python + linux + cron = problem

Doug Hellmann doughellmann at
Thu Apr 27 07:38:39 EDT 2000

Jørn Eilertsen wrote:
> Hi,
> I've posted this earlier but noone replied so I'm trying again
> I have this small program which includes the following line og code:
>  mounts = commands.getoutput('df | grep eggum | cut -d 1 -f 1 | cut -d /
> -f 4')
> this runs fine from the commandline but when run as a cronjob I get the
> following error:
> File "/usr/lib/python1.5/", line 42, in getoutput
>     return getstatusoutput(cmd)[1]
>   File "/usr/lib/python1.5/", line 53, in getstatusoutput
>     sts = pipe.close()
> IOError: (10, 'No child processes')
> The use of pipes seems to be the trouble here.
> Any help on how the get around this would be greatly appreciated.

If the problem is really having pipes in the command, why not put your
shell commands in a shell script, then run commands.getoutput() on that?

If the program runs from the command line but not cron, the problem is
more likely to be related to PATH problems within the cron environment. 
How do you set up the cron job?


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