th 486 - Python tricks: Run Shell Commands with Pipe, No 'Shell=True' required!

Python tricks: Run Shell Commands with Pipe, No ‘Shell=True’ required!

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th?q=Python   How To Execute Shell Commands With Pipe, But Without 'Shell=True'? - Python tricks: Run Shell Commands with Pipe, No 'Shell=True' required!

Python is a remarkably powerful programming language, and it’s no longer just for data scientists or backend developers. In fact, with its ease of use and wide range of applications, Python is becoming increasingly popular among all kinds of developers. With the right tools and tricks, any programmer can do amazing things with Python.

One such trick that many Python users don’t know about is the ability to run shell commands with pipe, without requiring ‘Shell=True’. This means that you can easily execute commands like ls | grep -i myfile or ps -ef | grep python directly from within your Python code. No need to worry about messy shell scripts, complicated string manipulation or even having additional system-level packages installed.

If you’re intrigued by this Python feature, then you’ll want to read on to discover how you can take advantage of it yourself. By mastering this trick, you can streamline your code and unlock new possibilities in your development work. You’ll never look at Python the same way again!

So if you’re ready to learn more about this unique Python trick, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide. We’ll show you step-by-step how to use pipes in Python and give you practical examples to help you get started. Whether you’re a seasoned Python developer or just starting out, you won’t want to miss this valuable tutorial!

th?q=Python%20 %20How%20To%20Execute%20Shell%20Commands%20With%20Pipe%2C%20But%20Without%20'Shell%3DTrue'%3F - Python tricks: Run Shell Commands with Pipe, No 'Shell=True' required!
“Python – How To Execute Shell Commands With Pipe, But Without ‘Shell=True’?” ~ bbaz


Python is a high-level scripting language that is often used for automation, machine learning, and data analysis. One of Python’s strengths is the vast collection of libraries and modules available which make it easy to perform complex tasks in just a few lines of code.

What are Shell Commands?

Shell commands are common commands given to an operating system shell. They are used to control the system, manipulate files, and execute programs. Common shell commands include ls, cd, pwd, cat, and cp. In Python, you can execute shell commands using the subprocess module.

Subprocess Module

The subprocess module is a part of the standard Python library which allows you to spawn new processes, connect to their input/output/error pipes, and obtain their return codes. It provides a simple and consistent interface for running shell commands from your Python program.

Running Shell Commands with Pipe

In Python, you can run shell commands with pipe without the need to specify Shell=True. This is made possible using the Popen class which creates a new process.

Using Shell=True

In order to run a shell command using subprocess, we can use the following code:

import subprocessoutput = subprocess.check_output(ls -l, shell=True)print(output)

Not Using Shell=True

However, by not including the shell=True argument, Python will no longer process shell metacharacters. This provides an extra layer of security as the command will only execute the specified arguments:

import subprocessargs = [ls, -l]process = subprocess.Popen(args, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)output, error = process.communicate()print(output)

Comparison Table

Using Shell=True Not Using Shell=True
Python processes shell metacharacters Extra layer of security – only executes specified arguments
Easy to implement More control over command execution
May be insecure for external input Eliminates most security threats


The subprocess module is a powerful tool that allows Python programmers to interact with shell commands. By not using Shell=True, we eliminate the security threat of shell metacharacters and we gain more control over how our commands are executed. However, it does require a bit more work than simply passing all commands as strings to check_output(). In short, using Shell=True or not will depend on the specific use case and level of security required.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article about Python tricks that can help you run shell commands with a pipeline. We hope that the information provided in this article has been valuable to you and will assist you in your future coding endeavors.In conclusion, we have discussed the significance of the ‘Shell=True’ parameter in Python and how to circumvent these limitations using other methods. With the approach discussed in this article, you can now run shell commands with pipe in Python without needing to use ‘Shell=True,’ thus ensuring better security while also increasing efficiency and flexibility.We encourage you to stay curious and continue exploring different approaches and techniques within Python programming, as there is always something new to discover. Thank you again for reading, and we hope you keep coming back to stay updated on more exciting Python tricks!

Here are some frequently asked questions about Python tricks for running shell commands with pipe without requiring ‘shell=True’:

  1. What is the difference between using ‘shell=True’ and not using it?
  2. When running shell commands with subprocess in Python, using ‘shell=True’ allows you to use shell features such as pipes, redirections, and wildcards. However, it can also make your program vulnerable to shell injection attacks. Without using ‘shell=True’, you can still run shell commands by separating the command and arguments into a list.

  3. How can I run shell commands with pipe without using ‘shell=True’?
  4. You can use the subprocess.Popen method with the stdin, stdout, and stderr parameters set to subprocess.PIPE. Then, you can use the communicate method to send input to the command and receive its output. Here’s an example:

  • Create the Popen object:
    p1 = subprocess.Popen(['ls', '-l'], stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
  • Pipe the output of p1 to another command:
    p2 = subprocess.Popen(['grep', '.py'], stdin=p1.stdout, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
  • Get the output of p2:
    output = p2.communicate()[0]
  • Are there any limitations to using this method?
  • Yes, this method may not work with commands that require a TTY (terminal) or interactive input. It also may not work with certain Windows commands.

  • Can I still use shell features like wildcards and redirections with this method?
  • No, you cannot use shell features directly with this method. However, you can achieve similar functionality by using Python’s glob module for wildcards and by redirecting output to a file and then reading from the file in Python.

  • Is this method more secure than using ‘shell=True’?
  • Yes, this method is generally considered more secure because it does not allow for shell injection attacks. However, as with any code, it is important to properly validate user input and sanitize any arguments that will be passed to shell commands.