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Shell Commands

You may be in a situation where you need to execute shell commands in your android app. The solutions below would be useful to you in that case.

(a). Use Ktsh

It is a library allowing you to Execute shell commands on Android or the JVM.

Install Ktsh

There are two ways of installing this library:

First, you can install Ktsh by adding the following implementation statement to your app-level build.gradle file:

implementation 'com.jaredrummler:ktsh:1.0.0'

Another approach is simply to copy the Shell.kt file and add it to your project.

Step 2: Write Code

Start by creating a Shell:

val shell = Shell("sh")                       ```
Then invoke the `run()` method passing in shell command you want executed as a string:
val result ="echo 'Hello, World!'") 

You can check for the success/failure of the result as follows:

if (result.isSuccess) {                         // check if the exit-code was 0
    println(result.stdout())                    // prints "Hello, World!"

Here are alternative ways of constructing a shell instance:

// Construct a new shell instance with additional environment variables
val shell = Shell("sh", "USER" to "Chuck Norris", "ENV_VAR" to "VALUE")

// Construct a new shell instance with path to the shell:
val bash = Shell("/bin/bash")

Execute a command and get the result:

val shell = Shell.SH
val result: Shell.Command.Result \="ls")

A `Shell.Command.Result` contains the following:

  • `stdout`: A list of lines read from the standard input stream.
  • `stderr`: A list of lines read from the standard error stream.
  • `exitCode`: The exit status from running the command.
  • `details`: Additional information (start, stop, elapsed time, id, command)

To add a callback when the stdout or stderr is read

shell.addOnStderrLineListener(object : Shell.OnLineListener {
  override fun onLine(line: String) {
      // do something

To add a callback that is invoked each time a command comletes:

shell.addOnCommandResultListener(object : Shell.OnCommandResultListener {
  override fun onResult(result: Shell.Command.Result) {
    // do something with the result


There is a full example here. If you run the example you will get the following:

Kotlin Android Execute Shell Commands


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