Simple way to perform a body check on a website

So, I was testing with curl today and I know that it’s possible to direct to /dev/null to suppress the page. But that’s not very handy if you are checking whether html page loads, so I came up with some better body checks to use.

A Basic body check using wc -l to count the lines of the site

 time curl https://www.google.com/ > 1; echo "non zero indicates server up and served content of n lines"; cat 1 | wc -l
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  167k    0  167k    0     0  79771      0 --:--:--  0:00:02 --:--:-- 79756

real	0m2.162s
user	0m0.042s
sys	0m0.126s
non zero indicates server up and served content of n lines
2134

A body check for Google analytics

$ time curl https://www.groundworkjobs.com/ > 1; echo "Checking for google analytics html elements string"; cat 1 | grep "www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js"
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  167k    0  167k    0     0  76143      0 --:--:--  0:00:02 --:--:-- 76152

real	0m2.265s
user	0m0.042s
sys	0m0.133s
Checking for google analytics html elements string
				})(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

Such commands might be useful when troubleshooting a cluster for instance, where one server shows more up to date versions, (different number of lines). There’s probably better way to do this with ls and awk and use the html filesize, since number of lines wouldn’t be so accurate.

Check Filesize from request

$ time curl https://www.groundworkjobs.com/ > 1; var=$(ls -al 1 | awk '{print $5}') ; echo "Page size is: $var kB"
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  167k    0  167k    0     0  79467      0 --:--:--  0:00:02 --:--:-- 79461

real	0m2.170s
user	0m0.048s
sys	0m0.111s
Page size is: 171876 kB

Pretty simple.. but you could take the oneliner even further… populate a variable called $var with the filesize using ls and awk , and then use an if statement to check that var is not 0, indicating the page is answering positively, or alternatively not answering at all.

Check Filesize and populate a variable with the filesize, then validate variable

$ time curl https://www.groundworkjobs.com/ > 1; var=$(ls -al 1 | awk '{print $5}') ; echo "Page size is: $var kB"; if [ "$var" -gt 0 ] ; then echo "The filesize was greater than 0, which indicates box is up but may be giving an error page"; fi
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  167k    0  167k    0     0  78915      0 --:--:--  0:00:02 --:--:-- 78950

real	0m2.185s
user	0m0.041s
sys	0m0.132s
Page size is: 171876 kB
The filesize was greater than 0, which indicates box is up but may be giving an error page

The second exercise is not particularly useful or practical as a means of testing, since if the site was timing out the script would take ages to reply and make the whole test pointless, but as a learning exercise being able to assemble one liners on the fly like this is an enjoyable, rewarding and useful investment of time and effort. Understanding such things are the fundamentals of automating tasks. In this case with output filtering, variable creation, and subsequent validation logic. It’s a simple test, but the concept is exactly the same for any advanced automation procedure too.

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