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Q3Process Class Reference

The Q3Process class is used to start external programs and to communicate with them. More...

 #include <Q3Process>

This class is part of the Qt 3 support library. It is provided to keep old source code working. We strongly advise against using it in new code. See Porting to Qt 4 for more information.

Inherits: QObject.

Public Types

enum Communication { Stdin, Stdout, Stderr, DupStderr }

Public Functions

Q3Process ( QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )
Q3Process ( const QString & arg0, QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )
Q3Process ( const QStringList & args, QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )
~Q3Process ()
virtual void addArgument ( const QString & arg )
QStringList arguments () const
bool canReadLineStderr () const
bool canReadLineStdout () const
void clearArguments ()
int communication () const
int exitStatus () const
bool isRunning () const
virtual bool launch ( const QByteArray & buf, QStringList * env = 0 )
virtual bool launch ( const QString & buf, QStringList * env = 0 )
bool normalExit () const
PID processIdentifier ()
virtual QString readLineStderr ()
virtual QString readLineStdout ()
virtual QByteArray readStderr ()
virtual QByteArray readStdout ()
virtual void setArguments ( const QStringList & args )
void setCommunication ( int commFlags )
virtual void setWorkingDirectory ( const QDir & dir )
virtual bool start ( QStringList * env = 0 )
QDir workingDirectory () const
  • 29 public functions inherited from QObject

Public Slots

virtual void closeStdin ()
void kill () const
void tryTerminate () const
virtual void writeToStdin ( const QByteArray & buf )
virtual void writeToStdin ( const QString & buf )
  • 1 public slot inherited from QObject

Signals

void launchFinished ()
void processExited ()
void readyReadStderr ()
void readyReadStdout ()
void wroteToStdin ()

Reimplemented Protected Functions

virtual void connectNotify ( const char * signal )
virtual void disconnectNotify ( const char * signal )
  • 7 protected functions inherited from QObject

Additional Inherited Members

  • 1 property inherited from QObject
  • 5 static public members inherited from QObject
  • 7 protected functions inherited from QObject

Detailed Description

The Q3Process class is used to start external programs and to communicate with them.

You can write to the started program's standard input, and can read the program's standard output and standard error. You can pass command line arguments to the program either in the constructor or with setArguments() or addArgument(). The program's working directory can be set with setWorkingDirectory(). If you need to set up environment variables pass them to the start() or launch() functions (see below). The processExited() signal is emitted if the program exits. The program's exit status is available from exitStatus(), although you could simply call normalExit() to see if the program terminated normally.

There are two different ways to start a process. If you just want to run a program, optionally passing data to its standard input at the beginning, use one of the launch() functions. If you want full control of the program's standard input (especially if you don't know all the data you want to send to standard input at the beginning), use the start() function.

If you use start() you can write to the program's standard input using writeToStdin() and you can close the standard input with closeStdin(). The wroteToStdin() signal is emitted if the data sent to standard input has been written. You can read from the program's standard output using readStdout() or readLineStdout(). These functions return an empty QByteArray if there is no data to read. The readyReadStdout() signal is emitted when there is data available to be read from standard output. Standard error has a set of functions that correspond to the standard output functions, i.e. readStderr(), readLineStderr() and readyReadStderr().

If you use one of the launch() functions the data you pass will be sent to the program's standard input which will be closed once all the data has been written. You should not use writeToStdin() or closeStdin() if you use launch(). If you need to send data to the program's standard input after it has started running use start() instead of launch().

Both start() and launch() can accept a string list of strings each of which has the format, key=value, where the keys are the names of environment variables.

You can test to see if a program is running with isRunning(). The program's process identifier is available from processIdentifier(). If you want to terminate a running program use tryTerminate(), but note that the program may ignore this. If you really want to terminate the program, without it having any chance to clean up, you can use kill().

Although you may need quotes for a file named on the command line (e.g. if it contains spaces) you shouldn't use extra quotes for arguments passed to addArgument() or setArguments().

The readyReadStdout() signal is emitted when there is new data on standard output. This happens asynchronously: you don't know if more data will arrive later.

In the above example you could connect the processExited() signal to the slot UicManager::readFromStdout() instead. If you do so, you will be certain that all the data is available when the slot is called. On the other hand, you must wait until the process has finished before doing any processing.

Note that if you are expecting a lot of output from the process, you may hit platform-dependent limits to the pipe buffer size. The solution is to make sure you connect to the output, e.g. the readyReadStdout() and readyReadStderr() signals and read the data as soon as it becomes available.

Please note that Q3Process does not emulate a shell. This means that Q3Process does not do any expansion of arguments: a '*' is passed as a '*' to the program and is not replaced by all the files, a '$HOME' is also passed literally and is not replaced by the environment variable HOME and the special characters for IO redirection ('>', '|', etc.) are also passed literally and do not have the special meaning as they have in a shell.

