Axl Axl - 1 year ago 106
C Question

How to use execvp()

The user will read a line and i will retain the first word as a command for execvp. Lets say he will type "cat file.txt" ... command will be cat . But i am not sure how to use this execvp, i read some tutorials but still didn't get it . Here's my code :

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main()
char *buf;
char command[32];
char name[32];
char *pointer;
char line[80];
while((buf = readline(""))!=NULL)
if (strcmp(buf,"exit")==0)


pointer = strtok(buf, " ");
if(pointer != NULL){
strcpy(command, pointer);


pid_t pid;

int status;

if ((pid = fork()) < 0) {
printf("*** ERROR: forking child process failed\n");
else if (pid == 0) {
if (execvp(command, buf) < 0) {
printf("*** ERROR: exec failed\n");
while (wait(&status) != pid)



return 0;

Answer Source

The first argument is the file you wish to execute, and the second argument is an array of null-terminated strings that represent the appropriate arguments to the file as specified in the man page.

For example:

char *cmd = "ls";
char *argv[3];
argv[0] = "ls";
argv[1] = "-la";
argv[2] = NULL;

execvp(cmd, argv); //This will run "ls -la" as if it were a command
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