I am wanting to monitor a MAC address for activity on my network using airodump-ng

I am currently:

First running this:

airodump-ng mon0 --write t

which writes to the file t-01.csv a csv with the format:

Station MAC, First time seen, Last time seen, Power, # packets, BSSID, Probed ESSIDs

then I have a bash script that does this:

while [ true ]
    t=`cat t-01.csv | grep '30:F1:DA:7B:F3:2C' | cut -d ',' -f5`
    if [[ "$t" != "$lt" ]]
            echo "activity"

Which is basically watching the MAC address for a change in the # packets and when it changes it means there has been some activity. But the airodump-ng seems to have an immense lag when writing to a file (around 1-2 seconds) Is there an alternative way to do this, that is faster?

Found my answer:


I can then write a script like:

tcpdump -i mon0 ether host "30:F1:DA:7B:F3:2C" | while read b; do
    echo "Activity!"
  • I suggest moving your answer into an answer. It's ok to answer your own question on SE.
    – ki9
    Jan 1, 2021 at 7:41

1 Answer 1


Instead of cat-ing the file each time, use:

tail -f t-01.csv | grep '30:F1:DA:7B:F3:2C' | cut -d ',' -f5`

and the rest of the script is the same.

  • does not work. and also does not output anything.
    – maxisme
    Jan 13, 2017 at 17:04
  • removed -f and still equally as laggy
    – maxisme
    Jan 13, 2017 at 17:09
  • It is not to do with the script it is todo with airodump-ngs --write which is rubbishly slow vs the GUI
    – maxisme
    Jan 14, 2017 at 0:44

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