Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Start and stop a console application using C#

Start a console application:

System.Diagnostics.Process aspProcess = null;
private void start_console_app()
                string pathToExe = @"<<Path to the exe >> ";
                if (aspProcess == null)
                    aspProcess = new System.Diagnostics.Process();
                //Path and file name of command to run
                aspProcess.StartInfo.FileName = pathToExe;
                aspProcess.StartInfo.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;

                //Parameters to pass to program
                aspProcess.StartInfo.Arguments = "<<arguments you want to pass>>";

                aspProcess.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = true;
                aspProcess.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;

                //Start the process

                //Wait for process to finish
                aspProcess = null;
            catch (Exception ex)

1. For starting a console application, you would need to create an object of class "System.Diagnostics.Process".
2. "FileName" is the path of the exe (console application).
3.  "Arguments" - It will send arguments to your console application.
4.  ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden will hide the console window.
5. Start () method will start the process.

Stop a console application by sending "Control + C" Signal:

public void stop_console_app()
            // Release the current console, as you cannot attach 2 consoles at the same time
            if (aspProcess != null)
                uint pid = (uint)aspProcess.Id;

                // This does not require the console window to be visible.
                if (AttachConsole(pid))
                    // Disable Ctrl-C handling for our program
                    SetConsoleCtrlHandler(null, true);
                    GenerateConsoleCtrlEvent(CtrlTypes.CTRL_C_EVENT, 0);

                    // Must wait here. If we don't and re-enable Ctrl-C
                    // handling below too fast, we might terminate ourselves.


                    // Re-enable Ctrl-C handling or any subsequently started
                    // programs will inherit the disabled state.
                    SetConsoleCtrlHandler(null, false);

You can add "Console_CancelKeyPress" event in your console application to nicely terminate it. If you want to call this method from another application (from where you've started your console application), add the above method.

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