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Ping daemon that pings a number of targets at once, collecting their response times in histograms. Meant to be deployed at strategic points in your network in order to detect weak links.


  • Scrapeable by Prometheus.
  • Targets can be added and removed on-the-fly, without restarting or reloading anything.
  • CLI tool to interact with the daemon.
  • IPv6 supported.



Grafana added Prometheus-compatible Heatmaps in version 5.1. Those let you render graphs like these, showing when your ISP failovers you to a second line:

ISP outage

Here you can nicely see that at 05/07 13:00 there was a minor outage (failover to a different router on the same line, basically), and at 05/08 13:00 something big happened (main line went down completely and we switched to the backup line).

Or that this power converter hardware you bought recently is a bit weird:

flaky hardware

The latter is a normal distribution, which is an indication that you're looking at too small a time frame. Let's look at this heatmap over ninety days, and compare it to one that aggregates one day's worth of data per histogram:

flaky hardware, weekly histogram

This is a lot less noisy.


If you point your browser to Meshping at http://localhost:9922, you'll get statistics like this:

Target                    Address                    Sent  Recv   Succ    Loss      Min    Avg15m     Avg6h    Avg24h       Max      Last
dc.local.lan.                    22863 22669  99.15%   0.85%    0.06      0.97      0.95      0.89     13.87      1.33
alexi001.local.lan.                19644 19587  99.71%   0.29%    0.05      1.02      0.90      0.85     12.38      1.35
alexi002.local.lan.                19643 19523  99.39%   0.61%    0.06      1.21      1.18      1.14     14.97      2.38
alexi003.local.lan.                19644 19470  99.11%   0.89%    0.06      0.86      0.96      0.93     13.19      2.17                          22863 22819  99.81%   0.19%  606.30    746.00    806.17    867.11   4245.05    713.65
inverter.local.lan.             22863 22821  99.82%   0.18%    0.49     45.01     50.59     41.06    144.25     34.96
snom370-260DFE.local.lan             22863 22812  99.78%   0.22%    0.83      1.51      1.57      1.48   1000.03      1.39

Raw data

If you query the /metrics endpoint, you get a histogram that carries far more detail:

meshping_sent{target=""} 7362
meshping_recv{target=""} 7330
meshping_lost{target=""} 32
meshping_max{target=""} 3848.67
meshping_min{target=""} 608.21
meshping_pings_sum{target=""} 6704337.831000
meshping_pings_count{target=""} 7330
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="630.34"} 72
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="675.58"} 1014
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="724.07"} 2117
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="776.04"} 2979
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="831.74"} 3706
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="891.43"} 4550
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="955.42"} 5286
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1023.99"} 5908
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1097.49"} 6340
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1176.26"} 6565
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1260.68"} 6685
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1351.17"} 6762
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1448.14"} 6830
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1552.08"} 6903
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1663.48"} 6976
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1782.88"} 7050
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="1910.84"} 7125
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2047.99"} 7176
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2194.98"} 7217
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2352.52"} 7255
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2521.37"} 7281
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2702.34"} 7301
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="2896.30"} 7311
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="3104.18"} 7320
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="3326.98"} 7323
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="3565.77"} 7327
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="3821.69"} 7329
meshping_pings_bucket{target="",le="4095.99"} 7330

This endpoint is meant to be scraped by Prometheus.

Querying from Prometheus

You can run queries on the data from Prometheus, e.g.

  • loss rate in %: rate(meshping_lost{target="$target"}[2m]) / rate(meshping_sent[2m]) * 100
  • quantiles: histogram_quantile(0.95, rate(meshping_pings_bucket{target="$target"}[2m]))
  • averages: rate(meshping_pings_sum{target=""}[2m]) / rate(meshping_pings_count[2m])

Heatmaps in Grafana

Grafana added Heatmap support in v5.1, so we now can produce graphs like the images above, that contain a histogram over time that shows the pings.

To do that, add a Heatmap panel to Grafana, and configure it with:

  • Query: increase(meshping_pings_bucket{target=\"$target\"}[1h])
  • Legend format: {{ le }}
  • Unit: ms
  • Min step: 1h

For a one-histogram-per-day panel, use these settings:

  • Query: increase(meshping_pings_bucket{target=\"$target\"}[1d])
  • Min step: 1d

Meshping is meant to look at pings over a long time range (e.g. two days or a week), so be sure not to make those time frames too short. Otherwise you'll lose the heatmap effect because every data point will be its own histogram.

In the examples directory, there's also a json dashboard definition that you can import.

How do I get set up?

Using Docker

You can run meshping itself through Docker, but you'll need to provide a Redis instance and will need mpcli somewhere so you can add targets to meshping (see below):

docker run --rm --net=host -e REDIS_HOST=redisbox svedrin/meshping:0.1-stretch
wget -O /usr/local/bin/mpcli
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/mpcli

Manual setup

Unfortunately, this is a bit involved:

apt-get install mercurial cython liboping-dev python-flask python-redis redis-server
hg clone /opt/meshping
cd /opt/meshping
ln -s $PWD/ /usr/local/bin/mpcli
cp meshping.service /etc/systemd/system
systemctl daemon-reload
service meshping start

Now the daemon should be running.

Adding targets

To add targets, run mpcli -a <target name>[@<target IP address>]. Examples:

mpcli -a
mpcli -a
mpcli -a
mpcli -a
mpcli -a
mpcli -a

Meshping will pick up updates to the target list before the next ping iteration.

Distributed Meshping

Meshping supports running multiple meshping instances that ping the same targets, each reporting stats from their point of view. To use this, set up a master instance like outlined above, and configure its Redis server to be reachable from the slaves. Then, edit meshping.service on the slaves to point to the Master's redis instance, like so:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/python -- /opt/meshping/src/ -r hive.local.lan

Restart Meshping, and it'll pick up on the targets immediately.

Who do I talk to?

  • If you'd like to get in touch, you can send me an email.
  • I also regularly hang out at the Linux User Group or the mag.lab in Fulda.
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