Execute operating system command and return output
status = system(command) calls the operating system to execute the specified command. The operation waits for the command to finish execution before returning the exit status of the command to the status variable.
On a Windows® system, display the current folder using the cd command.
command = 'cd'; [status,cmdout] = system(command)
status = 0 cmdout = C:\matlab\myfiles
A status of zero indicates that the command completed successfully. MATLAB returns a string containing the current folder in cmdout.
List all users who are currently logged in, and save the command exit status and output. Then, view the status.
command = 'who'; [status,cmdout] = system(command); status
status = 0
A status of zero indicates that the command completed successfully. MATLAB returns a string containing the list of users in cmdout.
Command exit status, returned as either 0 or a nonzero integer. When the command is successful, status is 0. Otherwise, status is a nonzero integer.
If command includes the ampersand character (&), then status is the exit status upon command launch.
If command does not include the ampersand character (&), then status is the exit status upon command completion.
Output of the operating system command, returned as a string.
DOS does not support UNC path names. Therefore, if the current folder uses a UNC path name, then running system with a DOS command that relies on the current folder fails. To work around this limitation, change the folder to a mapped drive before calling system.
To execute the operating system command in the background, include the trailing character, &, in the command argument (for example, 'notepad &' on a Windows platform, or 'emacs &' on UNIX®). The exit status is immediately returned to the status variable. This syntax is useful for console programs that require interactive user command input while they run, and that do not run correctly in the MATLAB Command Window.
On a UNIX system, the system function redirects stdin to the invoked command, command, by default. This redirection also forwards MATLAB script commands and the keyboard type-ahead buffer to the invoked command while the system function executes. This can lead to corrupted output when system does not complete execution immediately. To disable stdin and type-ahead redirection, include the formatted string < /dev/null in the call to the invoked command.
On UNIX, MATLAB uses a shell program to execute the given command. It determines which shell program to use by checking environment variables on your system. MATLAB first checks the MATLAB_SHELL variable, and if either empty or not defined, then checks SHELL. If SHELL is also empty or not defined, MATLAB uses /bin/sh.