Run external programs in OpenResty without spawning a shell or blocking
Lua Perl
Clone or download
John Regan
John Regan add 3.0.3 rockspec
Latest commit 6fd9448 Aug 22, 2017

README.md

lua-resty-exec

A small Lua module for executing processes. It's primarily intended to be used with OpenResty, but will work in regular Lua applications as well. When used with OpenResty, it's completely non-blocking (otherwise it falls back to using LuaSocket and does block).

It's similar to (and inspired by) lua-resty-shell, the primary difference being this module uses sockexec, which doesn't spawn a shell - instead you provide an array of argument strings, which means you don't need to worry about shell escaping/quoting/parsing rules.

Additionally, as of version 2.0.0, you can use resty.exec.socket to access a lower-level interface that allows two-way communication with programs. You can read and write to running applications!

This requires your web server to have an active instance of sockexec running.

Changelog

  • 3.0.0
    • new field returned: unknown - if this happens please send me a bug!
  • 2.0.0
    • New resty.exec.socket module for using a duplex connection
    • resty.exec no longer uses the bufsize argument
    • resty.exec now accepts a timeout argument, specify in milliseconds, defaults to 60s
    • This is a major revision, please test thoroughly before upgrading!
  • No changelog before 2.0.0

Installation

lua-resty-exec is available on luarocks as well as opm, you can install it with luarocks install lua-resty-exec or opm get jprjr/lua-resty-exec.

If you're using this outside of OpenResty, you'll also need the LuaSocket module installed, ie luarocks install luasocket.

Additionally, you'll need sockexec running, see its repo for instructions.

resty.exec Usage

local exec = require'resty.exec'
local prog = exec.new('/tmp/exec.sock')

Creates a new prog object, using /tmp/exec.sock for its connection to sockexec.

From there, you can use prog in a couple of different ways:

ez-mode

local res, err = prog('uname')

-- res = { stdout = "Linux\n", stderr = nil, exitcode = 0, termsig = nil }
-- err = nil

ngx.print(res.stdout)

This will run uname, with no data on stdin.

Returns a table of output/error codes, with err set to any errors encountered.

Setup argv beforehand

prog.argv = { 'uname', '-a' }
local res, err = prog()

-- res = { stdout = "Linux localhost 3.10.18 #1 SMP Tue Aug 2 21:08:34 PDT 2016 x86_64 GNU/Linux\n", stderr = nil, exitcode = 0, termsig = nil }
-- err = nil

ngx.print(res.stdout)

Setup stdin beforehand

prog.stdin = 'this is neat!'
local res, err = prog('cat')

-- res = { stdout = "this is neat!", stderr = nil, exitcode = 0, termsig = nil }
-- err = nil

ngx.print(res.stdout)

Call with explicit argv, stdin data, stdout/stderr callbacks

local res, err = prog( {
    argv = 'cat',
    stdin = 'fun!',
    stdout = function(data) print(data) end,
    stderr = function(data) print("error:", data) end
} )

-- res = { stdout = nil, stderr = nil, exitcode = 0, termsig = nil }
-- err = nil
-- 'fun!' is printed

Note: here argv is a string, which is fine if your program doesn't need any arguments.

Setup stdout/stderr callbacks

If you set prog.stdout or prog.stderr to a function, it will be called for each chunk of stdout/stderr data received.

Please note that there's no guarantees of stdout/stderr being a complete string, or anything particularly sensible for that matter!

prog.stdout = function(data)
    ngx.print(data)
    ngx.flush(true)
end

local res, err = prog('some-program')

Treat timeouts as non-errors

By default, sockexec treats a timeout as an error. You can disable this by setting the object's timeout_fatal key to false. Examples:

-- set timeout_fatal = false on the prog objects
prog.timeout_fatal = false

-- or, set it at calltime:
local res, err = prog({argv = {'cat'}, timeout_fatal = false})

But I actually want a shell!

Not a problem! You can just do something like:

local res, err = prog('bash','-c','echo $PATH')

Or if you want to run an entire script:

prog.stdin = script_data
local res, err = prog('bash')

-- this is roughly equivalent to running `bash < script` on the CLI

Daemonizing processes

I generally recommend against daemonizing processes - I think it's far better to use some kind of message queue and/or supervision system, so you can monitor processes, take actions on failure, and so on.

