getting text from WinXP console

Chris Maloof cjmaloof at
Tue Mar 22 04:40:54 CET 2005

Thanks for the interesting suggestions!

On 21 Mar 2005 10:47:52 -0800, "Cappy2112" <cappy2112 at>

>If you are launching it you can try using one of the python popen()
>calls to redirect the screen output to your python program.

Aha.  This sounds perfect, and I don't know why it doesn't work even
with a basic command window:

>>> s = subprocess.Popen(args='c:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\', stdin=subprocess.PIPE, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=subprocess.PIPE)
[[[completely blank command window appears]]]
>>> s.stdin.write('hi there')

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#41>", line 1, in -toplevel-
    s.stdin.write('hi there')
IOError: [Errno 22] Invalid argument

I'm guessing it's not the right kind of screen output, somehow?  I
should try this with Unix.

Jeff Shannon <jeffshannon at> wrote:
>Unless I'm seriously mistaken, the only way that this will be possible 
>is if there's a Win32 API call that will give the correct information. 
>  This might be possible to find in the MSDN documentation, if it 
>exists, but I suspect that it probably doesn't.

I think you're right.  I did consider the select-and-copy idea, which
sounds vaguely silly but acceptable if there's a way to do it without
getting the selection area highlighted.  At this point I wouldn't be
terribly stunned if it's the best alternative, actually, though an API
call would seem nicer.  I'll see if I can turn anything up in the MSDN
library.  Peter's advice to ask about this on a Windows list is
probably wisest; I'll post again if I figure it out.

I refuse on principle to do a text -> image -> text conversion, clever
though it is. :)

 Lucas Raab <dotpyFE at> wrote:
>If you're looking to do this from Python then do "python <> > 
>output.txt" only without the quotes. AFAIK, this only works on Windows. 
>Correct me if it works from Linux or another OS.

I do this all the time in Unix and had no idea it worked in Windows;
it's not quite what I need but still good to know!

Thanks to everybody for all the help.


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