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Enumerable.Distinct<TSource> Method (IEnumerable<TSource>, IEqualityComparer<TSource>)

Returns distinct elements from a sequence by using a specified IEqualityComparer<T> to compare values.

Namespace:  System.Linq
Assembly:  System.Core (in System.Core.dll)

public static IEnumerable<TSource> Distinct<TSource>(
	this IEnumerable<TSource> source,
	IEqualityComparer<TSource> comparer
)

Type Parameters

TSource

The type of the elements of source.

Parameters

source
Type: System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable<TSource>
The sequence to remove duplicate elements from.
comparer
Type: System.Collections.Generic.IEqualityComparer<TSource>
An IEqualityComparer<T> to compare values.

Return Value

Type: System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable<TSource>
An IEnumerable<T> that contains distinct elements from the source sequence.

Usage Note

In Visual Basic and C#, you can call this method as an instance method on any object of type IEnumerable<TSource>. When you use instance method syntax to call this method, omit the first parameter.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentNullException

source is null.

This method is implemented by using deferred execution. The immediate return value is an object that stores all the information that is required to perform the action. The query represented by this method is not executed until the object is enumerated either by calling its GetEnumerator method directly or by using foreach in Visual C# or For Each in Visual Basic.

The Distinct<TSource>(IEnumerable<TSource>, IEqualityComparer<TSource>) method returns an unordered sequence that contains no duplicate values. If comparer is null, the default equality comparer, Default, is used to compare values.

The following example shows how to implement an equality comparer that can be used in the Distinct method.


public class Product
{
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public int Code { get; set; }
}

// Custom comparer for the Product class
class ProductComparer : IEqualityComparer<Product>
{
    // Products are equal if their names and product numbers are equal.
    public bool Equals(Product x, Product y)
    {

        //Check whether the compared objects reference the same data.
        if (Object.ReferenceEquals(x, y)) return true;

        //Check whether any of the compared objects is null.
        if (Object.ReferenceEquals(x, null) || Object.ReferenceEquals(y, null))
            return false;

        //Check whether the products' properties are equal.
        return x.Code == y.Code && x.Name == y.Name;
    }

    // If Equals() returns true for a pair of objects 
    // then GetHashCode() must return the same value for these objects.

    public int GetHashCode(Product product)
    {
        //Check whether the object is null
        if (Object.ReferenceEquals(product, null)) return 0;

        //Get hash code for the Name field if it is not null.
        int hashProductName = product.Name == null ? 0 : product.Name.GetHashCode();

        //Get hash code for the Code field.
        int hashProductCode = product.Code.GetHashCode();

        //Calculate the hash code for the product.
        return hashProductName ^ hashProductCode;
    }

}


After you implement this comparer, you can use a sequence of Product objects in the Distinct method, as shown in the following example.


Product[] products = { new Product { Name = "apple", Code = 9 }, 
                       new Product { Name = "orange", Code = 4 }, 
                       new Product { Name = "apple", Code = 9 }, 
                       new Product { Name = "lemon", Code = 12 } };

//Exclude duplicates.

IEnumerable<Product> noduplicates =
    products.Distinct(new ProductComparer());

foreach (var product in noduplicates)
    outputBlock.Text += product.Name + " " + product.Code + "\n";

/*
    This code produces the following output:
    apple 9 
    orange 4
    lemon 12
*/


Silverlight

Supported in: 5, 4, 3

Silverlight for Windows Phone

Supported in: Windows Phone OS 7.1, Windows Phone OS 7.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0

For a list of the operating systems and browsers that are supported by Silverlight, see Supported Operating Systems and Browsers.

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