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In UNIX, I am checking to see if a process is up by executing the following command;


psg dtllst pe99

This returns the following output if the process is running;

pe99   1234   1       0 03:29:44    pts/8  0:01 dtllst pe99

Now in Perl, I want to be able to find out whether this process is up or not. So far I am doing the following

`my $checkProc = `psg dttlst | grep $myNode 2>&1`;`    #where $myNode is something like pe01 or pe02 or pe65 or pe99 etc...

Now after this I do the following to see if the above Perl command has returned what I am looking for to see if the process is up;

if ($checkProc =~ m/dtllst $myNode | $myNode/) {
    #yes, process is up
} else {
    #no, process is down

However this is not working - specifically, regardless of whether the UNIX process is alive or not, my code ALWAYS evaluates the if statement as true. I know this is wrong. I have tried to escape the "$" character in the regex to see if this was the issue and I have also tried removing the Perl variables from within the regex altogether.

What am I missing here? I know my regex is wrong somewhere :(


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I'm not familiar with psg, but I know (the hard way, so to speak) if I run ps ax | grep progname to see if any process is running that contains progname, I'll always get a yes, since grep progname is itself a command that contains "progname".

I don't know perl, but in bash, I get around this like this, e.g., if I want to check if any instance of progname is running, I run ps ax | grep -c "[p]rogname", which solves the problem of always getting a yes.

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The command pgrep prints the list of PIDs for all processes (other than itself) that match a grep-compatible regular expression.

It prints nothing if there are no matches.

This should be a sufficient test: [ $(pgrep process | wc) -gt 0 ] is true if the process is running. False if not.

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In some cases, it is useful to use flag -f with the pgrep. It enables searching for full command line name. For instance, if a program is started with java -jar bla.jar, pgrep bla would fail, while pgrep -f bla would succeed. – bbaja42 Jan 4 '12 at 5:34
I have absolutely no idea why you are using [. Just use pgrep process > /dev/null 2>&1. – Chris Down Feb 25 '12 at 14:25

Your regexp m/dtllst $myNode | $myNode/ will match (in particular) any occurrence of $myNode. By construction, psg dtllst | grep $myNode will return something that matches $myNode, so you regexp always matches.

If you cannot follow other people's advice and use pgrep or ps ... | grep or variants thereof, you could either:

  1. set "$checkProc = psg dtllst | grep 'dtllst $myNode';" and then just test if $checkProc is non-empty, or

  2. set "$checkProc = psg dtllst;" and then match it against m/dtllst $myNode/

  3. Use the Proc::ProcessTable CPAN module and just search for an entry $p such that $p->cmdline =~ m/dtllst $myNode/

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I don't know if that's what you're looking for, but this is how you can get the PID of your program:

ps -e -o pid= -o args= | sed 's/^\s*//' | grep 'dtllst pe99' | cut -d' ' -f1

This will output all, if any PIDs for the given command with arguments.

You can use that to pipe it into another program, if you like, and if you need all of the PIDs at once, you can wrap the whole thing in $():

MyPIDs=$(ps -e -o pid= -o args= | sed 's/^\s*//' | grep 'dtllst pe99' | cut -d' ' -f1)
echo $MyPIDs
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