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Stream Class

Provides a generic view of a sequence of bytes.

Namespace:  System.IO
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute]
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public abstract class Stream : MarshalByRefObject, 
	IDisposable

The Stream type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryStreamInitializes a new instance of the Stream class.
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  NameDescription
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryCanReadWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports reading.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryCanSeekWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports seeking.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryCanTimeoutGets a value that determines whether the current stream can time out.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryCanWriteWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports writing.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryLengthWhen overridden in a derived class, gets the length in bytes of the stream.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryPositionWhen overridden in a derived class, gets or sets the position within the current stream.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadTimeoutGets or sets a value, in miliseconds, that determines how long the stream will attempt to read before timing out.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteTimeoutGets or sets a value, in miliseconds, that determines how long the stream will attempt to write before timing out.
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  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryBeginReadBegins an asynchronous read operation.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryBeginWriteBegins an asynchronous write operation.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkCloseCloses the current stream and releases any resources (such as sockets and file handles) associated with the current stream.
Public methodCopyTo(Stream)Reads the bytes from the current stream and writes them to the destination stream.
Public methodCopyTo(Stream, Int32)Reads all the bytes from the current stream and writes them to a destination stream, using a specified buffer size.
Public methodCreateObjRefCreates an object that contains all the relevant information required to generate a proxy used to communicate with a remote object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkCreateWaitHandle Obsolete. Allocates a WaitHandle object.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryDispose()Releases all resources used by the Stream.
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryDispose(Boolean)Releases the unmanaged resources used by the Stream and optionally releases the managed resources.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryEndReadWaits for the pending asynchronous read to complete.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryEndWriteEnds an asynchronous write operation.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryFinalizeAllows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryFlushWhen overridden in a derived class, clears all buffers for this stream and causes any buffered data to be written to the underlying device.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetLifetimeServiceRetrieves the current lifetime service object that controls the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodInitializeLifetimeServiceObtains a lifetime service object to control the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryMemberwiseClone()Creates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseClone(Boolean)Creates a shallow copy of the current MarshalByRefObject object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodObjectInvariantInfrastructure. Provides support for a Contract.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadWhen overridden in a derived class, reads a sequence of bytes from the current stream and advances the position within the stream by the number of bytes read.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryReadByteReads a byte from the stream and advances the position within the stream by one byte, or returns -1 if at the end of the stream.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySeekWhen overridden in a derived class, sets the position within the current stream.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySetLengthWhen overridden in a derived class, sets the length of the current stream.
Public methodStatic memberSynchronizedCreates a thread-safe (synchronized) wrapper around the specified Stream object.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteWhen overridden in a derived class, writes a sequence of bytes to the current stream and advances the current position within this stream by the number of bytes written.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryWriteByteWrites a byte to the current position in the stream and advances the position within the stream by one byte.
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  NameDescription
Public fieldStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryNullA Stream with no backing store.
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Streams involve three fundamental operations:

  1. You can read from streams. Reading is the transfer of data from a stream into a data structure, such as an array of bytes.

  2. You can write to streams. Writing is the transfer of data from a data structure into a stream.

  3. Streams can support seeking. Seeking is the querying and modifying of the current position within a stream. Seek capability depends on the kind of backing store a stream has. For example, network streams have no unified concept of a current position, and therefore typically do not support seeking.

Stream is the abstract base class of all streams. A stream is an abstraction of a sequence of bytes, such as a file, an input/output device, an inter-process communication pipe, or a TCP/IP socket. The Stream class and its derived classes provide a generic view of these different types of input and output, isolating the programmer from the specific details of the operating system and the underlying devices.

Depending on the underlying data source or repository, streams might support only some of these capabilities. An application can query a stream for its capabilities by using the CanRead, CanWrite, and CanSeek properties.

The Read and Write methods read and write data in a variety of formats. For streams that support seeking, use the Seek and SetLength methods and the Position and Length properties to query and modify the current position and length of a stream.

Some stream implementations perform local buffering of the underlying data to improve performance. For such streams, the Flush method can be used to clear any internal buffers and ensure that all data has been written to the underlying data source or repository.

Calling Close on a Stream flushes any buffered data, essentially calling Flush for you. Close also releases operating system resources such as file handles, network connections, or memory used for any internal buffering. The BufferedStream class provides the capability of wrapping a buffered stream around another stream in order to improve read and write performance.

If you need a stream with no backing store (also known as a bit bucket), use Null.

Notes to Implementers

When implementing a derived class of Stream, you must provide implementations for the Read and Write methods. The asynchronous methods BeginRead, EndRead, BeginWrite, and EndWrite are implemented through the synchronous methods Read and Write. Similarly, your implementations of Read and Write will work correctly with the asynchronous methods. The default implementations of ReadByte and WriteByte create a new single-element byte array, and then call your implementations of Read and Write. When deriving from Stream, if you have an internal byte buffer, it is strongly recommended that you override these methods to access your internal buffer for substantially better performance. You must also provide implementations of CanRead, CanSeek, CanWrite, Flush, Length, Position, Seek, and SetLength.

Do not override the Close method, instead, put all of the Stream cleanup logic in the Dispose method. For more information, see Implementing a Dispose Method.

TopicLocation
How to: Write Text to a File.NET Framework: Programming Fundamentals
How to: Read Text from a File.NET Framework: Programming Fundamentals
How to: Write Text to a File.NET Framework: Programming Fundamentals
How to: Read Text from a File.NET Framework: Programming Fundamentals
How to: Write Text to a File

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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