How can I check if a port is listening on a Linux server?
You can check if a process listens on a TCP or UDP port with
To check whether some ports are accessible from the outside (this is probably what you want) you can use a port scanner like Nmap from another system. Running Nmap on the same host you want to check is quite useless for your purpose.
60GNU netstat knows the parameters
-n. Thanks to the options parser it can be expressed as
-tuplen. linux.die.net/man/8/netstat– joschiApr 26, 2013 at 9:53
telnetcommand usually does only supports TCP, so you're out of luck if the service you want to check runs on another protocol.– joschiApr 26, 2013 at 9:55
3nc is (better) alternative to telnet. It supports UDP too. Jul 10, 2013 at 8:42
2When I go to the
manpage it says
netstatis obsolete.– trysisMay 16, 2018 at 12:41
3According to article: computingforgeeks.com/netstat-vs-ss-usage-guide-linux
netstatis deprecated, and
ssis it's replacement, so you can do
ss -tuplenor for tcp listening sockets
ss -ntlp.– Alek_AFeb 7, 2020 at 10:17
Quickest way to test if a TCP port is open (including any hardware firewalls you may have), is to type, from a remote computer (e.g. your desktop):
telnet myserver.com 80
Which will try to open a connection to port 80 on that server. If you get a time out or deny, the port is not open :)
1says that it doesn't recognise "telnet" as a command... Sep 7, 2011 at 17:37
7"yum install telnet" to install the telnet client package.– cjcSep 7, 2011 at 17:41
if you get a time out or deny, the port is not openSep 7, 2011 at 18:09
2What if you don't have perms to install telnet? Is there another standard tool?– KC BaltzJan 14, 2014 at 23:40
9I tried “telnet myhost 22” and get a timeout. But I can ssh into that machine. ?! Sep 6, 2018 at 10:59
OK, in summary, you have a server that you can log into. You want to see if something is listening on some port. As root, run:
this will show a listing of processes listening on TCP and UDP ports. You can scan (or grep) it for the process you're interest in,and/or the port numbers you expect to see.
If the process you expect isn't there, you should start up that process and check netstat again. If the process is there, but it's listening on a interface and port that you did not expect, then there's a configuration issue (e.g., it could be listening, but only on the loopback interface, so you would see 127.0.0.1:3306 and no other lines for port 3306, in the case of the default configuration for MySQL).
If the process is up, and it's listening on the port you expect, you can try running a "telnet" to that port from your Macbook in your office/home, e.g.,
telnet xxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk 443
That will test if (assuming standard ports) that there's a web server configured for SSL. Note that this test using telnet is only going to work if the process is listening on a TCP port. If it's a UDP port, you may as well try with whatever client you were going to use to connect to it. (I see that you used port 224. This is masqdialer, and I have no idea what that is).
If the service is there, but you can't get to it externally, then there's a firewall blocking you. In that case, run:
iptables -L -n
This will show all the firewall rules as defined on your system. You can post that, but, generally, if you're not allowing everything on the INPUT chain, you probably will need to explicitly allow traffic on the port in question:
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 224 -j ACCEPT
or something along those lines. Do not run your firewall commands blindly based on what some stranger has told you on the Internet. Consider what you're doing.
If your firewall on the box is allowing the traffic you want, then your hosting company may be running a firewall (e.g., they're only allowing SSH (22/tcp), HTTP (80/tcp) and HTTPS (443/tcp) and denying all other incoming traffic). In this case, you will need to open a helpdesk ticket with them to resolve this issue, though I suppose there might be something in your cPanel that may allow it.
Could you pls add how to undo the iptables -I command? Thanks!!– EvgenySep 9, 2013 at 22:52
1"iptables -D" followed by whatever else you had after the "-I" in the original command. Basically, look up the documentation.– cjcSep 10, 2013 at 11:45
1I'd highly recommend using
apt install ufwthen see
man ufw) it's a more user-friendly frontend for
iptables.– NagevJun 10, 2020 at 10:40
I use the combo of
netstat -an | grep <portnumber> lsof -i:<portnumber>
To see if the port is being used, and what is using it.
nothing prompts with or without sudo Nov 22, 2017 at 6:25
1@DheerajThedijje - then that port isn't open– warrenMay 25, 2018 at 14:47
Yes it was not, got it. Jun 6, 2018 at 7:29
If you are connected to the system and can run a command as root then you can check the output of iptables
iptables -L -vn
this will list the firewall rules and which ports are open target
ACCEPT and any explicitly closed ports target
1And if you have firewalld, it's simpler
firewall-cmd --query-port=port/protocol, e.g.
firewall-cmd --query-port=80/tcp.– AgostinoJul 20, 2018 at 16:00
If you need to script such a test, the solution by Serhii Popov (see comment to question) is probably the best since
nc is capable of searching the TCP stack for an open port³ instead of attempting an actual connection.
The simplest form is:
nc -z <ip> <port>
The command returns true if it find the specified
<ip>:<port> combo as being opened (i.e. one of your services is listening).
So now you can write a script to wait until the port is open:
while ! nc -z <ip> <port> do sleep 1 done
Note 1: I tried the
-w command line option and that did not seem to do anything. Either way the command returns immediately. I think that the
-w is not useful with
Note 2: to help debug, try with the
-v command line option.
nc -z ... actually creates a
socket() and then attempts to
bind() it and
connect(). If that works, it deems the port open.
-wis very useful if the port is not open and packages are dropped, otherwise
ncwill wait forever. Jul 15, 2020 at 20:02
lsof -i :ssh will list all processes with the ssh port open, both listening and active connections.
sudoif it doesn't return any output. Jun 13, 2017 at 23:08
sudois required for any connections opened by other users (and likely
LISTENports which are opened by services such as
http). Mar 7, 2020 at 17:53
netstat -tulpen | grep $PORT lsof -i:$PORT
You can use
nc -z $IP $PORT
You can use Telnet
telnet $IP $PORT
You can use this online tool (I like this one)
And port scanner like
Nmap CLI tool
netstat -an | grep PORTNUMBER | grep -i listenIf the output is empty, the port is not in use.
nc -w5 -z -v <ip_address> <port_number>, you should get something like
Connection to 127.0.0.1 9000 port [tcp/*] succeeded!, otherwise port is closed.