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Is there a way to run "native" commands from jsp?

Posted on 2007-11-26
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have tomcat 6.0 on linux. Is there a way to run native commands such as "ls > ls.out" or whatever?
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Question by:jmarkfoley
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by:mrcoffee365
ID: 20351327
Yes.  Something like this:

Process p = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("ls > ls.out");
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by:malfunction84
ID: 20351440
I don't believe that will work.  Runtime.exec() is NOT a command line.  The following article explains why:

http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-12-2000/jw-1229-traps.html?page=4

(It's written in the context of Windows, but it applies to Linux as well.)
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malfunction84 earned 250 total points
ID: 20351473
Basically, to do what you want to do safely, you must account for several things:
- The Process is in its own Thread.
- The Process may produce output which must be consumed.
- This is not a CLI, so redirects must be handled manually (unless you're calling a shell script).
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by:mrcoffee365
mrcoffee365 earned 250 total points
ID: 20351825
Ah -- you're right.  The > redirect of stdout won't run.  So put it in a .csh file named ls.csh, and run that:

Process p = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("ls.csh");
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 20352519
I went ahead and tried the piping command and, as predicted, it didn't work. I also tried Runtime.getRuntime().exec("/bin/sh -c 'echo Howdy | /usr/bin/mail -s testing me@mydomain.com'   >/dev/null 2>&1"); and that didn't work either; which was frankly surprising. Perhaps the stdout/stderr redirects messed it up. I removed those, but the return status was '2', and no message was sent. I may experiment further. I'll have to look up the '2' status.

However, putting it all in a shell script did work fine.
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by:mrcoffee365
ID: 20353178
Right -- if you look at the article malfunction84 gave in a post above, you'll see the explanation.  You can't redirect stderr and stdout -- you have to handle them programmatically in your Java program.  So doing "/bin/sh -c 'xxxxx'" is fine, but >/dev/null is not.
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