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Track keyboard and mouse usage

Hi all,
I have been searching for a keyboard and mouse tracker on linux. I've
read solutions (watch at sourceforge) which look at /proc/interrupts to
check keyboard or mouse activity. I also read one post where "watch"
seems to have difficulty tracking usb keyboards and mice. So, I'm out
of ideas here.

My goal are:
1. Check keyboard activity. I'm not interested in logging which keys
are pressed or record them.
2. Monitor mouse activity. I want to know the pointer position,
left-clicks, right-clicks, middle-mouse button usage.

I know that these things can be done in a GUI environment. I am looking
for some approach that helps me do this system-wide.

Any suggestions would be welcome. Again, I am looking for trackers on
Linux based machines.

Jul 17 '06 #1
16 10961
dfaber schrieb:
Hi all,
I have been searching for a keyboard and mouse tracker on linux. I've
read solutions (watch at sourceforge) which look at /proc/interrupts to
check keyboard or mouse activity. I also read one post where "watch"
seems to have difficulty tracking usb keyboards and mice. So, I'm out
of ideas here.

My goal are:
1. Check keyboard activity. I'm not interested in logging which keys
are pressed or record them.
2. Monitor mouse activity. I want to know the pointer position,
left-clicks, right-clicks, middle-mouse button usage.

I know that these things can be done in a GUI environment. I am looking
for some approach that helps me do this system-wide.

Any suggestions would be welcome. Again, I am looking for trackers on
Linux based machines.
You could use the /dev/input/event* devices. The link I had for the docs
is unfortunately dead - I guess lubusb and its python binding might help
you, too.

Diez
Jul 17 '06 #2

DiezYou could use the /dev/input/event* devices.

On the only Linux system I have available (Mojam's CentOS-based web server),
/dev/input/* are readable only by root. That doesn't seem like it would be
very useful to tools like watch unless they were to run suid to root
(creating other problems).

As the author of watch, I'm more than happy to incorporate "drivers" from
other people into the code, however, I have very little access to Linux
these days (and none on the desktop) and no Windows access.

Skip
Jul 17 '06 #3
sk**@pobox.com schrieb:
DiezYou could use the /dev/input/event* devices.

On the only Linux system I have available (Mojam's CentOS-based web server),
/dev/input/* are readable only by root. That doesn't seem like it would be
very useful to tools like watch unless they were to run suid to root
(creating other problems).
You don't need to give it root access. A simple rule for the udev that
looks like this:

KERNEL=="event[0-9]*", NAME="input/%k", MODE="0444"
will make the devices world readable. While I haven't thought about any
security implications that might have (and am not especially
knowledgeable in such things to be honest), I'm convinced it is way less
likely to introduce any exploitable holes than suid root would.

Diez
Jul 17 '06 #4
Hi!

Look PyHook ( http://cheeseshop.python.org/pypi/pyHook/1.4 )

Oooohhhhh!!! Sorry! It's for Windows...
--
MCI


Jul 17 '06 #5
So, how would I access /dev/input/ devices?
Can I just 'cat' them or read in those files?
Diez B. Roggisch wrote:
sk**@pobox.com schrieb:
DiezYou could use the /dev/input/event* devices.

On the only Linux system I have available (Mojam's CentOS-based web server),
/dev/input/* are readable only by root. That doesn't seem like it would be
very useful to tools like watch unless they were to run suid to root
(creating other problems).

You don't need to give it root access. A simple rule for the udev that
looks like this:

KERNEL=="event[0-9]*", NAME="input/%k", MODE="0444"
will make the devices world readable. While I haven't thought about any
security implications that might have (and am not especially
knowledgeable in such things to be honest), I'm convinced it is way less
likely to introduce any exploitable holes than suid root would.

Diez
Jul 17 '06 #6
So, how would I access /dev/input/ devices?
Can I just 'cat' them or read in those files?
Diez B. Roggisch wrote:
sk**@pobox.com schrieb:
DiezYou could use the /dev/input/event* devices.

On the only Linux system I have available (Mojam's CentOS-based web server),
/dev/input/* are readable only by root. That doesn't seem like it would be
very useful to tools like watch unless they were to run suid to root
(creating other problems).

You don't need to give it root access. A simple rule for the udev that
looks like this:

KERNEL=="event[0-9]*", NAME="input/%k", MODE="0444"
will make the devices world readable. While I haven't thought about any
security implications that might have (and am not especially
knowledgeable in such things to be honest), I'm convinced it is way less
likely to introduce any exploitable holes than suid root would.

Diez
Jul 17 '06 #7
dfaber schrieb:
So, how would I access /dev/input/ devices?
Can I just 'cat' them or read in those files?
Yes, just read them. Which is what cat does, btw.

If you cat your keyboard, you should see garbage appearing in the
terminal when you type any key. Same is true for the mouse.

Diez
Jul 17 '06 #8
MCILook PyHook ( http://cheeseshop.python.org/pypi/pyHook/1.4 )

MCIOooohhhhh!!! Sorry! It's for Windows...

That's okay (well, for me anyway). Watch runs on Windows. Perhaps someone
with Windows would like to plug pyHook into watch?

Skip
Jul 18 '06 #9
Is there no clean method of accessing the keyboard device or the mouse
on linux?
It seems that looking at /proc/interrupts might prove to be useful for
keyboard monitoring. What about checking if the left mouse button is
clicked or finding the position of the cursor on the screen?

Jul 18 '06 #10

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