That said, if you want to spin off some process, you could use start-stop-daemon, ie:

local res, err = prog('start-stop-daemon','--pidfile','/dev/null','--background','--exec','/usr/bin/sleep', '--start','--','10')

will spawn sleep 10 as a detached background process.

If you don't want to deal with start-stop-daemon, I have a small utility for spawning a background program called idgaf, ie:

local res, err = prog('idgaf','sleep','10')

This will basically accomplish the same thing start-stop-daemon does without requiring a billion flags.

resty.exec.socket Usage

local exec_socket = require'resty.exec.socket'

-- you can specify timeout in milliseconds, optional
local client = exec_socket:new({ timeout = 60000 })

-- every new program instance requires a new
-- call to connect
local ok, err = client:connect('/tmp/exec.sock')

-- send program arguments, only accepts a table of
-- arguments
client:send_args({'cat'})

-- send data for stdin
client:send('hello there')

-- receive data
local data, typ, err = client:receive()

-- `typ` can be one of:
--    `stdout`   - data from the program's stdout
--    `stderr`   - data from the program's stderr
--    `exitcode` - the program's exit code
--    `termsig`  - if terminated via signal, what signal was used

-- if `err` is set, data and typ will be nil
-- common `err` values are `closed` and `timeout`
print(string.format('Received %s data: %s',typ,data)
-- will print 'Received stdout data: hello there'

client:send('hey this cat process is still running')
data, typ, err = client:receive()
print(string.format('Received %s data: %s',typ,data)
-- will print 'Received stdout data: hey this cat process is still running'

client:send_close() -- closes stdin
data, typ, err = client:receive()
print(string.format('Received %s data: %s',typ,data)
-- will print 'Received exitcode data: 0'

data, typ, err = client:receive()
print(err) -- will print 'closed'

client object methods:

  • ok, err = client:connect(path)

Connects via unix socket to the path given. If this is running in nginx, the unix: string will be prepended automatically.

  • bytes, err = client:send_args(args)

Sends a table of arguments to sockexec and starts the program.

  • bytes, err = client:send_data(data)

Sends data to the program's standard input

  • bytes, err = client:send(data)

Just a shortcut to client:send_data(data)

  • bytes, err = client:send_close()

Closes the program's standard input. You can also send an empty string, like client:send_data('')

  • data, typ, err = client:receive()

Receives data from the running process. typ indicates the type of data, which can be stdout, stderr, termsig, exitcode

err is typically either closed or timeout

  • client:close()

Forcefully closes the client connection

  • client:getfd()

A getfd method, useful if you want to monitor the underlying socket connection in a select loop

Some example nginx configs

Assuming you're running sockexec at /tmp/exec.sock

$ sockexec /tmp/exec.sock

Then in your nginx config:

location /uname-1 {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        local data,err = prog('uname')
        if(err) then
            ngx.say(err)
        else
            ngx.say(data.stdout)
        end
    }
}
location /uname-2 {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        prog.argv = { 'uname', '-a' }
        local data,err = prog()
        if(err) then
            ngx.say(err)
        else
            ngx.say(data.stdout)
        end
    }
}
location /cat-1 {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        prog.stdin = 'this is neat!'
        local data,err = prog('cat')
        if(err) then
            ngx.say(err)
        else
            ngx.say(data.stdout)
        end
    }
}
location /cat-2 {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        local data,err = prog({argv = 'cat', stdin = 'awesome'})
        if(err) then
            ngx.say(err)
        else
            ngx.say(data.stdout)
        end
    }
}
location /slow-print {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        prog.stdout = function(v)
            ngx.print(v)
            ngx.flush(true)
        end
        prog('/usr/local/bin/slow-print')
    }
    # look in `/misc` of this repo for `slow-print`
}
location /shell {
    content_by_lua_block {
        local prog = require'resty.exec'.new('/tmp/exec.sock')
        local data, err = prog('bash','-c','echo $PATH')
        if(err) then
            ngx.say(err)
        else
            ngx.say(data.stdout)
        end
    }
}

License

MIT license (see LICENSE)