Availability::- use_module(library(process)).(can be autoloaded)
 process_create(+Exe, +Args:list, +Options) is det
Create a new process running the file Exe and using arguments from the given list. Exe is a file specification as handed to absolute_file_name/3. Typically one use the path file alias to specify an executable file on the current PATH. Args is a list of arguments that are handed to the new process. On Unix systems, each element in the list becomes a seperate argument in the new process. In Windows, the arguments are simply concatenated to form the commandline. Each argument itself is either a primitive or a list of primitives. A primitive is either atomic or a term file(Spec). Using file(Spec), the system inserts a filename using the OS filename conventions which is properly quoted if needed.

Options:

stdin(Spec)
stdout(Spec)
stderr(Spec)
Bind the standard streams of the new process. Spec is one of the terms below. If pipe(Pipe) is used, the Prolog stream is a stream in text-mode using the encoding of the default locale. The encoding can be changed using set_stream/2. The options stdout and stderr may use the same stream, in which case both output streams are connected to the same Prolog stream.
std
Just share with the Prolog I/O streams. On Unix, if the user_input, etc. are bound to a file handle but not to 0,1,2 the process I/O is bound to the file handles of these streams.
null
Bind to a null stream. Reading from such a stream returns end-of-file, writing produces no output
pipe(-Stream)
Attach input and/or output to a Prolog stream.
stream(+Stream)
Attach input or output to an existing Prolog stream. This stream must be associated with an OS file handle (see stream_property/2, property file_no). This option is not provided by the SICStus implementation.
cwd(+Directory)
Run the new process in Directory. Directory can be a compound specification, which is converted using absolute_file_name/3. See also process_set_method/1.
env(+List)
As environment(List), but only the specified variables are passed, i.e., no variables are inherited.
environment(+List)
Specify additional environment variables for the new process. List is a list of Name=Value terms, where Value is expanded the same way as the Args argument. If neither env nor environment is passed the environment is inherited from the Prolog process.
process(-PID)
Unify PID with the process id of the created process.
detached(+Bool)
In Unix: If true, detach the process from the terminal Currently mapped to setsid(); Also creates a new process group for the child In Windows: If true, detach the process from the current job via the CREATE_BREAKAWAY_FROM_JOB flag. In Vista and beyond, processes launched from the shell directly have the 'compatibility assistant' attached to them automatically unless they have a UAC manifest embedded in them. This means that you will get a permission denied error if you try and assign the newly-created PID to a job you create yourself.
window(+Bool)
If true, create a window for the process (Windows only)
priority(+Priority)
In Unix: specifies the process priority for the newly created process. Priority must be an integer between -20 and 19. Positive values are nicer to others, and negative values are less so. The default is zero. Users are free to lower their own priority. Only the super-user may raise it to less-than zero.

If the user specifies the process(-PID) option, he must call process_wait/2 to reclaim the process. Without this option, the system will wait for completion of the process after the last pipe stream is closed.

If the process is not waited for, it must succeed with status 0. If not, an process_error is raised.

Windows notes

On Windows this call is an interface to the CreateProcess() API. The commandline consists of the basename of Exe and the arguments formed from Args. Arguments are separated by a single space. If all characters satisfy iswalnum() it is unquoted. If the argument contains a double-quote it is quoted using single quotes. If both single and double quotes appear a domain_error is raised, otherwise double-quote are used.

The CreateProcess() API has many options. Currently only the CREATE_NO_WINDOW options is supported through the window(+Bool) option. If omitted, the default is to use this option if the application has no console. Future versions are likely to support more window specific options and replace win_exec/2.

Examples

First, a very simple example that behaves the same as shell('ls -l'), except for error handling:

?- process_create(path(ls), ['-l'], []).

The following example uses grep to find all matching lines in a file.

grep(File, Pattern, Lines) :-
        setup_call_cleanup(
            process_create(path(grep), [ Pattern, file(File) ],
                           [ stdout(pipe(Out))
                           ]),
            read_lines(Out, Lines),
            close(Out)).

read_lines(Out, Lines) :-
        read_line_to_codes(Out, Line1),
        read_lines(Line1, Out, Lines).

read_lines(end_of_file, _, []) :- !.
read_lines(Codes, Out, [Line|Lines]) :-
        atom_codes(Line, Codes),
        read_line_to_codes(Out, Line2),
        read_lines(Line2, Out, Lines).
Errors
- process_error(Exe, Status) where Status is one of exit(Code) or killed(Signal). Raised if the process is waited for (i.e., Options does not include process(-PID)), and does not exit with status 0.
bug
- On Windows, environment(List) is handled as env(List), i.e., the environment is not inherited.
 process_create(+Exe, +Args:list, +Options) is det
Create a new process running the file Exe and using arguments from the given list. Exe is a file specification as handed to absolute_file_name/3. Typically one use the path file alias to specify an executable file on the current PATH. Args is a list of arguments that are handed to the new process. On Unix systems, each element in the list becomes a separate argument in the new process. In Windows, the arguments are simply concatenated to form the commandline. Each argument itself is either a primitive or a list of primitives. A primitive is either atomic or a term file(Spec). Using file(Spec), the system inserts a filename using the OS filename conventions which is properly quoted if needed.

