GNU Alive

GNU Alive is a periodic ping program. It functions similarly to ‘ping -n -i PERIOD HOST’ (so if you are comfortable typing that at a shell prompt you probably do not need GNU Alive).

Historical Note: Older releases (up through 1.4.0) included auto-login functionality for some (Swedish) ISPs.

Download / News

Alive can be found on the main GNU ftp server (download Alive via HTTPSdownload Alive via HTTP, or download Alive via FTP), and its mirrors; please use a mirror if possible.

Latest release: 2.0.5 (2022-01-02)

  • --help’ output says GNU Alive takes no arguments

    It also says details are in the manual.

  • missing xdgdirs(1) now silent

    Previously, when looking for the config directory, if xdgdirs(1) was not found, you would see the (harmless) error message:

     /bin/sh: 1: xdgdirs: not found

    Now, it's searched for prior to invocation, so if it's missing, there is no error message.

  • bootstrap/maintenance tools



    as before:

     GNU texinfo 6.8
     GNU Automake 1.16.5
     GNU Autoconf 2.71
     GNU Guile 2.2.7
     Guile-BAUX 20211208.0839.a5245e7
     GNU gnulib 2021-12-10 21:54:54



Documentation for Alive is online, as is documentation for most GNU software. It can also be accessed by running info alive or by looking at /usr/share/doc/alive/, /usr/local/share/doc/alive/, or similar directories on your system. A brief summary is available by running alive --help.

Mailing lists

Alive has the following mailing lists:

  • bug-alive for discussing most aspects of Alive, including development and enhancement requests, as well as bug reports.

Announcements about Alive and most other GNU software are made on the info-gnu mailing list (archives).

Security reports that should not be made immediately public can be sent directly to the maintainer. If there is no response to an urgent issue, you can escalate to the general security mailing list for advice.

Getting involved

Development of Alive, and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing list (see above).

Development tools
For development sources, issue trackers, and other information, please see the Alive project page at
Alive is currently maintained by Amin Bandali, and previously by Thien-Thi Nguyen. Please use the mailing lists for contact.


Alive is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.