the Mars network monitor

mirrors: |

about Mars

Mars is a simple services-oriented network status monitor written in Java. It monitors a network by simulating client connections to Internet services and reporting when those services are not responding. It is quick and easy to install and configure, which distinguishes it from other, more complex, more fully-featured network monitoring tools.


The Mars distribution comes in four flavors, available for download from SourceForge; each distribution is signed with my public key (id C9994018):

  • Mac OS X .dmg, which requires Mac OS X Panther and Java 1.4. (signature)
  • Binary, which requires Java 1.4 or Java 1.3 with an installed XML parser. (signature)
  • Java 1.3 JAR, for use on Java 1.3 installations without an XML parser. Note that this is just the main Mars JAR file for Java 1.3; you'll also need to download the Binary distribution above to get documentation and extras.(signature)
  • Source, which requires Java 1.3 and Apache Ant 1.5 to build. (signature)
You can also browse file releases at SourceForge. Versions of Mars earlier than 2.1.2 are available in the archives at


The Mars User's Guide and Hacker's Guide are included in both the binary and source distributions, and are available online as well.

more information

Bug reports and feature requests can be submitted and viewed on Mars' SourceForge project page, where you can also find the Mars discussion and help forums. Or you could drop me a line with your questions about Mars at

Mars 1.x

Information on MARS version 1.x is available here. MARS 1.x is no longer being maintained.

Mars news

  • April 27, 2004: There is a bug in Mars 2.2.7 that causes file saving to fail if the XML Snapshot plugin is not enabled and configured. To fix the problem, download a new plugin_xmlsnap.jar (signature) and place it in your Mars home directory, replacing the current plugin_xmlsnap.jar file. Macintosh users: the Mars home directory for the Mac OS X .dmg distribution of Mars is /Library/Leapfrog/Mars. This bug will be fixed in the forthcoming Mars 2.3.0 release.
  • March 22,2004: Mars 2.2.7 is now available. This is a bugfix release. The Mail Notification plugin now operates properly with all mail servers (previous versions had trouble with some servers, primarily from Microsoft). The tcp-connect and JDBC probes now work properly, and problems with XMPP notification recipient addressing have been fixed.
  • March 1, 2004: Mars 2.2.6 is now available. This is primarily a feature enhancement release. Two new plugins are shipped with Mars: an XML Snapshot plugin, which periodically dumps a copy of the Mars configuration with status information (intended for use with an XSLT stylesheet for web presentation), and a Client Debugger, which shows the status of Mars' various network backends in real time. Plugins may now request a tab in the Mars main window; this is intended for the development of visualization plugins. A couple of minor bugs were also fixed.
  • February 11, 2004: Mars 2.2.5 is now available. This is a primarily a bugfix release. Opening configuration files from the command line (broken in 2.2.4) works again. The XMPP notification plugin now handles client connections properly. Minor fixes were made to the open/save configuration file dialogs, and to configuration file opening on Mac OS X. Also, Mars' user interface has undergone a minor overhaul; Mars now has a menu bar, and the host/service tree is completely keyboard editable. All existing Mars 2.2.4 users are urged to upgrade to Mars 2.2.5.
  • February 5, 2004: Mars 2.2.4 is now available. This release adds XMPP (Jabber) notification support, a JDBC probe extension, and Mac OS X integration. Also, the Mars binary is now available for download both with and without the XML parser required on Java 1.3, for smaller downloads.

shameless plug

Mars 2 is © 2002-2004 Leapfrog Research & Development, LLC, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based custom software development firm. Working for Leapfrog has made my continued maintenance of Mars possible after a two-year drought. If you like what you see and need some custom software work done, drop us a line.

Special thanks to SourceForge for hosting common space for Mars' development. Logo

the obligatory screenshot

last modified 27 apr 04 by brian
all content © 2001 Brian H. Trammell, © 2002-2004 Leapfrog R&D, LLC