat the payload you provided to match the desired size, or we generate a random one if no payload was provided. Note that if you defined size, these two fields will be ignored
  • df is a flag that, if set to True, will enable the Don't Fragment flag in the IP header
  • verbose enables the verbose mode, printing output to a stream (see out)
  • out is the target stream of verbose mode. If you enable the verbose mode and do not provide out, verbose output will be send to the sys.stdout stream. You may want to use a file here.
  • match is a flag that, if set to True, will enable payload matching between a ping request and reply (default behaviour follows that of Windows which counts a successful reply by a matched packet identifier only; Linux behaviour counts a non equivalent payload with a matched packet identifier in reply as fail, such as when pinging with 1000 bytes and the reply is truncated to only the first 74 of request payload with a matching packet identifier)


Do I need privileged mode or root?

Yes, you need to be root to use pythonping.

Why do I need to be root to use pythonping?

All operating systems allow programs to create TCP or UDP sockets without requiring particular permissions. However, ping runs in ICMP (which is neither TCP or UDP). This means we have to create raw IP packets, and sniff the traffic on the network card. Operating systems are designed to require root for such operations. This is because having unrestricted access to the NIC can expose the user to risks if the application running has bad intentions. This is not the case with pythonping of course, but nonetheless we need this capability to create custom IP packets. Unfortunately, there is simply no other way to create ICMP packets.

Advanced Usage

If you wish to extend PythonPing, or integrate it in your application, we recommend to use the classes that are part of Python Ping instead of the ping function. executor.Communicator handles the communication with the target device, it takes care of sending ICMP requests and processing responses (note that for it to be thread safe you must then handle making a unique seed ID for each thread instance, see ping._init_ for an example of this). It ultimately produces the executor.ResponseList object. The Communicator needs to know a target and which payloads to send to the remote device. For that, we have several classes in the payload_provider module. You may want to create your own provider by extending payload_provider.PayloadProvider. If you are interested in that, you should check the documentation of both executor and payload_provider module.

Code Structure

Top Level Directory Layout

Our project directory structure contains all src files in the pythonping folder, test cases in another folder, and helping documentation in on the top level directory.

├── pythonping              # Source files 
├── test                    # Automated Testcases for the package
├── CODE_OF_CONDUCT         # An md file containing code of conduct
├── CONTRIBUTING            # Contributing Guidlins
├── LICENSE                 # MIT License
├──               # An md file
└──                # Instalation

A UML Diagram of the code structure is below:


As per the uml diagram above five distinct classes outside of init exist in this package: Executor, Icmp, Payload Provider, and Utils. Each of them rely on attributes which have been listed as sub-classes for brevities sake. An overview of each class is as follows.


Simply generates random text. See function random_text.


Opens a socket to send and recive data. See functions send, recv, and del.

Payload Provider

Generates ICMP Payloads with no Headers. It's functionaly a interface. It has three functions init, iter, and next, which are all implmented by subclasses List, Repeat, and Sweep which store payloads in diffrent lists.


Generates the ICMP heaser through subclass ICMPType, and various helper functions.


Has various subclasses including Message, Response, Success, and Communicator used for sending icmp packets and collecting data.


Uses network, executor, payload_provider and utils.random_text to construct and send ICMP packets to ping a network.


A test package exists under the folder test, and contains a serise of unit tests. Before commiting changes make sure to run the test bench and make sure all corrisponding cases pass. For new functionality new test cases must be added and documented.

To run testcases we can simply use the unitest discover utility by running the following command:

python -m unittest discover <test_directory>

To run the test cases in a specific file FILE we must run the following command:

python -m unittest discover -s <test_directory> -p FILE

Another option is to run the following from the top level directory:

pytest test

To test for coverage simply run:

coverage run -m pytest test


Before contributing read through the contribution guidlines found the CONTRIBUTING file.

Code Style

A few key points when contributing to this repo are as follows:

  1. Use tabs over spaces.
  2. Format doc strings as such:
        :param X: DESCRIPTION
        :type X: Type
        :param Y: DESCRIPTION
        :type Y: Type
    Please add doc strings to all functions added.
  3. Do not add spaces between docstring and first function line.
  4. Do not go over 200 characters per line.
  5. When closing multiline items under brackets('()', '[]', ... etc) put the closing bracket on it's own line.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

pythonping-1.1.4.tar.gz (21.5 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Built Distribution

pythonping-1.1.4-py3-none-any.whl (16.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded py3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page