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Why can't I get the output of a command with system()?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:29 UTC ( #729=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

You're confusing the purpose of system() and backticks (``). system() runs a command and returns exit status information (as a 16 bit value: the low 7 bits are the signal the process died from, if any, and the high 8 bits are the actual exit value). Backticks (``) run a command and return what it sent to STDOUT.

    $exit_status   = system("mail-users");
    $output_string = `ls`;

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