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I want to simulate user activity on a virtual machine in a completely automated maner. That is, I would like to run a program or a set of scripts that would simulate an user using a computer for an indefinite amount of time (say, simulate an office worker - write some random files, open some files, check webpages, etc.)

Basically, I'm simulating an internal network over a set of virtual machines and would like to add some activity to the network to make it more realistic.

Is there a program or a set of scripts out there that could do the described job?

I was thinking that network testing tools might be of help, but would a set of those be enough to simulate activity on different aplications (say, mail servers, ldap server, nfs, apache, etc.) ?

Any advice on how to acomplish this?

Thank you

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See also unix.stackexchange.com/questions/11296/… for automating web traffic (client-side). –  Gilles Feb 28 '13 at 14:15

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You could use the expect tool to run programs in the VM. expect is a program that uses Tcl as it's scripting language, and extends the language a bit. It's been a long while since I've used expect, but I recall it being a bit inobvious as far as how to get some things to happen. It did have the capability of randomly spacing the timing of "typing" done by a simulated human, so it may be just what you want.

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