in reply to The problem of "the" default shell

Excellent post, thank you very much for this! Bookmarked :-)

Did you notice that qx() and its shorter alias `` don't support a list form?

IPC::System::Simple provides the function capturex as a replacement for qx that always avoids the shell*.

IPC::Run3 is another good module that will avoid the shell* if you give it an arrayref. The more advanced IPC::Run, although its documentation does not mention this, will also use the exec {...} ... form, although I haven't yet fully traced back in how many cases this is used - it's not always.

I wrote a post in a similar vein to yours showing example code with these modules here.

* Does not apply on Windows, but I have heard good things about Win32::ShellQuote, which recent versions of IPC::Run3 use internally. On *NIX systems and others with execvp(3), the above should always completely avoid the shell.

Update 2: Cleaned up formatting and wording.

(Side note: I don't normally both front-page and reply to a node, but I feel this is an important topic.)