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Exexcuting an external program from perl

Posted on 2000-02-20
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Last Modified: 2010-03-05
I want to execute and external progam, get the exit code AND the output from the external program (but I DO NOT want the output from the external program to go to the console.) I have been struggling with system, exec and backticks and just can't get my desired result.

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Question by:mdlittle
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Author Comment

by:mdlittle
ID: 2540288
The output from the external program should be copied to a scalar (i know it will only be one line).

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Accepted Solution

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Mindo earned 50 total points
ID: 2540319
$output = `program args`; # collect output into one multiline string

@output = `program args`; # collect output into array, one line per element

or you can do:

open(README, "program args |") or die "Can't run program: $!\n";
while(<README>)
{
  $output .= $_;
}
close(README);
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Author Comment

by:mdlittle
ID: 2540329
Where is the return code from the executed program? I checked $? but it only give me the return code of open and not the executed program.

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Author Comment

by:mdlittle
ID: 2540347
My mistake. It does work as requested. Thanks for your quick response.
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Expert Comment

by:Mindo
ID: 2540355
To check the return code you must do:

$status = system("vi $myfile");

or

$status = system("vi",  $myfile);

or

$status = system($program, $arg1, $arg);
die "$program exited funny: $?" unless $status == 0;

If you want to know both the return status and program output, do the following:

$status = system("program > filename");
die "$program exited funny: $?" unless $status == 0;

# here the output of the program is in the file "filename". You can open and view it or print it.

I don't think there's another solution.
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Author Comment

by:mdlittle
ID: 2540369
After running you "open" example I looked at $? and the exit code looked correct to me. I tested the running program both with correct params and one that I knew would return a result other than 0.

I think it works. When I ran it correctly I got a 0 in $? and when I ran it with incorrect params ( one i know would cause a 2 or 3 ) $? showed a 2.
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Expert Comment

by:Mindo
ID: 2540383
Ok then, the $? error code makes the work.
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