Also note that Q3Process does not emulate a terminal. This means that certain programs which need direct terminal control, do not work as expected with Q3Process. Such programs include console email programs (like pine and mutt) but also programs which require the user to enter a password (like su and ssh).

Notes for Windows users

Some Windows commands, for example, dir, are not provided by separate applications, but by the command interpreter. If you attempt to use Q3Process to execute these commands directly it won't work. One possible solution is to execute the command interpreter itself (cmd.exe on some Windows systems), and ask the interpreter to execute the desired command.

Under Windows there are certain problems starting 16-bit applications and capturing their output. Microsoft recommends using an intermediate application to start 16-bit applications.

See also Q3Socket.

Member Type Documentation

enum Q3Process::Communication

This enum type defines the communication channels connected to the process.

ConstantValueDescription
Q3Process::Stdin0x01Data can be written to the process's standard input.
Q3Process::Stdout0x02Data can be read from the process's standard output.
Q3Process::Stderr0x04Data can be read from the process's standard error.
Q3Process::DupStderr0x08Both the process's standard error output and its standard output are written to its standard output. (Like Unix's dup2().) This means that nothing is sent to the standard error output. This is especially useful if your application requires that the output on standard output and on standard error must be read in the same order that they are produced. This is a flag, so to activate it you must pass Stdout|Stderr|DupStderr, or Stdin|Stdout|Stderr|DupStderr if you want to provide input, to the setCommunication() call.

See also setCommunication() and communication().

Member Function Documentation

Q3Process::Q3Process ( QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )

Constructs a Q3Process object. The parent and name parameters are passed to the QObject constructor.

See also setArguments(), addArgument(), and start().

Q3Process::Q3Process ( const QString & arg0, QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )

Constructs a Q3Process with arg0 as the command to be executed. The parent and name parameters are passed to the QObject constructor.

The process is not started. You must call start() or launch() to start the process.

See also setArguments(), addArgument(), and start().

Q3Process::Q3Process ( const QStringList & args, QObject * parent = 0, const char * name = 0 )

Constructs a Q3Process with args as the arguments of the process. The first element in the list is the command to be executed. The other elements in the list are the arguments to this command. The parent and name parameters are passed to the QObject constructor.

The process is not started. You must call start() or launch() to start the process.

See also setArguments(), addArgument(), and start().

Q3Process::~Q3Process ()

Destroys the instance.

If the process is running, it is <b>not</b> terminated! The standard input, standard output and standard error of the process are closed.

You can connect the destroyed() signal to the kill() slot, if you want the process to be terminated automatically when the instance is destroyed.

See also tryTerminate() and kill().

void Q3Process::addArgument ( const QString & arg ) [virtual]

Adds arg to the end of the list of arguments.

The first element in the list of arguments is the command to be executed; the following elements are the command's arguments.

See also arguments() and setArguments().

QStringList Q3Process::arguments () const

Returns the list of arguments that are set for the process. Arguments can be specified with the constructor or with the functions setArguments() and addArgument().

Note that if you want to iterate over the list, you should iterate over a copy, e.g.

 QStringList list = myProcess.arguments();
 QStringList::Iterator it = list.begin();
 while( it != list.end() ) {
     myProcessing( *it );
     ++it;
 }

See also setArguments() and addArgument().

bool Q3Process::canReadLineStderr () const

Returns true if it's possible to read an entire line of text from standard error at this time; otherwise returns false.

See also readLineStderr() and canReadLineStdout().

bool Q3Process::canReadLineStdout () const

Returns true if it's possible to read an entire line of text from standard output at this time; otherwise returns false.

See also readLineStdout() and canReadLineStderr().

void Q3Process::clearArguments ()

Clears the list of arguments that are set for the process.

See also setArguments() and addArgument().

void Q3Process::closeStdin () [virtual slot]

Closes the process's standard input.

This function also deletes any pending data that has not been written to standard input.

See also wroteToStdin().

int Q3Process::communication () const

Returns the communication required with the process, i.e. some combination of the Communication flags.

See also setCommunication().

void Q3Process::connectNotify ( const char * signal ) [virtual protected]

Reimplemented from QObject::connectNotify().

void Q3Process::disconnectNotify ( const char * signal ) [virtual protected]

Reimplemented from QObject::disconnectNotify().

int Q3Process::exitStatus () const

Returns the exit status of the process or 0 if the process is still running. This function returns immediately and does not wait until the process is finished.

If normalExit() is false (e.g. if the program was killed or crashed), this function returns 0, so you should check the return value of normalExit() before relying on this value.

See also normalExit() and processExited().

bool Q3Process::isRunning () const

Returns true if the process is running; otherwise returns false.

