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FileSystem Provider

Updated: September 15, 2010

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0

PROVIDER NAME

FileSystem

DRIVES

C, D

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Provides access to files and directories.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The Windows PowerShell FileSystem provider lets you get, add, change, clear, and delete files and directories in Windows PowerShell.

The FileSystem provider exposes Windows PowerShell drives that correspond to the logical drives on your computer, including drives that are mapped to network shares. This lets you reference these drives from within Windows PowerShell.

The FileSystem provider lets you refer to files and folders in Windows PowerShell in the same way that you refer to them in Windows.

To refer to a drive, specify the drive name followed by a colon. Like most of Windows PowerShell, the FileSystem provider is not case-sensitive. For example, to get the files and folders on the C drive, you refer to the "C:" drive or the "c:" drive.

A fully qualified name includes the drive name, followed by a colon, any directory and subdirectory names, and the file name (when applicable). Each element of the fully qualified name must be separated either by a backslash (\) or a forward slash (/).

The following example shows the fully qualified name for the Shell.dll file in the System32 subdirectory of the Windows directory on the C drive:

C:\Windows\System32\shell.dll

If any element in the fully qualified name includes spaces, you must enclose the name in quotation marks.

For example,

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"

The current location in the file system is represented by a dot or period character (.)

For example, the current location is the C:\Windows\System32 directory, then you can refer to the Shell.dll file in that directory as the following:

.\Shell.dll

To use the FileSystem provider to view and manage files and folders, use the provider cmdlets, such as Get-ChildItem ("dir", "ls") and Set-Location ("cd"). Windows PowerShell also includes a "mkdir" function (alias = "md") that uses the New-Item cmdlet to create a new directory.

CAPABILITIES

Filter, ShouldProcess

EXAMPLES

Splitting a Large File

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

By default, the Get-Content cmdlet uses the end-of-line character as its delimiter, so it gets a file as a collection of strings, with each line as one string in the file.

You can use the Delimiter parameter to specify an alternate delimiter. If you set it to the characters that denote the end of a section or the beginning of the next section, you can split the file into logical parts.

The first command gets the Employees.txt file and splits it into sections, each of which ends with the words "End of Employee Record" and it saves it in the $e variable.

The second command uses array notation to get the first item in the collection in $e. It uses an index of 0, because Windows PowerShell arrays are zero-based.

For more information about arrays, see about_Arrays.

$e = get-content c:\test\employees.txt -delimited "End Of Employee Record"

$e[0]

Navigating the File System

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command gets the current location:

get-location

The Get-Location cmdlet includes the functionality of commands like the cd command in the Windows Command Prompt and the pwd command in UNIX. For more information, type: get-help get-location

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command sets the current location:

set-location C:

Getting File and Directory Information

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command gets all the files and directories in the current directory:

get-childitem

By default, the Get-ChildItem cmdlet does not recurse. If files and folders are present in the current directory when you run this command, a System.IO.FileInfo object and a System.IO.DirectoryInfo object are returned.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command gets all the files in the current directory:

get-childitem | where-object {!$_.psiscontainer}

The command uses the Get-ChildItem cmdlet to get all files and directories. It pipes the results to the Where-Object cmdlet, which selects only the objects that are not (!) containers.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 3 --------------------------

The command uses the Get-ChildItem cmdlet to get all files and directories. It pipes the results to Where-Object, which select only the objects that are containers.

get-childitem | where-object {$_.psiscontainer}

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 4 --------------------------

This command displays the properties of a directory:

get-item -path c:\ps-test | format-list -property *

The command uses the Path parameter of the Get-Item cmdlet to get the C:\ps-test directory. It pipes the directory object to the Format-List cmdlet, which displays all (*) the properties and values of the directory in a list.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 5 --------------------------

This command displays the properties of a file:

get-item -path test.txt | format-list -property *

The command uses the Path parameter of the Get-Item cmdlet to get the test.txt file. It pipes the file object to the Format-List cmdlet, which displays all (*) the properties and values of the file in a list.

Copying Files and Directories

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command copies the A.txt file from the C:\A directory to the C:\A\Bb directory:

copy-item -path C:\a\a.txt -destination C:\a\bb\a.txt

It overwrites files in the destination directory without prompting for confirmation.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command copies all the files in the C:\A\Bb directory that have the .txt file name extension to the C:\A\Cc\Ccc\ directory:

copy-item -path C:\a\bb\*.txt -destination C:\a\cc\ccc\

It uses the original names of the files. The command overwrites the existing files in the destination directory without prompting for confirmation.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 3 --------------------------

Copies all the directories and files in the C:\a directory to the C:\c directory. If any of the directories to copy already exist in the destination directory, the command will fail unless you specify the Force parameter.

copy-item -path C:\a\* -destination C:\c -recurse

Moving Files and Directories

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command moves the C.txt file in the C:\A directory to the C:\A\Aa directory:

move-item -path C:\a\c.txt -destination C:\a\aa

The command will not automatically overwrite an existing file that has the same name. To force the cmdlet to overwrite an existing file, specify the Force parameter.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command moves the C:\A directory and all its contents to the C:\B directory:

move-item -path C:\a -destination C:\b

You cannot move a directory when that directory is the current location.

