Haeri Haeri - 3 months ago 5
Java Question

Java Process with concurrent Input/Output Streams

I am trying to create a sort of console/terminal that allows the user to input a string, which then gets made into a process and the results are printed out. Just like a normal console. But I am having trouble managing the input/output streams. I have looked into this thread, but that solution sadly doesn't apply to my problem.

Along with the standard commands like "ipconfig" and "cmd.exe", I need to be able to run a script and use the same inputstream to pass some arguments, if the script is asking for input.

For example, after running a script "python pyScript.py", I should be able pass further input to the script if it is asking for it(example: raw_input), while also printing the output from the script. The basic behavior you would expect from a terminal.

What I've got so far:

import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.Color;
import java.awt.Dimension;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;
import java.awt.event.KeyListener;
import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.BufferedWriter;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.InputStreamReader;
import java.io.OutputStream;
import java.io.OutputStreamWriter;

import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JPanel;
import javax.swing.JScrollPane;
import javax.swing.JTextPane;
import javax.swing.text.BadLocationException;
import javax.swing.text.Document;

public class Console extends JFrame{

JTextPane inPane, outPane;
InputStream inStream, inErrStream;
OutputStream outStream;

public Console(){
super("Console");
setPreferredSize(new Dimension(500, 600));
setLocationByPlatform(true);
setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);

// GUI
outPane = new JTextPane();
outPane.setEditable(false);
outPane.setBackground(new Color(20, 20, 20));
outPane.setForeground(Color.white);
inPane = new JTextPane();
inPane.setBackground(new Color(40, 40, 40));
inPane.setForeground(Color.white);
inPane.setCaretColor(Color.white);

JPanel panel = new JPanel(new BorderLayout());
panel.add(outPane, BorderLayout.CENTER);
panel.add(inPane, BorderLayout.SOUTH);

JScrollPane scrollPanel = new JScrollPane(panel);

getContentPane().add(scrollPanel);

// LISTENER
inPane.addKeyListener(new KeyListener(){
@Override
public void keyPressed(KeyEvent e){
if(e.getKeyCode() == KeyEvent.VK_ENTER){
e.consume();
read(inPane.getText());
}
}
@Override
public void keyTyped(KeyEvent e) {}

@Override
public void keyReleased(KeyEvent e) {}
});


pack();
setVisible(true);
}

private void read(String command){
println(command);

// Write to Process
if (outStream != null) {
System.out.println("Outstream again");
BufferedWriter writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(outStream));
try {
writer.write(command);
//writer.flush();
//writer.close();
} catch (IOException e1) {
e1.printStackTrace();
}
}

// Execute Command
try {
exec(command);
} catch (IOException e) {}

inPane.setText("");
}

private void exec(String command) throws IOException{
Process pro = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(command, null);

inStream = pro.getInputStream();
inErrStream = pro.getErrorStream();
outStream = pro.getOutputStream();

Thread t1 = new Thread(new Runnable() {
public void run() {
try {
String line = null;
while(true){
BufferedReader in = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inStream));
while ((line = in.readLine()) != null) {
println(line);
}
BufferedReader inErr = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inErrStream));
while ((line = inErr.readLine()) != null) {
println(line);
}
Thread.sleep(1000);
}
} catch (Exception e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
}
});
t1.start();
}

public void println(String line) {
Document doc = outPane.getDocument();
try {
doc.insertString(doc.getLength(), line + "\n", null);
} catch (BadLocationException e) {}
}

public static void main(String[] args){
new Console();
}
}


I don't use the mentioned
ProcessBuilder
, since I do like to differentiate between error and normal stream.

UPDATE 29.08.2016

With the help of @ArcticLord we have achieved what was asked in the original question.
Now it is just a matter of ironing out any strange behavior like the non terminating process. The Console has a "stop" button that simply calls pro.destroy(). But for some reason this does not work for infinitely running processes, that are spamming outputs.

Console: http://pastebin.com/vyxfPEXC

InputStreamLineBuffer: http://pastebin.com/TzFamwZ1

Example code that does not stop:

public class Infinity{
public static void main(String[] args){
while(true){
System.out.println(".");
}
}
}


Example code that does stop:

import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

public class InfinitySlow{
public static void main(String[] args){
while(true){
try {
TimeUnit.SECONDS.sleep(1);
} catch (InterruptedException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
System.out.println(".");
}
}
}

Answer

You are on the right way with your code. There are only some minor things you missed.
Lets start with your read method:

private void read(String command){
    [...]
    // Write to Process
    if (outStream != null) {
        [...]
        try {
            writer.write(command + "\n");  // add newline so your input will get proceed
            writer.flush();  // flush your input to your process
        } catch (IOException e1) {
            e1.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
    // ELSE!! - if no outputstream is available
    // Execute Command
    else {
        try {
            exec(command);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            // Handle the exception here. Mostly this means
            // that the command could not get executed
            // because command was not found.
            println("Command not found: " + command);
        }
    }
    inPane.setText("");
}

Now lets fix your exec method. You should use separate threads for reading normal process output and error output. Additionally I introduce a third thread that waits for the process to end and closes the outputStream so next user input is not meant for process but is a new command.

private void exec(String command) throws IOException{
    Process pro = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(command, null);

    inStream = pro.getInputStream();
    inErrStream = pro.getErrorStream();
    outStream = pro.getOutputStream();

    // Thread that reads process output
    Thread outStreamReader = new Thread(new Runnable() {
        public void run() {
            try {
                String line = null;
                BufferedReader in = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inStream));                        
                while ((line = in.readLine()) != null) {
                    println(line);                       
                }
            } catch (Exception e) {
                e.printStackTrace();
            }
            System.out.println("Exit reading process output");
        }
    });
    outStreamReader.start();

