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Old 06-09-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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How do you find the maximum length of a command line argument?

I have a little python script that takes a bunch of files & does stuff to them. One of the things it does it pass that list over to another program via popen (not that this matters).

The import part is that I use "getconf ARG_MAX" to find the max length for the argument list I pass to the other program, but I still get "Argument list too long" messages when I send really long file lists, even though the string I use to execute the other program is still shorter than what "getconf ARG_MAX" spits back.

Looking closer at getconf, it appears that this may be the max arg length when using some exec function rather than raw command line arguments.

Soo.... how does one find the maximum number of chars that can go on the command line when doing something on the command line?
Old 06-10-2008, 05:53 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Distribution: RHEL 5&6 CentOS 5, 6 & 7
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Just guesses here....

Are you getting the error when you perform a system call? If so, perhaps you should use xargs to process your argument list? If it possible to have a command line within limits but exceeding limits when it is expanded by shell expansion.


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