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I want to create a program that logs all the processes started by the user and confirms after they are started. I don't want to log all the syscalls and other daemon processes. I have initially checked out auditctl and ausearch in auditd package and also acct but they are very slow and they provide much more information than I need. I want something like ps (that reports a snapshot of the current processes).

Currently I am using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an AMD X2 and on an Intel dual core. Thanks!

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How about using ps then - what doesn't it do that you need? – Paul Mar 23 '13 at 8:28
I ll be more precise here . I just want to put a notification to the user when the program is up and running something like an alert command for every processes. I am using bash and C/Cpp for the scripting and programming respectively. – quick- Mar 24 '13 at 4:13

Since you did not specify a programming language for your program, i am going to recommend using Python. There are a number of ways to find out the current running processes:

a) Use the subprocess module to call ps and then parse its output. It is not pretty, but it can be done.

b) Use a third party python module like psutil or psi.

c) Since you use linux, you can look at the /proc filesystem:

import os
pids= [pid for pid in os.listdir('/proc') if pid.isdigit()]
for pid in pids:
    print open(os.path.join('/proc', pid, 'cmdline'), 'rb').read()
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