Managing File Content

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command appends the "test content" string to the Test.txt file:

add-content -path test.txt -value "test content"

The existing content in the Test.txt file is not deleted.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command gets the contents of the Test.txt file and displays them in the console:

get-content -path test.txt

You can pipe the contents of the file to another cmdlet. For example, the following command reads the contents of the Test.txt file and then supplies them as input to the ConvertTo-HTML cmdlet: get-content -path test.txt | convertto-html

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 3 --------------------------

This command replaces the contents of the Test.txt file with the "test content" string:

set-content -path test.txt -value "test content"

It overwrites the contents of Test.txt. You can use the Value parameter of the New-Item cmdlet to add content to a file when you create it.

Managing Security Descriptors

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command returns a System.Security.AccessControl.FileSecurity object:

get-acl -path test.txt | format-list -property *

For more information about this object, pipe the command to the Get-Member cmdlet. Or, see "FileSecurity Class" in the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) library at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=145718.

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command returns a System.Security.AccessControl.DirectorySecurity object:

get-acl -path test_directory | format-list -property *

For more information about this object, pipe the command to the Get-Member cmdlet. Or, see "DirectorySecurity Class" in the MSDN library at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=145736.

Creating Files and Directories

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command creates the Logfiles directory on the C drive:

new-item -path c:\ -name logfiles -type directory

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command creates the Log2.txt file in the C:\Logfiles directory and then adds the "test log" string to the file:

new-item -path c:\logfiles -name log.txt -type file

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 3 --------------------------

Creates a file called Log2.txt in the C:\logfiles directory and adds the string "test log" to the file.

new-item -path c:\logfiles -name log2.txt -type file -value "test log"

Renaming Files and Directories

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command renames the A.txt file in the C:\A directory to B.txt:

rename-item -path c:\a\a.txt -newname b.txt

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command renames the C:\A\Cc directory to C:\A\Dd:

rename-item -path c:\a\cc -newname dd

Deleting Files and Directories

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command deletes the Test.txt file in the current directory:

remove-item -path test.txt

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command deletes all the files in the current directory that have the .xml file name extension:

remove-item -path *.xml

Starting a Program by Invoking an Associated File

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

The first command uses the Get-Service cmdlet to get information about local services.

It pipes the information to the Export-Csv cmdlet and then stores that information in the Services.csv file.

The second command uses Invoke-Item to open the Services.csv file in the program associated with the .csv extension:

get-service | export-csv -path services.csv

invoke-item -path services.csv

DYNAMIC PARAMETERS

Dynamic parameters are cmdlet parameters that are added by a Windows PowerShell provider and are available only when the cmdlet is being used in the provider-enabled drive.

Encoding <Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.FileSystemCmdletProviderEncoding>

Specifies the file encoding. The default is ASCII.

 

Value Description

Unknown

The encoding type is unknown or invalid. The data can be treated as binary.

String

Uses the encoding type for a string.

Unicode

Encodes in UTF-16 format using the little-endian byte order.

Byte

Encodes a set of characters into a sequence of bytes.

BigEndianUnicode

Encodes in UTF-16 format using the big-endian byte order.

UTF8

Encodes in UTF-8 format.

UTF7

Encodes in UTF-7 format.

ASCII

Uses the encoding for the ASCII (7-bit) character set.

Cmdlets supported:

Delimiter <System.String>

Specifies the delimiter that Get-Content uses to divide the file into objects while it reads.

The default is "\n", the end-of-line character.

Therefore, by default, when reading a text file, Get-Content returns a collection of string objects, each of which ends with an end-of-line character.

When you enter a delimiter that does not exist in the file, Get-Content returns the entire file as a single, undelimited object.

You can use this parameter to split a large file into smaller files by specifying a file separator, such as "End of Example", as the delimiter. The delimiter is preserved (not discarded) and becomes the last item in each file section.

Troubleshooting Note: Currently, when the value of the Delimiter parameter is an empty string, Get-Content does not return anything. This is a known issue. To force Get-Content to return the entire file as a single, undelimited string, enter a value that does not exist in the file.

Cmdlets supported:

Wait <System.Management.Automation.SwitchParameter>

Waits for content to be appended to the file. If content is appended, it returns the appended content. If the content has changed, it returns the entire file.

When waiting, Get-Content checks the file once each second until you interrupt it, such as by pressing CTRL+C.

Cmdlets supported:

See Also

Concepts

about_Providers

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