I have a newline separated list of domains that I would like to perform an arbitrary nmap scan on (e.g. aggressive, syn) and I would like to output a boolean that indicates whether or not any ports are open. The primary function here is to deduce whether a server is up even if it is ping blocking.

Is there a common pattern to accomplish this?

I am using the following to put the results into a monolithic XML file, but stanzas are not connected.

 mkdir results ; for ip in `cat servers`; do nmap -oX results/${ip}.xml -T4 -A $ip; done

2 Answers 2


Consider this command:

nmap -T4 -p 111 -sT -oG - | awk | awk '/^Host: .* Status:.*Up/ { print $2" UP" }'

A common pattern using shell scripting is to use grepable output.

Use the flags "-oG -", the final dash is to redirect output to stdout.

Output from "-oG -" in this example outputs the following when I ran it at my own server:

Host: (localhost) Status: Up

The output is redirected to awk, where it searches for strings starting with "Host:, and contain open ports.

When this pattern is found, awk will print: UP
  • Please explain the command and the options you're suggesting. Without description, the value that can be obtained by another visitor is quite limited.
    – Xander
    Oct 20, 2014 at 20:10
  • 1
    FYI for the purposes of showing whether something is up, you could have simplified it to: nmap -T4 -p 22 -sT -oG - | awk '/Up/'
    – munkeyoto
    Oct 22, 2014 at 14:27
  • @munkeyoto, excellent point! Updating answer for this Oct 22, 2014 at 16:37

I used something like this (powershell script) recently to determine simply if the server receives a response back. i know it's not nmap but it is quick and easy.

$erroractionpreference = 'silentlycontinue'
$import = import-csv 'config-network device.csv'
$collection = $()
   foreach ($HostName in $import)
       $status = @{ "ServerName" = $Hostname.HostName; "TimeStamp" = (Get-Date -f s) }
       if (Test-Connection $Hostname.Hostname -Count 2 -ea 0 -Quiet)
       $status["Results"] = "Up"
       $status["Results"] = "Down" 
       New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property $status -OutVariable serverStatus
       $collection += $serverStatus

      $collection | Export-Csv .\ServerStatus-networkALL2.csv -NoTypeInformation

You import from CSV. in your case $hostname might be the list of IP addresses you have or Hostnames.

Provides a simple output that says "up" or "down" depending on whether a response is received.

you can adjust the -count to determine how many pings should be sent.

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