See also normalExit(), exitStatus(), and processExited().

void Q3Process::kill () const [slot]

Terminates the process. This is not a safe way to end a process since the process will not be able to do any cleanup. tryTerminate() is safer, but processes can ignore a tryTerminate().

The nice way to end a process and to be sure that it is finished, is to do something like this:

 process->tryTerminate();
 QTimer::singleShot( 5000, process, SLOT(kill()) );

This tries to terminate the process the nice way. If the process is still running after 5 seconds, it terminates the process the hard way. The timeout should be chosen depending on the time the process needs to do all its cleanup: use a higher value if the process is likely to do a lot of computation or I/O on cleanup.

The slot returns immediately: it does not wait until the process has finished. When the process terminates, the processExited() signal is emitted.

See also tryTerminate() and processExited().

bool Q3Process::launch ( const QByteArray & buf, QStringList * env = 0 ) [virtual]

Runs the process and writes the data buf to the process's standard input. If all the data is written to standard input, standard input is closed. The command is searched for in the path for executable programs; you can also use an absolute path in the command itself.

If env is null, then the process is started with the same environment as the starting process. If env is non-null, then the values in the string list are interpreted as environment setttings of the form key=value and the process is started with these environment settings. For convenience, there is a small exception to this rule under Unix: if env does not contain any settings for the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH, then this variable is inherited from the starting process.

Returns true if the process could be started; otherwise returns false.

Note that you should not use the slots writeToStdin() and closeStdin() on processes started with launch(), since the result is not well-defined. If you need these slots, use start() instead.

The process may or may not read the buf data sent to its standard input.

You can call this function even when a process that was started with this instance is still running. Be aware that if you do this the standard input of the process that was launched first will be closed, with any pending data being deleted, and the process will be left to run out of your control. Similarly, if the process could not be started the standard input will be closed and the pending data deleted. (On operating systems that have zombie processes, Qt will also wait() on the old process.)

The object emits the signal launchFinished() when this function call is finished. If the start was successful, this signal is emitted after all the data has been written to standard input. If the start failed, then this signal is emitted immediately.

See also start() and launchFinished().

bool Q3Process::launch ( const QString & buf, QStringList * env = 0 ) [virtual]

This is an overloaded function.

The data buf is written to standard input with writeToStdin() using the QString::local8Bit() representation of the strings.

void Q3Process::launchFinished () [signal]

This signal is emitted when the process was started with launch(). If the start was successful, this signal is emitted after all the data has been written to standard input. If the start failed, then this signal is emitted immediately.

This signal is especially useful if you want to know when you can safely delete the Q3Process object when you are not interested in reading from standard output or standard error.

See also launch() and QObject::deleteLater().

bool Q3Process::normalExit () const

Returns true if the process has exited normally; otherwise returns false. This implies that this function returns false if the process is still running.

See also isRunning(), exitStatus(), and processExited().

void Q3Process::processExited () [signal]

This signal is emitted when the process has exited.

See also isRunning(), normalExit(), exitStatus(), start(), and launch().

PID Q3Process::processIdentifier ()

Returns platform dependent information about the process. This can be used together with platform specific system calls.

Under Unix the return value is the PID of the process, or -1 if no process belongs to this object.

Under Windows it is a pointer to the PROCESS_INFORMATION struct, or 0 if no process is belongs to this object.

Use of this function's return value is likely to be non-portable.

QString Q3Process::readLineStderr () [virtual]

Reads a line of text from standard error, excluding any trailing newline or carriage return characters and returns it. Returns an empty string if canReadLineStderr() returns false.

By default, the text is interpreted to be in Latin-1 encoding. If you need other codecs, you can set a different codec with QTextCodec::setCodecForCStrings().

See also canReadLineStderr(), readyReadStderr(), readStderr(), and readLineStdout().

QString Q3Process::readLineStdout () [virtual]

Reads a line of text from standard output, excluding any trailing newline or carriage return characters, and returns it. Returns an empty string if canReadLineStdout() returns false.

By default, the text is interpreted to be in Latin-1 encoding. If you need other codecs, you can set a different codec with QTextCodec::setCodecForCStrings().

See also canReadLineStdout(), readyReadStdout(), readStdout(), and readLineStderr().

QByteArray Q3Process::readStderr () [virtual]

Reads the data that the process has written to standard error. When new data is written to standard error, the class emits the signal readyReadStderr().

If there is no data to read, this function returns a QByteArray of size 0: it does not wait until there is something to read.

See also readyReadStderr(), readLineStderr(), readStdout(), and writeToStdin().

QByteArray Q3Process::readStdout () [virtual]

Reads the data that the process has written to standard output. When new data is written to standard output, the class emits the signal readyReadStdout().

If there is no data to read, this function returns a QByteArray of size 0: it does not wait until there is something to read.

