Dec 15

The Runtime class has an availableProcessors method that returns the number of processors available to the JVM.

int processors = Runtime.getRuntime().availableProcessors();

The value may change during the execution of your application, so poll regularly if your application is dependant on the number of processors available.

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Mar 24

You need to read any output from standard output or standard error when running a process using Runtime.exec(). If you don’t the buffers may fill up causing the process to lock up.

The following code can be used to handle reading the process output, and the linked article provides a lot of great insight into the correct usage of Runtime.exec().

/** code copied from
 *  When Runtime.exec() won't: Navigate yourself around pitfalls
 *  related to the Runtime.exec() method
 *  @author Michael Daconta
import java.util.*;

class StreamGobbler extends Thread
    InputStream is;
    String type;
    OutputStream os;
    StreamGobbler(InputStream is, String type)
        this(is, type, null);

    StreamGobbler(InputStream is, String type, OutputStream redirect)
    { = is;
        this.type = type;
        this.os = redirect;
    /** creates readers to handle the text created by the external program
    public void run()
            PrintWriter pw = null;
            if (os != null)
                pw = new PrintWriter(os);
            InputStreamReader isr = new InputStreamReader(is);
            BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(isr);
            String line=null;
            while ( (line = br.readLine()) != null)
                if (pw != null)
                System.out.println(type + ">" + line);    
            if (pw != null)
        } catch (IOException ioe)

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