Shell - run shell commands transparently within perl
use Shell qw(cat ps cp); $passwd = cat('</etc/passwd'); @pslines = ps('-ww'), cp("/etc/passwd", "/tmp/passwd"); # object oriented my $sh = Shell->new; print $sh->ls('-l');
This package is included as a show case, illustrating a few Perl features. It shouldn't be used for production programs. Although it does provide a simple interface for obtaining the standard output of arbitrary commands, there may be better ways of achieving what you need.
Running shell commands while obtaining standard output can be done with the
qx/STRING/ operator, or by calling
open with a filename expression that
|, giving you the option to process one line at a time.
If you don't need to process standard output at all, you might use
(in preference of doing a print with the collected standard output).
Since Shell.pm and all of the aforementioned techniques use your system's
shell to call some local command, none of them is portable across different
systems. Note, however, that there are several built in functions and
library packages providing portable implementations of functions operating
on files, such as:
Using Shell.pm while importing
foo creates a subroutine
foo in the
namespace of the importing package. Calling
foo with arguments
arg2,... results in a shell command
foo arg1 arg2..., where the
function name and the arguments are joined with a blank. (See the subsection
on Escaping magic characters.) Since the result is essentially a command
line to be passed to the shell, your notion of arguments to the Perl
function is not necessarily identical to what the shell treats as a
command line token, to be passed as an individual argument to the program.
Furthermore, note that this implies that
foo is callable by file name
only, which frequently depends on the setting of the program's environment.
Creating a Shell object gives you the opportunity to call any command
in the usual OO notation without requiring you to announce it in the
use Shell statement. Don't assume any additional semantics being
associated with a Shell object: in no way is it similar to a shell
process with its environment or current working directory or any
It is, in general, impossible to take care of quoting the shell's
magic characters. For some obscure reason, however, Shell.pm quotes
') and backslashes (
\) on UNIX, and spaces and
") on Windows.
If you set $Shell::capture_stderr to true, the module will attempt to
capture the standard error output of the process as well. This is
done by adding
2>&1 to the command line, so don't try this on
a system not supporting this redirection.
If you set $Shell::raw to true no quoting whatsoever is done.
Quoting should be off by default.
It isn't possible to call shell built in commands, but it can be done by using a workaround, e.g. shell( '-c', 'set' ).
Capturing standard error does not work on some systems (e.g. VMS).
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 94 16:18:16 -0700 Message-Id: <9409222318.AA17072@scalpel.netlabs.com> To: email@example.com From: Larry Wall <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: a new module I just wrote
Here's one that'll whack your mind a little out.
#!/usr/bin/perl use Shell; $foo = echo("howdy", "<funny>", "world"); print $foo; $passwd = cat("</etc/passwd"); print $passwd; sub ps; print ps -ww; cp("/etc/passwd", "/etc/passwd.orig");
That's maybe too gonzo. It actually exports an AUTOLOAD to the current package (and uncovered a bug in Beta 3, by the way). Maybe the usual usage should be
use Shell qw(echo cat ps cp);
Changes by Jenda@Krynicky.cz and Dave Cottle <email@example.com>.
Changes for OO syntax and bug fixes by Casey West <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
$Shell::raw and pod rewrite by Wolfgang Laun.
Rewritten to use closures rather than
eval "string" by Adriano Ferreira.