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Thread: how best to run external process and control it

  1. #1
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    Default how best to run external process and control it

    I have a Java standalone gui developed using eclipse Java EE.

    Firstly I need to run a C executable with the command line similar to (it varies based on user input) this:

    String filePath = "nohup C:/Users/User/workspacejavatest2/t3drive.exe -v4 fred777 1 1 1 java2.msg > fred777.log 2>&1 &";
    Process p = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(filePath);

    First question is how best to ensure this is correctly escaped. Is there a uri type approach or is it a manual job?

    Secondly I'd like to kill the process if something goes wrong. What is the best approach when this might be used on Linux, Windows, or whatever?

    Just looking for guidance, not code, as don't want to do it the longway round if there is a slick approach. Many thanks for viewing and even more tx for any ideas

  2. #2
    Crazy Cat Lady KevinWorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: how best to run external process and control it

    You might want to use ProcessBuilder.

    What exactly are you trying to escape?

    The Process class has a destroy() method, as well as a destroyForcibly() method as of Java 8.
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  3. #3
    Administrator copeg's Avatar
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    Default Re: how best to run external process and control it

    Valuable information can be found at When Runtime.exec() won't | JavaWorld

    As Kevin mentioned, for more complex command calls ProcessBuilder might help. Redirects and pipes directly within the command using Runtime exec are not reliable - one should get the input and error streams directly, read them in separate threads, and do what is necessary with the result (write to file, provide to user, etc...). ProcessBuilder provide convenient methods to accomplish this (eg redirectOutput). For more complex commands - for instance ones which require pipes between multiple tools - the 'headache' step can often be skipped by writing a script file (batch or bash) containing the command(s) and calling that script with a single runtime.exec/ProcessBuilder call. Also see the API for the Process class, which contains important methods

  4. #4
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    Default Re: how best to run external process and control it

    Thanks Kevin and Copeg. Very useful stuff and you have me off in the right direction. Already I can see that I can do what is required but just need to build a few examples and get familiar with it. Already have ProcessBuilder in a test environment and having fun. OK only dir todate but we all start somewhere.

    As you say Copeg we can always shell to avoid pipes, and when not on our beloved linux we have cygwin so no need for any Windows stuff.


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