Sending notifications on user login

Writing a small bash script to send a notification in my telegram monitoring channel each time a user logs in to one of my server

Sending notifications on user login

I thought it was a nice little idea to set up a script that notifies my when a user logins into one of my most important VMs/CTs/Hosts. Of course there are probably ways around it, but it was somewhat fun to write. So let's dive in!


For the notifications, I choose Telegram, mostly because I already have most of my notifications in there already and because the API is just so simple 😲

Creating the bot

Telegram makes it ridiculously easy to create a new bot, so I just dm-ed @BotFather and got a new token.

enter image description here

Subsequently, all, I had to do is add the bot to the group I use for monitoring. Then I could use the API myself to determine the chat ID of my group:

I simply went to in my browser (with TELEGRAMBOTTOKEN being the real token) and got the chat ID:

enter image description here

On Telegram, chat ID are negative, and user IDs are positive, so it was pretty easy to find.

I then ran:

curl -X POST \
     -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
     -d '{"chat_id": "'"$TELEGRAM_CHAT_ID"'", "text": "This is a test from curl", "disable_notification": true}' \$TELEGRAM_BOT_TOKEN/sendMessage

With the correct variables, and it worked, nice 😀

enter image description here

Writing the script

After having a way to send messages, I need to generate what I need to send.

  • Getting the hostname is easy: hostname -f
  • Getting the current user is also pretty easy: $USER
  • Getting the current session took a bit of digging, but it's also pretty easy: who -m

So, I wrote a little script to combine everything and send the message:


HOSTNAME=$(hostname -f)
WHO_OUT=$(who -m)

MESSAGE="User "$USER"@"$HOSTNAME" logged in from: \n"$WHO_OUT

DATA='{"chat_id": "'"$TELEGRAM_CHAT_ID"'", "text": "'"$MESSAGE"'", "disable_notification": true}'

curl -X POST -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d "$DATA" "$TELEGRAM_BOT_TOKEN/sendMessage" 2>/dev/null 1>/dev/null

Did a quick test, it worked, nice

Deploying the script

I'm starting to use Ansible to deploy configs to my servers, so I just created a new role with this task:

- name: Copy profile script
  when: ansible_os_family == 'Debian'
    src: files/
    dest: /etc/profile.d/
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 0755
  register: copy_login_notify_script

And added said role the playbook.yaml (parts are redacted, hence why it's in different blocks)

- hosts: core
    - security_login_notify

- hosts: proxmox_pve
    - security_login_notify

- hosts: proxmox_pbs
    - security_login_notify



This is a very little script that, honestly, is just a gimmick, there definitively are ways to bypass it (for example Ansible doesn't trigger it because it doesn't load the profile).

I wrote it mainly to track logins of one machine which is exposed to the outside for me to use as a bastion.


Want to chat about this article? Just post a message down here. Chat is powered by giscus and all discussions can be found here