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Python script to monitor a file for changes and then mail the report with the file attached.

Published: 21-12-2012 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article

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Table of Contents

This is a script which checks a file's md5 hash, compares it to a previous (or given) hash and mails a report with the option of attaching the file with the email. I wrote it because I use AIDE on some systems, and I let it auto update the database. This script runs via cron before and after the AIDE run, so I have an archive of databases. But it can be used for all kind of files, not just for the AIDE database.

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Clone this git repo:

git clone

Or download it from



Usage of the script is fairly simple. I'll explain the command line options below:


  1. Monitor the file /var/lib/aide/aide.db.gz, mail to, overwrite checksum on change and attach the file:

./ -e "" -a -o /var/lib/aide/aide.db.gz

  1. Monitor the file /var/lib/aide/aide.db.gz against known checksum and mail to

./ -e "" -a -c "41ce523dd72a67039df2db9b4542411c" /var/lib/aide/aide.db.gz

  1. Monitor file /etc/passwd, send even if md5sum matches, from using smtp server, do not attach it to the email and do not overwrite the checksum file:

./ -e "" -f "" -s "" -m /etc/passwd

  1. Cron job to monitor the AIDE database and mail changes every night at 10 PM:

1 22 * * * /usr/bin/python /root/scripts/ -e "" -a -o /var/lib/aide/aide.db.gz

Sample report email

File checksum report (v 0.1).

Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 21:18:26 +0000. 

Checksum does NOT match.

Old: 54b0a4497e2b1d9b8e9dc704838e9047. 
New: 38293053ec07539050f3efd9d33b310b. 
Filename: /usr/share/doc/munin-node/README.Debian. 
I checksummed the file itself.
Overwriting old checksum with new checksum as requested. 
Written checksum 38293053ec07539050f3efd9d33b310b to file /tmp/usr-share-doc-munin-node-README.Debian.md5

More info:

See .


# Copyright (C) 2012  Remy van Elst

# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.

# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.

# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program.  If not, see <>.
Tags: aide , file , ids , intrusion-detection , md5sum , monitoring , python , software