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Replacement for pexpect

Project description

Fast Start

Install the package:

pip install --user processcontroller

Import the main class:

from processcontroller import ProcessController

Create a new instance:

process_controller = ProcessController()

The ProcessController() instance


  • The run() method:, options)
    Run a program (command and options detailed below)
  • The send() method:

    Send a string or bytearray to the subprogram stdin, you will usually use it inside a callback or in detached state
  • The close() method:

    Close the stdin of the subprogram so it reaches EOF, you will usually use it inside a callback or in detached state
  • The kill() method:

    Sends signal SIGKILL to the subprogram, the return_value should be (pid, 9) after that.
    (this should not be so used to be honest)


  • return_value

    is the return value of the subprogram it will be - (0, 0) if running - (pid, status) if terminated

Function Parameters


The command parameter must be an array like:

['/usr/bin/python', '']


Currently, it supports the following keys, ‘when’, ‘input’, ‘echo’ and ‘detached’
  • when:

    This key is used to listen to events occuring on the STDOUT of the subprogram The value have to be an array of events The “event” is in fact a match for some pattern:

    'when': [
       ['^SomeRegex.*\n', callback],
       ['^An other one.\n', cb]
       ['^prompt>\$ $', cb]

    Be careful about the ending line, the match will be called each time a char is added to the buffer, this helps matching prompts maybe I’ll add an option to avoid such an expansive operation in the future Every time a ‘n’ char is found, the line is treated once and reseted to ‘’

    The callbacks will be called with two arguments: the ProcessController instance, and the matched string:

    def callback(processcontroller, string)

    You can automates user inputs in your callback when required by the subprogram using the send function of your ProcessController instance:

    def cb(p, s):
       c.send('some input')
  • input:’

    This key is used to pre-fill the stdin of a subprogram before running it:

    pc = ProcessController()['/bin/bash'], {
       'input': 'echo test && exit'

    You can set an array of input:

    'input': ['one', 'two', 'three']  # sends "one\ntwo\nthree\n"
    You can input str or bytes, conversion is handled for you
  • echo:

    This key is a boolean that defaults to False. When set to True, the ProcessController will print the input sent to your subprogram where it has been asked

  • detached:

    This key is used to make the program run in its own thread, making the call to run non-blocking:

    pc = ProcessController()['/bin/bash'], {
       'detached': True
    pc.send('echo test')  # will print test to stdout
    pc.close()  # close stdin of subprogram, so that bash will read EOF

Don’t forget that you have to create a new instance a ProcessController everytime you want to execute a new subprogram

Please feel free to read the tests and code for a better understanding


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