Execute and get the output of a shell command in node.js


In a node.js, I'd like to find a way to obtain the output of a Unix terminal command. Is there any way to do this?

function getCommandOutput(commandString){
    // now how can I implement this function?
    // getCommandOutput("ls") should print the terminal output of the shell command "ls"
7/17/2018 12:57:30 PM

Accepted Answer

Thats the way I do it in a project I am working now.

var exec = require('child_process').exec;
function execute(command, callback){
    exec(command, function(error, stdout, stderr){ callback(stdout); });

Example: Retrieving git user

module.exports.getGitUser = function(callback){
    execute("git config --global user.name", function(name){
        execute("git config --global user.email", function(email){
            callback({ name: name.replace("\n", ""), email: email.replace("\n", "") });
10/17/2012 6:47:32 PM

You're looking for child_process

var exec = require('child_process').exec;
var child;

child = exec(command,
   function (error, stdout, stderr) {
      console.log('stdout: ' + stdout);
      console.log('stderr: ' + stderr);
      if (error !== null) {
          console.log('exec error: ' + error);

As pointed out by Renato, there are some synchronous exec packages out there now too, see sync-exec that might be more what yo're looking for. Keep in mind though, node.js is designed to be a single threaded high performance network server, so if that's what you're looking to use it for, stay away from sync-exec kinda stuff unless you're only using it during startup or something.

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