C# Code Snippet - Execute Shell Commands from .Net

C# Code Snippet - Execute Shell Commands from .Net

C# Code Snippet - Execute Shell Commands from .Net

(C-Sharp) C# code snippet creates a command process and then invokes the command that we want to execute. The result of the command and any errors occurred during execution is stored in a string variables. This is a great method to execute your DOS commands from .Net.

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C# Code Snippet - Execute Shell Commands from .Net

This .Net C# code snippet executes a shell command. To use this function simply provide the file/command to execute, command line parameters (optional), string variable to store output and string variable to store errors occurred during execution.

The code creates a command process and then invokes the command that we want to execute. The result of the command and any errors occurred during execution is stored in a string variables, which can then be used for further reference. This is a great method to execute your DOS commands from .Net.

/// <summary>
/// Execute a shell command
/// </summary>
/// <param name="_FileToExecute">File/Command to execute</param>
/// <param name="_CommandLine">Command line parameters to pass</param> 
/// <param name="_outputMessage">returned string value after executing shell command</param> 
/// <param name="_errorMessage">Error messages generated during shell execution</param> 
public void ExecuteShellCommand(string _FileToExecute, string _CommandLine, ref string _outputMessage, ref string _errorMessage)
{
    // Set process variable
    // Provides access to local and remote processes and enables you to start and stop local system processes.
    System.Diagnostics.Process _Process = null;
    try
    {
        _Process = new System.Diagnostics.Process();

        // invokes the cmd process specifying the command to be executed.
        string _CMDProcess = string.Format(System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, @"{0}\cmd.exe", new object[] { Environment.SystemDirectory });

        // pass executing file to cmd (Windows command interpreter) as a arguments
        // /C tells cmd that we want it to execute the command that follows, and then exit.
        string _Arguments = string.Format(System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, "/C {0}", new object[] { _FileToExecute });
        
        // pass any command line parameters for execution
        if (_CommandLine != null && _CommandLine.Length > 0)
        {
            _Arguments += string.Format(System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, " {0}", new object[] { _CommandLine, System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture });
        }

        // Specifies a set of values used when starting a process.
        System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo _ProcessStartInfo = new System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo(_CMDProcess, _Arguments);
        // sets a value indicating not to start the process in a new window. 
        _ProcessStartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;
        // sets a value indicating not to use the operating system shell to start the process. 
        _ProcessStartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
        // sets a value that indicates the output/input/error of an application is written to the Process.
        _ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardOutput = true;
        _ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardInput = true;
        _ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardError = true;
        _Process.StartInfo = _ProcessStartInfo;

        // Starts a process resource and associates it with a Process component.
        _Process.Start();

        // Instructs the Process component to wait indefinitely for the associated process to exit.
        _errorMessage = _Process.StandardError.ReadToEnd();
        _Process.WaitForExit();

        // Instructs the Process component to wait indefinitely for the associated process to exit.
        _outputMessage = _Process.StandardOutput.ReadToEnd();
        _Process.WaitForExit();
    }
    catch (Win32Exception _Win32Exception)
    {
        // Error
        Console.WriteLine("Win32 Exception caught in process: {0}", _Win32Exception.ToString());
    }
    catch (Exception _Exception)
    {
        // Error
        Console.WriteLine("Exception caught in process: {0}", _Exception.ToString());
    }
    finally
    {
        // close process and do cleanup
        _Process.Close();
        _Process.Dispose();
        _Process = null;
    }
}


Here is a simple example showing how to use above function (ExecuteShellCommand) to execute a simple DOS dir command and show output result in a richtextbox.

string _Output = null;
string _Error = null;

ExecuteShellCommand("dir", "c:\\", ref _Output, ref _Error);

richTextBox1.Text = _Output;


This example shows how to use above method to execute DOS del command to delete all the ZIP files in c:\temp folder using .Net.
/F - Force deleting of read-only files.
/Q - Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to delete on global wildcard.

string _Output = null;
string _Error = null;

ExecuteShellCommand("del", "/F /Q c:\\temp\\*.zip", ref _Output, ref _Error);


C# Keywords Used:

  • Process
  • Format
  • ProcessStartInfo
  • Environment
  • SystemDirectory
  • InvariantCulture
  • Win32Exception
  • Exception

Code Snippet Information:

  • Applies To: .Net, C#, CLI, Shell Execute from .Net, DOS, System Processes, Execute DOS Commands from .Net, Redirect Standard Output, Windows command interpreter
  • Programming Language : C# (C-Sharp)

External Resources:

nithya :: February 09-2010 :: 07:56 AM

Alignment is not proper.

Very difficult to read the code in the RHS(right hand side)

Montu :: October 18-2010 :: 04:55 AM

this is really useful code to work with shell command...

it's great
:)

Saurabh :: November 11-2010 :: 11:10 AM

excellent code with error trapping.

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