Can Python kill a child process that keeps on running?

I. Myself No.Spam at Spam.none
Tue May 2 13:00:42 EDT 2006

Steve Holden wrote:
> I. Myself wrote:
>> Serge Orlov wrote:
>>> I. Myself wrote:
>>>> Suppose we spawn a child process with Popen.  I'm thinking of an
>>>> executable file, like a compiled C program.
>>>> Suppose it is supposed to run for one minute, but it just keeps going
>>>> and going.  Does Python have any way to kill it?
>>>> This is not hypothetical; I'm doing it now, and it's working pretty
>>>> well, but I would like to be able to handle this run-on condition.  
>>>> I'm
>>>> using Windows 2000, but I want my program to be portable to linux.
>>> On linux it's pretty easy to do, just setup alarm signal. On windows
>>> it's not so trivial to the point you cannot do it using
>>> distribution, you will need to poke in low level C API using win32
>>> extensions or ctypes. AFAIK twisted package <>
>>> has some code to help you. Also take a look at buildbot sources
>>> <> that uses twisted. Buildbot has the same
>>> problem as you have, it needs to kill run away or non-responding
>>> processes.
>> That is bad news.   Thanks anyway; bad news is better than no news.
> Note, however, that ctypes is planned to be a part of the 2.5 
> distribution, so while there may not be a platform-independent way to 
> achieve your goals you will at leats be able to do so without external 
> extensions.
I'm an intermediate Python programmer.  Can you explain to me how ctypes 
will let me kill a child process?


Mitchell Timin

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