calling a program without waiting for it to finish

mnietz okumee at
Thu Mar 20 17:17:51 CET 2003

Peter Hansen <peter at> wrote in message news:<3E75D5E4.7E44DF6C at>...
> mnietz wrote:
> > 
> > Hey Guys,
> > 
> > I looking for a way to execute a command-line programm from Pyhton
> > without having to wait for it to finish.
> > AFAIK i can't use os.popen() or os.system() because these methods wait
> > for a return-value. Or can I use the unix command exec in way like
> > start in windows os.system("start ping -t")?
> > That does exactly what i need.
> Under Linux, appending an ampersand to the end of the command should
> do roughly what you want, shouldn't it?
>   os.system("ping -blah -blah &")
> (Of course, pinging something without checking the return value 
> sounds pretty much useless to me, but maybe you were just giving
> a contrived example.)
> -Peter

Adding an ampersand seems to work fine. Can you tell me what exactly it does?


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