How to Use The Envoy Wrapper

About Envoy

Recently I stumble upon Envoy. Envoy is a wrapper around the subprocess module and
is supposed to humanize subprocess of Python.

Its written by Kenneth Reitz (the author of “Requests: HTTP for Humans“)

Why use Envoy?

It was written to be an easy to use alternative to subprocess.

“Envoy: Python Subprocesses for Humans.”

Install Envoy

Envoy is available from PyPI and can be installed with pip.

Search for the Envoy package via the pip command-line tool.

pip search envoy

” envoy – Simple API for running external processes. “Install Envoy

$ pip install envoy

Import Envoy

Just like with any other Python modules, we have to import them first.

Start your Python interpreter and type “import envoy”

import envoy

Great, Envoy is imported, now we can start to discover its functions etc.

Envoy Methods and Attributes

After you have imported a module in Python, it’s always good to see what functions, classes and methods that the module provides. One way of doing that is using “dir(envoy)”.

Using dir(module)

That will list the names of all functions and variables, that are defined in the Envoy module.

>>> dir(envoy)

That will give you an output like this:

['Command', 'ConnectedCommand', 'Response', '__builtins__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__name__', '__package__', '__path__', '__version__', 'connect', 'core', 'expand_args', 'os', 'run', 'shlex', 'subprocess', 'threading’]

If you want to get one name per line, just run a simple for loop:

>>> for i in dir(envoy): print i

This output shows you one name per line:


You can also use “help(envoy)” to get the documentation on all the functions.

Envoy Usage

Let’s take a look at the “run” method for Envoy.

To check the uptime of our machine, we can use the “uptime” command.

r ="uptime”)

Standard Output

To see the output, we add “std_out”:

>>> r.std_out
'15:11 up 6 days, 1:04, 3 users, load averages: 0.55 0.57 0.61

Status Code

To get the status code, add “status_code” to your object.

print r.status_code


Run a command, get the response:

>>> print r

Standard Error

To get the standard error, add “std_err”.



Get history.

[<response 'uptime'="">]

Envoy Examples

Check for the Chrome process

r ="ps aux |grep Chrome")
print r.std_out

In our last example, I make use of multiple commands.

import envoy

cmd = ['date', "uptime", "w"]

r =

print r.std_out

Get the status code of all commands

import envoy

cmd = ['date', "uptime", "w"]

for command in cmd:
    r =
    print r.status_code

Get the status code + the output of each command

import envoy

cmd = ['date', "uptime", "w"]

for command in cmd:
    r =
    print r.status_code, r.std_out

Envoy has become my main library to handle external command calls.

It was written to be an easy to use alternative to subprocess and the convenience of is really great.

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