I am testing the shell escape option, but I am stuck on a very early level -trying to do: \input{|"time /t"}}. My pdfLaTeX is complaining:

! LaTeX Error: File `|"time /t".tex' not found.

As far as I know (from other answer):

When shell escape is active and the primitive \input finds a |, it accepts as input the standard output of the following shell command.

I do not understand why \input is interpreting the command as file name in my case, as it is prepended with |.

My test code:


\title{Shell escape test}


Current time: \input{|"time /t"}


I tried running the code with both --shell-escape and --enable-write18.

Using pdfLaTeX version: MiKTeX-pdfTeX 2.9.6354 (1.40.18)

1 Answer 1


With miktex you need the options --enable-pipes --shell-escape for this.

  • That's the option I needed. Thanks! For some reason on other PC with MikTeX installed this worked with just --shell-escape.
    – MaciekS
    Jan 9, 2019 at 15:49

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