Python, subprocess, dump, gzip and Cron

Sebastian "lunar" Wiesner basti.wiesner at
Tue Jun 10 13:26:59 CEST 2008

 Aidan <aweraw at> at Dienstag 10 Juni 2008 07:21:

> TT wrote:
>> On Jun 10, 2:37 pm, Aidan <awe... at> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'm having a bit of trouble with a python script I wrote, though I'm not
>>> sure if it's related directly to python, or one of the other software
>>> packages...
>>> The situation is that I'm trying to create a system backup script that
>>> creates an image of the system, filters the output though gzip, and then
>>> uploads the data (via ftp) to a remote site.
>>> The problem is that when I run the script from the command line, it
>>> works as I expect it, but when it is run by cron I only get a 20 byte
>>> file where the compressed image should be...  does anyone have any idea
>>> as to why this might be happening?  Code follows
>>> <code>
>>> #!/usr/bin/python
>>> from subprocess import PIPE, Popen
>>> from ftplib import FTP
>>> host = 'box'
>>> filename = '%s.img.gz' % host
>>> ftp_host = ''
>>> ftpuser, ftppass = 'admin', 'admin'
>>> dest_dir = '/share/%s' % host
>>> dump = Popen('dump 0uaf - /',shell=True,stdout=PIPE)
You should avoid the use of ``shell=True`` here and use a argument list

dump = Popen(['dump', '0uaf', '-', '/'], stdout=PIPE)

This results in an exception thrown if the executable doesn't exist.  This
exception can be caught and handle for instance with the logging module.

>>> gzip = Popen('gzip',shell=True,stdin=dump.stdout,stdout=PIPE)

Same here, but why don't you use the gzip functionality from the standard

Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.
                                      (Rosa Luxemburg)

More information about the Python-list mailing list