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Using a vim function, I would like to check if a program is running using pgrep, and if it is not running then do something. In particular, I want to achieve something like this:

function! checkifrunning(mystring)
    if 'pgrep "mystring"' shows that something is NOT running
        --do something--
    endif
endfunction

My guess is that I need to use the 'system()' function, but I'm not sure how. Can somebody help?

EDIT: I would like a solution that uses pgrep in particular, and not some other way

  • 1
    If you're interested in Vim, do check out sister site Vi and Vim. – muru Jun 23 '16 at 6:54
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function! checkifrunning(mystring)
    if !system('pgrep "' . a:mystring . '"')
        " --do something--
    endif
endfunction

Technically ! operates on Numbers, and converts a String to a Number first if given a String. However, if there's no process running, the output of pgrep will be empty, which when converted to a Number is 0. If there are process running, conversion to a Number would give non-zero.

Instead of 'pgrep "' . a:mystring . '"', you could also do 'pgrep ' . shellescape(a:mystring).

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You can use like

:call system("pgrep process name ")

To print the output ,

:echo system("pgrep process name ")

You can store the output in a variable like

:let a=system("pgrep process name ")

And, use that variable in any loop, print, or use string functions as well.

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