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NAME

       popen, pclose - pipe stream to or from a process

SYNOPSIS

       #include <stdio.h>

       FILE *popen(const char *command, const char *type);

       int pclose(FILE *stream);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       popen(), pclose():
           _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 2 || _XOPEN_SOURCE || _BSD_SOURCE || _SVID_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION

       The  popen() function opens a process by creating a pipe, forking, and invoking the shell.
       Since a pipe is by definition unidirectional, the type argument may specify  only  reading
       or writing, not both; the resulting stream is correspondingly read-only or write-only.

       The  command  argument is a pointer to a null-terminated string containing a shell command
       line.  This command is passed to /bin/sh using the -c flag;  interpretation,  if  any,  is
       performed  by the shell.  The type argument is a pointer to a null-terminated string which
       must contain either the letter 'r' for reading or the letter 'w' for writing.  Since glibc
       2.9, this argument can additionally include the letter 'e', which causes the close-on-exec
       flag (FD_CLOEXEC) to be set on the underlying file descriptor; see the description of  the
       O_CLOEXEC flag in open(2) for reasons why this may be useful.

       The return value from popen() is a normal standard I/O stream in all respects save that it
       must be closed with pclose() rather than fclose(3).  Writing to such a  stream  writes  to
       the  standard  input  of the command; the command's standard output is the same as that of
       the  process  that  called  popen(),  unless  this  is  altered  by  the  command  itself.
       Conversely,  reading  from a "popened" stream reads the command's standard output, and the
       command's standard input is the same as that of the process that called popen().

       Note that output popen() streams are fully buffered by default.

       The pclose() function waits for the associated process to terminate and returns  the  exit
       status of the command as returned by wait4(2).

RETURN VALUE

       The  popen()  function  returns NULL if the fork(2) or pipe(2) calls fail, or if it cannot
       allocate memory.

       The pclose() function returns -1 if wait4(2) returns an error,  or  some  other  error  is
       detected.

ERRORS

       The  popen()  function  does  not set errno if memory allocation fails.  If the underlying
       fork(2) or pipe(2) fails, errno is set appropriately.  If the type  argument  is  invalid,
       and this condition is detected, errno is set to EINVAL.

       If pclose() cannot obtain the child status, errno is set to ECHILD.

CONFORMING TO

       POSIX.1-2001.

       The 'e' value for type is a Linux extension.

BUGS

       Since  the  standard input of a command opened for reading shares its seek offset with the
       process that called popen(), if the  original  process  has  done  a  buffered  read,  the
       command's  input  position  may  not be as expected.  Similarly, the output from a command
       opened for writing may become intermingled with that of the original process.  The  latter
       can be avoided by calling fflush(3) before popen().

       Failure  to  execute  the  shell  is indistinguishable from the shell's failure to execute
       command, or an immediate exit of the command.  The only hint is an exit status of 127.

SEE ALSO

       sh(1), fork(2), pipe(2), wait4(2), fclose(3), fflush(3), fopen(3), stdio(3), system(3)

COLOPHON

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       project,  and information about reporting bugs, can be found at http://man7.org/linux/man-
       pages/.