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PROGRAM:

NAME


erl_call - Call/Start a Distributed Erlang Node

DESCRIPTION


erl_call makes it possible to start and/or communicate with a distributed Erlang node. It
is built upon the erl_interface library as an example application. Its purpose is to use
an Unix shell script to interact with a distributed Erlang node. It performs all
communication with the Erlang rex server, using the standard Erlang RPC facility. It does
not require any special software to be run at the Erlang target node.

The main use is to either start a distributed Erlang node or to make an ordinary function
call. However, it is also possible to pipe an Erlang module to erl_call and have it
compiled, or to pipe a sequence of Erlang expressions to be evaluated (similar to the
Erlang shell).

Options, which cause stdin to be read, can be used with advantage as scripts from within
(Unix) shell scripts. Another nice use of erl_call could be from (http) CGI-bin scripts.

EXPORTS


erl_call <options>

Each option flag is described below with its name, type and meaning.

-a [Mod [Fun [Args]]]]:
(optional): Applies the specified function and returns the result. Mod must be
specified, however start and [] are assumed for unspecified Fun and Args,
respectively. Args should be in the same format as for erlang:apply/3. Note
that this flag takes exactly one argument, so quoting may be necessary in order
to group Mod, Fun and Args, in a manner dependent on the behavior of your
command shell.

-c Cookie:
(optional): Use this option to specify a certain cookie. If no cookie is
specified, the ~/.erlang.cookie file is read and its content are used as
cookie. The Erlang node we want to communicate with must have the same cookie.

-d:
(optional): Debug mode. This causes all IO to be output to the file
~/.erl_call.out.Nodename, where Nodename is the node name of the Erlang node in
question.

-e:
(optional): Reads a sequence of Erlang expressions, separated by ',' and ended
with a '.', from stdin until EOF (Control-D). Evaluates the expressions and
returns the result from the last expression. Returns {ok,Result} if successful.

-h HiddenName:
(optional): Specifies the name of the hidden node that erl_call represents.

-m:
(optional): Reads an Erlang module from stdin and compiles it.

-n Node:
(one of -n, -name, -sname is required): Has the same meaning as -name and can
still be used for backwards compatibility reasons.

-name Node:
(one of -n, -name, -sname is required): Node is the name of the node to be
started or communicated with. It is assumed that Node is started with erl
-name, which means that fully qualified long node names are used. If the -s
option is given, an Erlang node will (if necessary) be started with erl -name.

-q:
(optional): Halts the Erlang node specified with the -n switch. This switch
overrides the -s switch.

-r:
(optional): Generates a random name of the hidden node that erl_call
represents.

-s:
(optional): Starts a distributed Erlang node if necessary. This means that in a
sequence of calls, where the '-s' and '-n Node' are constant, only the first
call will start the Erlang node. This makes the rest of the communication very
fast. This flag is currently only available on the Unix platform.

-sname Node:
(one of -n, -name, -sname is required): Node is the name of the node to be
started or communicated with. It is assumed that Node is started with erl
-sname which means that short node names are used. If -s option is given, an
Erlang node will be started (if necessary) with erl -sname.

-v:
(optional): Prints a lot of verbose information. This is only useful for the
developer and maintainer of erl_call.

-x ErlScript:
(optional): Specifies another name of the Erlang start-up script to be used. If
not specified, the standard erl start-up script is used.

EXAMPLES


Starts an Erlang node and calls erlang:time/0.

erl_call -s -a 'erlang time' -n madonna
{18,27,34}

Terminates an Erlang node by calling erlang:halt/0.

erl_call -s -a 'erlang halt' -n madonna

An apply with several arguments.

erl_call -s -a 'lists map [{math,sqrt},[1,4,9,16,25]]' -n madonna

Evaluates a couple of expressions. The input ends with EOF (Control-D).

erl_call -s -e -n madonna
statistics(runtime),
X=1,
Y=2,
{_,T}=statistics(runtime),
{X+Y,T}.
^D
{ok,{3,0}}

Compiles a module and runs it. Again, the input ends with EOF (Control-D). (In the example
shown, the output has been formatted afterwards).

erl_call -s -m -a lolita -n madonna
-module(lolita).
-compile(export_all).
start() ->
P = processes(),
F = fun(X) -> {X,process_info(X,registered_name)} end,
lists:map(F,[],P).
^D
[{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,0,0>,
{registered_name,init}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,2,0>,
{registered_name,erl_prim_loader}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,4,0>,
{registered_name,error_logger}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,5,0>,
{registered_name,application_controller}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,6,0>,
{registered_name,kernel}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,7,0>,
[]},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,8,0>,
{registered_name,kernel_sup}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,9,0>,
{registered_name,net_sup}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,10,0>,
{registered_name,net_kernel}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,11,0>,
[]},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,12,0>,
{registered_name,global_name_server}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,13,0>,
{registered_name,auth}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,14,0>,
{registered_name,rex}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,15,0>,
[]},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,16,0>,
{registered_name,file_server}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,17,0>,
{registered_name,code_server}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,20,0>,
{registered_name,user}},
{<madonna@chivas.du.etx.ericsson.se,38,0>,
[]}]

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