Determining if program executing in shell background?

Kevin Perrott kevin at
Fri Mar 28 22:34:25 CET 2003

I'm VERY new to python programming so please be gentle.

I'm trying to find a function that will tell me if a pyton program is
executing in the background when launched using the:

<program name> &

shell syntax.

I'm trying to utilize the curses module to output messages to 'windows' and
the system seems to stop the program when I try to get it to run in the
background.  I'm assuming it has something to do with the curses module
requiring control of a proper stdout or something along those lines.

I wrote a small test program using the isatty() function:

import sys
import os
isatty = os.isatty(sys.stdout.fileno())
if isatty == 1 :
else :

that I thought would do the trick but "isatty" always prints whether
launched by

<program> &

I must be missing something somewhere and would appreciate any help you
guys/gals could give me.


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