From: Nobody on
On Wed, 09 Jun 2010 21:15:48 -0700, Chris Seberino wrote:

> How do subprocess.Popen("ls | grep foo", shell=True) with shell=False?

The same way that the shell does it, e.g.:

from subprocess import Popen, PIPE
p1 = Popen("ls", stdout=PIPE)
p2 = Popen(["grep", "foo"], stdin=p1.stdout, stdout = PIPE)
result = p2.communicate()[0]


Without the p1.stdout.close(), if the reader (grep) terminates before
consuming all of its input, the writer (ls) won't terminate so long as
Python retains the descriptor corresponding to p1.stdout. In this
situation, the p1.wait() will deadlock.

The communicate() method wait()s for the process to terminate. Other
processes need to be wait()ed on explicitly, otherwise you end up with
"zombies" (labelled "<defunct>" in the output from "ps").

> Does complex commands with "|" in them mandate shell=True?


Also, "ls | grep" may provide a useful tutorial for the subprocess module,
but if you actually need to enumerate files, use e.g. os.listdir/os.walk()
and, or glob. Spawning child processes to perform tasks
which can easily be performed in Python is inefficient (and often creates
unnecessary portability issues).