[Tutor] Checking for executables

Bradford R. Bowman bowman at mazirian.com
Sun Jul 24 20:02:43 CEST 2005

I am writing a script that is a wrapper for a number of other utilities
often found on *nix workstations, including the rar and par2 utilities.
I want the script to check whether those utilities are installed at the
outset (and not when they are needed later on in the script, which I
suppose I could just use exception handling to do).  Here's what I have

import commands
for cmd in ('rar', 'par2'):
  if commands.getstatusoutput('which ' + cmd)[0] != 0:
  print "Fatal error: cannot find the %s executable." % cmd

This appears to work, but, as I'm just beginning with
python/programming, I thought there might be something in the standard
library that just does what I want.  Am I recreating the wheel here?

Bradford R. Bowman
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