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Since Magnolia 6.1.5, you can check that a Magnolia instance is up and running by issuing a GET call to a dedicated REST endpoint called status. The general URL pattern to access the endpoint is <magnolia-base-path>/.rest/status.

For example, see the following communication exchange where the URL  http://localhost:8080/magnoliaAuthor/.rest/status is used as a parameter of the curl command to check the status of an Author instance installed locally:

user@workstation ~ $ curl -v 'http://localhost:8080/magnoliaAuthor/.rest/status'
*   Trying 127.0.0.1...
* TCP_NODELAY set
* Connected to localhost (127.0.0.1) port 8080 (#0)
> GET /magnoliaAuthor/.rest/status HTTP/1.1
> Host: localhost:8080
> User-Agent: curl/7.58.0
> Accept: */*
> 
< HTTP/1.1 200 
< Access-Control-Allow-Headers: X-PINGOTHER, Origin, X-Requested-With, Content-Type, Accept
< Access-Control-Allow-Methods: GET
< Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
< Pragma: no-cache
< Cache-Control: no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate, max-age=0
< Expires: Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT
< Content-Type: text/html;charset=UTF-8
< Content-Length: 0
< Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 13:53:38 GMT
< 
* Connection #0 to host localhost left intact
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