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Shell(3p)        Perl Programmers Reference Guide       Shell(3p)

       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 ends with "|", giv-
       ing you the option to process one line at a time.  If you
       don't need to process standard output at all, you might
       use "system" (in preference of doing a print with the col-
       lected 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, how-
       ever, that there are several built in functions and
       library packages providing portable implementations of
       functions operating on files, such as: "glob", "link" and
       "unlink", "mkdir" and "rmdir", "rename", "File::Compare",
       "File::Copy", "File::Find" etc.

       Using Shell.pm while importing "foo" creates a subroutine
       "foo" in the namespace of the importing package. Calling
       "foo" with arguments "arg1", "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 essen-
       tially a command line to be passed to the shell, your
       notion of arguments to the Perl function is not necessar-
       ily identical to what the shell treats as a command line
       token, to be passed as an individual argument to the pro-
       gram.  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

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                          1

Shell(3p)        Perl Programmers Reference Guide       Shell(3p)

       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 other

       Escaping Magic Characters

       It is, in general, impossible to take care of quoting the
       shell's magic characters. For some obscure reason, how-
       ever, Shell.pm quotes apostrophes ("'") and backslashes
       ("\") on UNIX, and spaces and quotes (""") on Windows.


       If you set $Shell::capture_stderr to true, the module will
       attempt to capture the standard error output of the pro-
       cess as well. This is done by adding "2>&1" to the command
       line, so don't try this on a system not supporting this

       If you set $Shell::raw to true no quoting whatsoever is

       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.AA17072ATscalpel.com>
         To: perl5-portersATisu.edu
         From: Larry Wall <lwallATscalpel.com>
         Subject: a new module I just wrote

       Here's one that'll whack your mind a little out.


           use Shell;

           $foo = echo("howdy", "<funny>", "world");
           print $foo;

           $passwd = cat("</etc/passwd");
           print $passwd;

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                          2

Shell(3p)        Perl Programmers Reference Guide       Shell(3p)

           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);

       Larry Wall

       Changes by JendaATKrynicky.cz and Dave Cottle <d.cot-

       Changes for OO syntax and bug fixes by Casey West

       $Shell::raw and pod rewrite by Wolfgang Laun.

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                          3