    // Thread that reads process error output
    Thread errStreamReader = new Thread(new Runnable() {
        public void run() {
            try {
                String line = null;           
                BufferedReader inErr = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inErrStream));
                while ((line = inErr.readLine()) != null) {
                    println(line);
                }
            } catch (Exception e) {
                e.printStackTrace();
            }
            System.out.println("Exit reading error stream");
        }
    });
    errStreamReader.start();

    // Thread that waits for process to end
    Thread exitWaiter = new Thread(new Runnable() {
        public void run() {
            try {
                int retValue = pro.waitFor();
                println("Command exit with return value " + retValue);
                // close outStream
                outStream.close();
                outStream = null;
            } catch (InterruptedException e) {
                e.printStackTrace(); 
            } catch (IOException e) {
                e.printStackTrace();
            } 
        }
    });
    exitWaiter.start();
}

Now this should work.
If you enter ipconfig it prints the command output, closes the output stream and is ready for a new command.
If you enter cmd it prints the output and let you enter more cmd commands like dir or cd and so on until you enter exit. Then it closes the output stream and is ready for a new command.

You may run into problems with executing python scripts because there are problems with reading Process InputStreams with Java if they are not flushed into system pipeline.
See this example python script

print "Input something!"
str = raw_input()
print "Received input is : ", str

You could run this with your Java programm and also enter the input but you will not see the script output until the script is finished.
The only fix I could find is to manually flush the output in the script.

import sys
print "Input something!"
sys.stdout.flush()
str = raw_input()
print "Received input is : ", str
sys.stdout.flush()

Running this script will bahave as you expect.
You can read more about this problem at

EDIT: I have just found another very easy solution for the stdout.flush() problem with Python Scripts. Start them with python -u script.py and you don't need to flush manually. This should solve your problem.

EDIT2: We discussed in the comments that with this solution output and error Stream will be mixed up since they run in different threads. The problem here is that we cannot distinguish if output writing is finish when error stream thread comes up. Otherwise classic thread scheduling with locks could handle this situation. But we have a continuous stream until process is finished no matter if data flows or not. So we need a mechanism here that logs how much time has elapsed since last line was read from each stream.

For this I will introduce a class that gets an InputStream and starts a Thread for reading the incoming data. This Thread stores each line in a Queue and stops when end of stream arrives. Additionally it holds the time when last line was read and added to Queue.

public class InputStreamLineBuffer{
    private InputStream inputStream;
    private ConcurrentLinkedQueue<String> lines;
    private long lastTimeModified;
    private Thread inputCatcher;
    private boolean isAlive;

    public InputStreamLineBuffer(InputStream is){
        inputStream = is;
        lines = new ConcurrentLinkedQueue<String>();
        lastTimeModified = System.currentTimeMillis();
        isAlive = false;
        inputCatcher = new Thread(new Runnable(){
            @Override
            public void run() {
                StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(100);
                int b;
                try{
                    while ((b = inputStream.read()) != -1){  
                        // read one char
                        if((char)b == '\n'){
                            // new Line -> add to queue
                            lines.offer(sb.toString());
                            sb.setLength(0); // reset StringBuilder
                            lastTimeModified = System.currentTimeMillis();
                        }
                        else sb.append((char)b); // append char to stringbuilder
                    }
                } catch (IOException e){
                    e.printStackTrace();
                } finally {
                    isAlive = false;
                }
            }});
    }
    // is the input reader thread alive
    public boolean isAlive(){
        return isAlive;
    }
    // start the input reader thread
    public void start(){
        isAlive = true;
        inputCatcher.start();
    }
    // has Queue some lines
    public boolean hasNext(){
        return lines.size() > 0;
    }
    // get next line from Queue
    public String getNext(){
        return lines.poll();
    }
    // how much time has elapsed since last line was read
    public long timeElapsed(){
        return (System.currentTimeMillis() - lastTimeModified);
    }
}

With this class we could combine the output and error reading thread into one. That lives while the input reading buffer threads live and have not comsumed data. In each run it checks if some time has passed since last output was read and if so it prints all unprinted lines at a stroke. The same with the error output. Then it sleeps for some millis for not wasting cpu time.

private void exec(String command) throws IOException{
    Process pro = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(command, null);

    inStream = pro.getInputStream();
    inErrStream = pro.getErrorStream();
    outStream = pro.getOutputStream();

    InputStreamLineBuffer outBuff = new InputStreamLineBuffer(inStream);
    InputStreamLineBuffer errBuff = new InputStreamLineBuffer(inErrStream);

    Thread streamReader = new Thread(new Runnable() {       
        public void run() {
            // start the input reader buffer threads
            outBuff.start();
            errBuff.start();

            // while an input reader buffer thread is alive
            // or there are unconsumed data left
            while(outBuff.isAlive() || outBuff.hasNext() ||
                errBuff.isAlive() || errBuff.hasNext()){

                // get the normal output if at least 50 millis have passed
                if(outBuff.timeElapsed() > 50)
                    while(outBuff.hasNext())
                        println(outBuff.getNext());
                // get the error output if at least 50 millis have passed
                if(errBuff.timeElapsed() > 50)
                    while(errBuff.hasNext())
                        println(errBuff.getNext());
                // sleep a bit bofore next run
                try {
                    Thread.sleep(100);
                } catch (InterruptedException e) {
                    e.printStackTrace();
                }                 
            }
            System.out.println("Finish reading error and output stream");
        }          
    });
    streamReader.start();

    // remove outStreamReader and errStreamReader Thread
    [...]
}

Maybe this is not a perfect solution but it should handle the situation here.

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