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Is it possible to run a Unix command using a query in Oracle?

I want to run simple commands (like df -h) using a query.

Is this at all possible or am I wasting my time? I don't want to use a different language like Java or C to call a procedure, it needs to purely PL/SQL.

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Have you seen DBMS_SCHEDULER yet? – dezso Oct 30 '12 at 9:50

You can use the DBMS_Scheduler

program_name => 'testScript',
program_type => 'EXECUTABLE',
program_action => '/home/someone/scripts/',
number_of_arguments => 0,
enabled => TRUE,
comments => 'Just a Test'

and a little hosekeeping:

exec DBMS_SCHEDULER.drop_program(PROGRAM_NAME => 'testScript');
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I just want to share an alternative approach for calling operating system commands. In this approach a simple web-service interface is set up for calling OS commands from SQL or PL/SQL. Details about this approach can be found here.

Using the same approach, a step-by-step description of how to invoke SQL*Loader from SQL is described here.

Please note that in the above approach the web-service is defined in Python. Python comes pre-installed with most common Linux distributions (including Oracle Linux), however if you are on a Windows platform you may need to install Python 2.7.3

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That's pretty crazy. You "command checks" that's supposed to restrict the security hole you're opening isn't effective at all given your use of shell=True. And the sql*loader thing is really perplexing - an external table is both much simpler and much more secure. (I'll not even comment about the required clear-text password in there.) – Mat Jan 20 '13 at 9:59
Thanks for highlighting the security flaw. I have fixed the issue by setting shell=False. Regarding External Table option i would say that it may be the best option in sc – Moiz Jan 20 '13 at 11:47
Regarding External Table option i think it is not the preferred option in every scenario. There are cases where sqlloader is used directly from command shell. So what i have discussed is just an another way of invoking the sqlloader. Clear-text password issue may be mitigated by saving the username/password in the parameter file that can be specified in parFile option. – Moiz Jan 20 '13 at 12:19
There are cases where sql*loader is used directly from command shell. Sure. What does that have to do with your blog post or this question though? If you're inside Oracle PL/SQL, use PL/SQL or external tables to do it. – Mat Jan 20 '13 at 12:21

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