Mastering Microservices Troubleshooting: Unveiling Command-Line Secrets

Unlock the secrets of Microservices Troubleshooting! Explore effective strategies for seamless connectivity, from clever tool fusions to bash backdoor


5 min read

Mastering Microservices Troubleshooting: Unveiling Command-Line Secrets

Have you ever felt like a swimmer in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sharks, with no land in sight? That's how I felt when I first started troubleshooting connectivity issues within microservice pods. I was a DevOps engineer, and I was tasked with troubleshooting connectivity issues within microservice pods. I had no idea where to start, and I was overwhelmed by the many tools and commands available. I was lost in a sea of options, and I didn't know which way to turn.

You are not alone. Many DevOps engineers face similar challenges when troubleshooting connectivity issues within microservice pods. In this article, I'll share some of the most effective commands I've used to troubleshoot connectivity issues within microservice pods. I'll also share some of the most common mistakes I've made along the way so that you can avoid them.

Microservices architecture is known for its scalability and efficiency, but troubleshooting connectivity to external systems from microservice pods can be a unique challenge. In the microservices world, simplicity reigns, and sometimes, essential tools like curl or telnet are conspicuously absent. So, how can DevOps engineers troubleshoot connectivity issues within these compact containers?

Let's explore some ingenious ways to troubleshoot connectivity issues within microservice pods! πŸ•΅πŸ½

The Curl-Telnet Fusion πŸ’‘

When telnet is nowhere to be found in your microservice pod, fear not. A clever combination comes to the rescue:

curl telnet://

For more insights into the powerful world of curl, check out this reference.

The Bash Backdoor

In situations where neither curl nor wget graces your container, leverage bash's built-in TCP/UDP socket support. For example, to check connectivity to port 80 on, emulate HTTP connectivity using the following command:

Socket-Level Inspection πŸ”Œ; PORT=80
echo >/dev/tcp/$HOSTNAME/$PORT && echo "Open" || echo "Closed"

Enhance this command by adding a timeout:

timeout 1 bash -c 'echo >/dev/tcp/$HOSTNAME/$PORT' && echo "Open" || echo "Closed"

Now, let's equip your troubleshooting arsenal with additional commands for DevOps engineers facing similar challenges, assuming you have access to these commands.

Netcat Exploration 😼; PORT=80

Netcat, a reliable tool for checking connectivity, can save the day. Following the same logic as the socket, use the following command to check connectivity to port 80 on and print the output to stdout. You can also set a wait time and a timeout:; PORT=80
bash -c '(echo -e "GET / HTTP/1.1\r\nHost: $HOSTNAME\r\n\r\n") | nc -w 1 -q 2 $HOSTNAME $PORT' && echo "Done" || echo -e "\n\e[32mLa Rebelion rules! ✊🏽\n""

If you encounter an error message due to the PORT variable not being set (nc: missing port number), use the following command:; PORT=80
bash -c 'export PORT=80; if [ -n "$PORT" ]; then (echo -e "GET / HTTP/1.1\r\nHost: $HOSTNAME\r\n\r\n") | nc -w 1 -q 2 $HOSTNAME $PORT && echo -e "\n\nDone\n\e[32mLa Rebelion rules! ✊🏽\n" || echo -e "\n\nClosed\n\e[32mLa Rebelion rules! ✊🏽\n"; else echo -e "\n\e[32mLa Rebelion rules! (Port not set)"; fi'

This command does the following:

  1. Sets the PORT variable to 80

  2. Checks if the PORT variable is set

  3. If the PORT variable is set, executes the command with echo and nc, the latter with a timeout of 1 second and a wait time of 2 seconds

  4. If the PORT variable is not set, prints a message

Based on the language your container application runs on

Based on the microservices running on your container, you can use one of the commands below. If your container application runs on Python, Ruby, or Node.js, consider using these commands:

Pythonic Exploration 🐍; PORT=80
python -c "import socket; print('Connected' if socket.create_connection(('$HOSTNAME', $PORT), timeout=1) else 'NOT Connected')"

Harness the simplicity of Python for quick connectivity tests.

Ruby Resilience πŸ’Ž; PORT=80
ruby -rsocket -e "Socket.tcp('$HOSTNAME', $PORT, connect_timeout: 1) ? (puts 'Connected') : (puts 'Not Connected')"

Ruby enthusiasts can employ this elegant one-liner for troubleshooting.

Node.js Exploration πŸ”; PORT=80
timeout 1 node -e "require('net').connect({host: '$HOSTNAME', port: $PORT, timeout: 1000}, () => console.log('open')).on('error', () => console.log('closed'))"

Simple commands can be powerful. Node.js developers can use this command to check connectivity to port 80 on Another approach is to use the following command to send an HTTP request to and print the response to stdout:; PORT=80
timeout 1 node -e "const http = require('http'); const options = { hostname: '$HOSTNAME', port: $PORT, path: '/', method: 'GET' }; const req = http.request(options, (res) => { let responseData = ''; res.on('data', (chunk) => { responseData += chunk; }); res.on('end', () => { console.log(responseData); }); }); req.on('error', (error) => { console.error('

Error: ' + error.message); }); req.end();"  && echo -e "\n\e[32mLa Rebelion rules! ✊🏽\n"

Another bash-centric approach for those moments when conventional tools are missing.

Telnet Emulation; PORT=80
busybox telnet $HOSTNAME $HOSTNAME

Leverage the lightweight yet powerful busybox to emulate telnet functionality.

Raw Socket Power; PORT=80
echo >/dev/udp/$HOSTNAME/$HOSTNAME && echo "Open" || echo "Closed"

Unleash the potential of raw UDP sockets when TCP won't cut it. This command is similar to the socket command above, but using UDP instead of TCP. You can also use the timeout command to set a timeout if needed.

Socat Magic; PORT=80

A versatile utility that can create connections between processes.

Nmap Stealth Mode


For a comprehensive look at open ports and services, nmap is your go-to solution.


Troubleshooting connectivity issues within microservice pods don't have to be a daunting task. Armed with these inventive commands, DevOps engineers can navigate the challenges, ensuring seamless communication between microservices and external systems.

So, the next time connectivity woes knock on your container's door, fear notβ€”empower yourself with these command-line gems!

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