Options:

stdin(Spec)
stdout(Spec)
stderr(Spec)
Bind the standard streams of the new process. Spec is one of the terms below. If pipe(Pipe) is used, the Prolog stream is a stream in text-mode using the encoding of the default locale. The encoding can be changed using set_stream/2. The options stdout and stderr may use the same stream, in which case both output streams are connected to the same Prolog stream.
std
Just share with the Prolog I/O streams. On Unix, if the user_input, etc. are bound to a file handle but not to 0,1,2 the process I/O is bound to the file handles of these streams.
null
Bind to a null stream. Reading from such a stream returns end-of-file, writing produces no output
pipe(-Stream)
Attach input and/or output to a Prolog stream.
stream(+Stream)
Attach input or output to an existing Prolog stream. This stream must be associated with an OS file handle (see stream_property/2, property file_no). This option is not provided by the SICStus implementation.
cwd(+Directory)
Run the new process in Directory. Directory can be a compound specification, which is converted using absolute_file_name/3. See also process_set_method/1.
env(+List)
As environment(List), but only the specified variables are passed, i.e., no variables are inherited.
environment(+List)
Specify additional environment variables for the new process. List is a list of Name=Value terms, where Value is expanded the same way as the Args argument. If neither env nor environment is passed the environment is inherited from the Prolog process.
process(-PID)
Unify PID with the process id of the created process.
detached(+Bool)
In Unix: If true, detach the process from the terminal Currently mapped to setsid(); Also creates a new process group for the child In Windows: If true, detach the process from the current job via the CREATE_BREAKAWAY_FROM_JOB flag. In Vista and beyond, processes launched from the shell directly have the 'compatibility assistant' attached to them automatically unless they have a UAC manifest embedded in them. This means that you will get a permission denied error if you try and assign the newly-created PID to a job you create yourself.
window(+Bool)
If true, create a window for the process (Windows only)
priority(+Priority)
In Unix: specifies the process priority for the newly created process. Priority must be an integer between -20 and 19. Positive values are nicer to others, and negative values are less so. The default is zero. Users are free to lower their own priority. Only the super-user may raise it to less-than zero.

If the user specifies the process(-PID) option, he must call process_wait/2 to reclaim the process. Without this option, the system will wait for completion of the process after the last pipe stream is closed.

If the process is not waited for, it must succeed with status 0. If not, an process_error is raised.

Windows notes

On Windows this call is an interface to the CreateProcess() API. The commandline consists of the basename of Exe and the arguments formed from Args. Arguments are separated by a single space. If all characters satisfy iswalnum() it is unquoted. If the argument contains a double-quote it is quoted using single quotes. If both single and double quotes appear a domain_error is raised, otherwise double-quote are used.

The CreateProcess() API has many options. Currently only the CREATE_NO_WINDOW options is supported through the window(+Bool) option. If omitted, the default is to use this option if the application has no console. Future versions are likely to support more window specific options and replace win_exec/2.

Examples

First, a very simple example that behaves the same as shell('ls -l'), except for error handling:

?- process_create(path(ls), ['-l'], []).

The following example uses grep to find all matching lines in a file.

grep(File, Pattern, Lines) :-
        setup_call_cleanup(
            process_create(path(grep), [ Pattern, file(File) ],
                           [ stdout(pipe(Out))
                           ]),
            read_lines(Out, Lines),
            close(Out)).

read_lines(Out, Lines) :-
        read_line_to_codes(Out, Line1),
        read_lines(Line1, Out, Lines).

read_lines(end_of_file, _, []) :- !.
read_lines(Codes, Out, [Line|Lines]) :-
        atom_codes(Line, Codes),
        read_line_to_codes(Out, Line2),
        read_lines(Line2, Out, Lines).
Errors
- process_error(Exe, Status) where Status is one of exit(Code) or killed(Signal). Raised if the process is waited for (i.e., Options does not include process(-PID)), and does not exit with status 0.
bug
- On Windows, environment(List) is handled as env(List), i.e., the environment is not inherited.