Thread: Interacting with the linux console

  1. #1
    [](){}(); manasij7479's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Interacting with the linux console

    #This may not be the conceptually right place for this post, but I'm hoping for a solution which is a little portable( and wouldn't have to be changed with ..say..changing kernels..or using another flavour of unix) and is C++ friendly.#

    Using the system command lets the user 'send' a command to the console and (as far as I know)..that is all , nothing more.

    But suppose I want to implement a program which has to give a shell command, get back the response of the console in a string (when the console prompts for input)...and repeat the process.

    What would be the best( or 'only' ) way to do so ?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    For one-way communication look up popen().

    For bi-directional communication it gets quite a bit more complicated.
    would be a starting point.

  3. #3
    [](){}(); manasij7479's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    I was hoping for something simpler..!..but after going through that ..I'm almost sure that a simpler solution does not exist.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Jul 2010

    Paul S. Wang mentioned another facility in his Introduction to ANSI C on UNIX (ISBN: 0-534-14232-X) there about page 370.
    >> A pipe is a direct (in memory) I/O channel between processes.
    >> ...
    >> The pipe can be thought of as a first-in-first-out character buffer (Figure 12.3) with
    >> a read descriptor pointing to one end and a write descriptor pointing to
    >> the other end.
    >> To establish a pipe, use the system call
    >> int pipe(int fildes[2])
    >> to obtain a buffer and two descriptors...

    I believe that the operating system (Linux specifically) will report that there is a pipe (I think it calls it a message queue these days) via the ipcs command. Wang's usage involves using fork to generate multiple processes and applying the pipe so that they may communicate directly. Here is a code fragment which he suggested:

    int fildes[2];
       pipe(fildes);   /* establish message queue with operating system */
       if( fork() == 0 )
          close(fildes[1]);   /* child reads fildes[0] */
       close(filedes[0]);   /* parent writes fildes[1] */
    He gets more elaborate latter using pairs of pipes so that the children can communicate bi-directionally with the parent process.

    Best Regards,
    Last edited by new_ink2001; 04-12-2011 at 03:25 PM. Reason: semantics
    Kept the text books....
    Went interdisciplinary after college....
    Still looking for a real job since 2005....

    During the interim, I may be reached at ELance, vWorker, FreeLancer, oDesk and WyzAnt.

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