I have a python script that will run a batch script. This batch script sets an environment variable say _BLDPATH. I want to grab this variable in the python script to use that variable later on. The problem is that even though the variable gets set properly when the batch file was executed, the os.getenv does not get me the variable back in python script.
How do I get this to work.

snippet of the code is
import os
bldpath = os.getenv("_BLDPATH")
print "bld path is ",bldpath

snippet of bldroot.bat
REM ....
if "%_BLDPATH%" == "" goto SET_BLDPATH
goto DONE

set _BLDPATH=C:\Bld607

echo %_BLDPATH%

The result when I run the above python script is
bld path is None

9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Duoas

Try this ...

# run an external program and get its output:
import os
prog = "bldroott.bat"
fin, fout = os.popen4(prog)
result = fout.read()
print result

Thanks for the reply.
I have
@echo off
in the batch file so the below code will not return anything in result.
If I have echo on in the batch file then all the lines in the batch file gets dumped to result.
any other clue.


Hi gtselvam,

I hate to say this, but I think what you want to do is impossible due to operating system limitations. If memory serves, the os.system() function call creates a forked environment which is destroyed once the call returns. In other words, suppose you write a python script called batch.py which says:

import os
print os.getenv("_SOMEVAR")

Then suppose you call it from within a batch script called execute.bat:

@echo off
set _SOMEVAR=value
python batch.py

If you now run execute.bat, you should see "value" pop up in your output. However, suppose that you now create another python script which does this:

import os
print os.getenv("_SOMEVAR")

What do you think will happen? This script calls execute.bat and a forked environment is created. The execute.bat batch file sets _SOMEVAR to "value" within this forked context. Then it calls batch.py, which prints out the value of _SOMEVAR. But then, the batch file terminates and its environment is destroyed. When the original script then tries to get the value of _SOMEVAR, it is referring to the original context, where _SOMEVAR was never set. So it prints None.

I think the only choice you have is to alter bldroot.bat and force it to print or output the value you want, then read that in using os.popen(), which is what sneekula was driving at. Alternatively, you could dump the value of _SOMEVAR in a temporary text file, or something. The DOS shell wasn't meant to be used the way you want to use it.

Hope this helps!


I haven't used python to do this, but in Windows it is possible to specify the environment table the child is to use. Thus, if the child modifies its environment, it is modifying something that the parent has direct access to.

Unless someone beats me to it, let me see if I can find how to create a process this way in python. This will, of course, be a windows-specific thing to do...


Alas, it looks like I was mistaken about python... None of the python interfaces to CreateProcess report back changes to the enviornment dictionary...

It looks like printing to stdout and using one of the popen module's functions is your best bet...

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