php : Capturing the command output

The second argument $output only captures STDOUT from your executable. Error messages are usually sent to STDERR so that they easily can be written to an error log or similar, but this means that you won’t see them when you call exec.

If this is a linux system, you could append 2>&1 to your command, in order to redirect STDERR to STDOUT. I haven’t tried this, but it should forward the error messages to your $output variable.


I’ve read up on it on, and it seems this would work.

exec($file.' 2>&1', $outputAndErrors, $return_value);

It is also possible to redirect the errors to a temporary file and read them separately.

exec($file.' 2> '.$tmpFile, $outputOnly, $return_value);

Edit 2

It seems windows also uses this Bourne style output redirecting syntax, so the examples should work for windows too.

More on input and output streams

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