subprocess considered harmfull?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Uri Nix, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Uri Nix

    Uri Nix Guest

    Hi all,

    I've been trying to use (Python 2.4 on WinXP) the subprocess module to
    execute a shell command (nmake in this case), and pass its output to a
    higher level.

    Using the following snippet:
    p =
    subprocess.Popen(nmake,stderr=subprocess.PIPE,stdout=subprocess.PIPE, \
    universal_newlines=True, bufsize=1)
    Works fine on the command line, but fails when called from within
    Visual Studio, with the following error:
    File "C:\Python24\lib\", line 549, in __init__
    (p2cread, p2cwrite,
    File "C:\Python24\lib\", line 609, in _get_handles
    p2cread = self._make_inheritable(p2cread)
    File "C:\Python24\lib\", line 650, in _make_inheritable
    TypeError: an integer is required

    If I replace the functionality with:
    p = os.popen4(nmake)
    # p[1] = stdout_and_stderr result pipe
    All is well.

    I have a feeling this has been encountered before (by googling here),
    but didn't see any concise answer as to subprocess' robustness.
    So what is the matter here? And should I consider the subprocess
    module still unstable?

    Uri Nix, Sep 25, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Hi also !

    In other fields, I also found uses which did not function with subprocess,
    but OK with popen2/4


    Michel Claveau
    Do Re Mi chel La Si Do, Sep 25, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. This looks like these known bugs:

    Try setting stderr to subprocess.PIPE. I think that was what worked for
    me. (You might also try setting shell=True. That's what I currently
    have in my code that didn't work before.)

    Steven Bethard, Sep 25, 2005
  4. if someone wants to investigate, is seeing this problem, and have the win32
    extensions on their machine, try changing this line in

    if 0: # <-- change this to use pywin32 instead of the _subprocess driver


    if 1: # <-- change this to use _subprocess instead of the pywin32 driver

    and see if it either fixes the problem (not very likely) or gives you a better
    error message (very likely).

    Fredrik Lundh, Sep 25, 2005
  5. Uri Nix

    Roger Upole Guest

    The error msg is only slightly better:

    error: (6, 'DuplicateHandle', 'The handle is invalid.')

    Basically, gui apps like VS don't have a console, so
    GetStdHandle returns 0. _subprocess.GetStdHandle
    returns None if the handle is 0, which gives the original
    error. Pywin32 just returns the 0, so the process gets
    one step further but still hits the above error. should probably check the
    result of GetStdHandle for None (or 0)
    and throw a readable error that says something like
    "No standard handle available, you must specify one"

    Roger Upole, Sep 26, 2005
  6. Uri Nix

    Uri Nix Guest

    I gathered as much about why this happens in VS. A further question is
    why does n't os.popen fall in the same trap?

    Uri Nix, Sep 26, 2005
  7. Uri Nix

    Roger Upole Guest

    From a quick glance at the source, it looks like it always
    creates new pipes.

    Roger Upole, Sep 27, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.