Starting processes in "FAKE - F# Make"

INFO

This documentation is for FAKE version 5.0 or later.

API-Reference CreateProcess API-Reference Proc API-Reference Process

Just start a process

You can either use a list of arguments:

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CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe" ["arg1"; "arg2"]
|> Proc.run // start with the above configuration
|> ignore // ignore exit code

// Or

[ "arg1"; "arg2"
  "arg3" ]
|> CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe"
|> CreateProcess.withWorkingDirectory "./folder"
|> Proc.run
|> ignore

Or a properly escaped command line:

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CreateProcess.fromRawWindowsCommandLine "./folder/mytool.exe" "arg1 arg2 arg3"
|> Proc.run // start with the above configuration
|> ignore // ignore exit code

Evaluate exit code

The most obvious way is:

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let result =
    [ "arg1"; "arg2"; "arg3" ]
    |> CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe"
    |> Proc.run

if result.ExitCode <> 0 then failwith "Command failed"

To simplify your life you can "embed" the return code check into the CreateProcess instance (which allows to pass the instance through your application and fail appropriately):

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[ "arg1"; "arg2"; "arg3" ]
|> CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe"
|> CreateProcess.ensureExitCode // will make sure to throw on error
|> Proc.run
|> ignore

// The above is roughly equivalent to the following (which you can copy and edit to customize):

[ "arg1"; "arg2"; "arg3" ]
|> CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe"
|> CreateProcess.addOnExited (fun data exitCode ->
    if exitCode <> 0 then
        // TODO: throw your own exception here
        failwithf "Process exit code '%d' <> 0. Command Line: %s" exitCode r.CommandLine
    else
        data)
|> Proc.run
|> ignore

Different ways to "run" or "start"

The basic difference between "start" and "run" is:

  • "start" starts the process and returns after the process is started. This usually means the process is still running.
  • "run" waits for the started process to exit and returns the result.

The different ways to start or run a process are documented here.

Running a command and analyse results

Whatever processing option you choose in all cases you need to start process redirection:

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let result =
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe" ["arg1"; "arg2"]
    |> CreateProcess.redirectOutput
    |> Proc.run

This immediately changes the type of result, now you can access the output:

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if result.ExitCode <> 0 then
    printfn "%s" result.Result.Output
    failwithf "FAKE Process exited with %d: %s" result.ExitCode result.Result.Error
let output = result.Result.Output
// Parse output?

But even better you can make the 'process-call' type safe for others, by parsing the output:

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type MySafeOutput = // ...
let parseOutput (r:ProcessResult<ProcessOutput>) : MySafeOutput =
    // use r.Result.Output, r.ExitCode and create MySafeOutput
let startProcess () (*args*)=
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe" ["arg1"; "arg2"]
    |> CreateProcess.redirectOutput
    |> CreateProcess.ensureExitCode // optional, if your parse function can handle output from failures as well
    |> CreateProcess.map parseOutput

// Usage:
let myOutput : MySafeOutput =
    startProcess()
        |> Proc.run

Additionally sometimes you need/want asynchronous results to have intermediate results. For example if you want that the user continuously "sees" the output as the process generates it:

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let output =
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "./folder/mytool.exe" ["arg1"; "arg2"]
    |> CreateProcess.redirectOutput
    |> CreateProcess.withOutputEventsNotNull Trace.trace Trace.traceError
    |> Proc.run

// "process" output

Advanced usage scenarios

Redirect output from one process outgen.exe to processIn.exe:

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let input = StreamRef.Empty
let p1 =
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "processIn.exe" []
    |> CreateProcess.withStandardInput (CreatePipe input)
    |> Proc.start

let p2 =
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommand "outgen.exe" []
    |> CreateProcess.withStandardOutput (UseStream(false, input.Value))
    |> Proc.run
val ignore : value:'T -> unit
val result : obj
val failwith : message:string -> 'T
val failwithf : format:Printf.StringFormat<'T,'Result> -> 'T
val printfn : format:Printf.TextWriterFormat<'T> -> 'T
val output : obj
type MySafeOutput
val parseOutput : r:'a -> MySafeOutput
val r : 'a
val startProcess : (unit -> 'b)
val myOutput : MySafeOutput
val input : obj
val p1 : obj
val p2 : obj