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key logging with kernel v2.6

Guest mypetfish

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Guest mypetfish



[Running Mandriva 2005 Limited Addition, kernel 2.6.11-12mdk on i686 AMD Athlon XP 2000+]


Im new to this post, so apologies if I step on toes.

Im a PhD student and need to record keystrokes of applications whilst dynamically anaylsing the undelying code - this allows me to see which parts of an application are utilised for specific business functions. Its a form of design recovery for legacy applications, but I have to test it on open source apps, owing to a lack of businesses letting me inside their boxes!


Still, this has led me into the world of linux for which I am eternally grateful...


My problem is applying key logging apps written for v2.2 and v2.4 kernels. They just work funny or not at all - Ive tried:






All are used in trojans etc, but my use is purely academic. My question are these.


1. Am I right in that changes from kernel 2.2/4 to 2.6 are the cause of my errors (erratic mouse movements, window highlighting) since these apps work at the hardware level.


2. If so, is it advisable to compile an earlier kernel (say 2.4) what can I expect from my system, and its apps if I do


3. can I have multiple kernels running on my linux machine?


4. Is there an easier way to log keystrokes ? Some administrator tool which logs keystrokes?


Googles dont answer my questions as i'm blinded by linux details. Im really looking for pointers to how i can continue.

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I don't think you need to go quite so low level, GUI I/O is managed by X, so you need to find if X has a key logging ability built in.


This post: http://linux.ucla.edu/pipermail/linux/2003...ber/008868.html suggests not, but given the modularisation of X, it wouldn't be too hard to modify the source to the Xev module and add a couple of lines of code to open a log file and echo the code of each key press to it along with a time stamp :)


Good luck

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Possibly even better:


X11 EvIE extension library

libXevie provides an X Window System client interface to the EvIE

extension to the X protocol.


The EvIE (Event Interception Extension) allows for clients to be able to

intercept all events coming through the server and then decide what to do

with them, including being able to modify or discard events.


More information about X.Org can be found at:




This module can be found as the module 'lib/Xevie' at


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