See also readyReadStdout(), readLineStdout(), readStderr(), and writeToStdin().

void Q3Process::readyReadStderr () [signal]

This signal is emitted when the process has written data to standard error. You can read the data with readStderr().

Note that this signal is only emitted when there is new data and not when there is old, but unread data. In the slot connected to this signal, you should always read everything that is available at that moment to make sure that you don't lose any data.

See also readStderr(), readLineStderr(), and readyReadStdout().

void Q3Process::readyReadStdout () [signal]

This signal is emitted when the process has written data to standard output. You can read the data with readStdout().

Note that this signal is only emitted when there is new data and not when there is old, but unread data. In the slot connected to this signal, you should always read everything that is available at that moment to make sure that you don't lose any data.

See also readStdout(), readLineStdout(), and readyReadStderr().

void Q3Process::setArguments ( const QStringList & args ) [virtual]

Sets args as the arguments for the process. The first element in the list is the command to be executed. The other elements in the list are the arguments to the command. Any previous arguments are deleted.

Q3Process does not perform argument substitutions; for example, if you specify "*" or "$DISPLAY", these values are passed to the process literally. If you want to have the same behavior as the shell provides, you must do the substitutions yourself; i.e. instead of specifying a "*" you must specify the list of all the filenames in the current directory, and instead of "$DISPLAY" you must specify the value of the environment variable DISPLAY.

Note for Windows users. The standard Windows shells, e.g. command.com and cmd.exe, do not perform file globbing, i.e. they do not convert a "*" on the command line into a list of files in the current directory. For this reason most Windows applications implement their own file globbing, and as a result of this, specifying an argument of "*" for a Windows application is likely to result in the application performing a file glob and ending up with a list of filenames.

See also arguments() and addArgument().

void Q3Process::setCommunication ( int commFlags )

Sets commFlags as the communication required with the process.

commFlags is a bitwise OR of the flags defined by the Communication enum.

The default is Stdin|Stdout|Stderr.

See also communication().

void Q3Process::setWorkingDirectory ( const QDir & dir ) [virtual]

Sets dir as the working directory for processes. This does not affect running processes; only processes that are started afterwards are affected.

Setting the working directory is especially useful for processes that try to access files with relative paths.

See also workingDirectory() and start().

bool Q3Process::start ( QStringList * env = 0 ) [virtual]

Tries to run a process for the command and arguments that were specified with setArguments(), addArgument() or that were specified in the constructor. The command is searched for in the path for executable programs; you can also use an absolute path in the command itself.

If env is null, then the process is started with the same environment as the starting process. If env is non-null, then the values in the stringlist are interpreted as environment setttings of the form key=value and the process is started in these environment settings. For convenience, there is a small exception to this rule: under Unix, if env does not contain any settings for the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH, then this variable is inherited from the starting process; under Windows the same applies for the environment variable PATH.

Returns true if the process could be started; otherwise returns false.

You can write data to the process's standard input with writeToStdin(). You can close standard input with closeStdin() and you can terminate the process with tryTerminate(), or with kill().

You can call this function even if you've used this instance to create a another process which is still running. In such cases, Q3Process closes the old process's standard input and deletes pending data, i.e., you lose all control over the old process, but the old process is not terminated. This applies also if the process could not be started. (On operating systems that have zombie processes, Qt will also wait() on the old process.)

See also launch() and closeStdin().

void Q3Process::tryTerminate () const [slot]

Asks the process to terminate. Processes can ignore this if they wish. If you want to be certain that the process really terminates, you can use kill() instead.

The slot returns immediately: it does not wait until the process has finished. When the process terminates, the processExited() signal is emitted.

See also kill() and processExited().

QDir Q3Process::workingDirectory () const

Returns the working directory that was set with setWorkingDirectory(), or the current directory if none has been explicitly set.

See also setWorkingDirectory() and QDir::current().

void Q3Process::writeToStdin ( const QByteArray & buf ) [virtual slot]

Writes the data buf to the process's standard input. The process may or may not read this data.

This function returns immediately; the Q3Process class might write the data at a later point (you must enter the event loop for this to occur). When all the data is written to the process, the signal wroteToStdin() is emitted. This does not mean that the process actually read the data, since this class only detects when it was able to write the data to the operating system.

See also wroteToStdin(), closeStdin(), readStdout(), and readStderr().

void Q3Process::writeToStdin ( const QString & buf ) [virtual slot]

This is an overloaded function.

The string buf is handled as text using the QString::local8Bit() representation.

void Q3Process::wroteToStdin () [signal]

This signal is emitted if the data sent to standard input (via writeToStdin()) was actually written to the process. This does not imply that the process really read the data, since this class only detects when it was able to write the data to the operating system. But it is now safe to close standard input without losing pending data.

See also writeToStdin() and closeStdin().

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