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    An implementation of the node.js child_process API.

    This module enables you to execute a child program in a new process. Since it emulates the node.js child_process API, it's not documented separately here. However, there are a few differences to be aware of:

    • you need to require() the module using require("sdk/system/child_process")
    • fork() is not supported
    • gid and uid are not supported
    • in node.js, spawn() and exec() inherit the environment variables from the parent process, by default. The SDK versions don't: so when you specify a command you must pass in a complete path to the command or use the env option to set up the child process environment.

    Here's an example that adapts the example in node's documentation for spawn():

    var child_process = require("sdk/system/child_process");
    var ls = child_process.spawn('/bin/ls', ['-lh', '/usr']);
    ls.stdout.on('data', function (data) {
      console.log('stdout: ' + data);
    ls.stderr.on('data', function (data) {
      console.log('stderr: ' + data);
    ls.on('close', function (code) {
      console.log('child process exited with code ' + code);


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    Contributors to this page: wbamberg
    Last updated by: wbamberg,
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