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Directory.GetFileSystemEntries Method (String, String)

Returns an array of file system entries matching the specified search criteria.

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

'Declaration
Public Shared Function GetFileSystemEntries ( _
	path As String, _
	searchPattern As String _
) As String()
'Usage
Dim path As String 
Dim searchPattern As String 
Dim returnValue As String()

returnValue = Directory.GetFileSystemEntries(path, _
	searchPattern)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The path to be searched.

searchPattern
Type: System.String

The search string to match against the names of files in path. The searchPattern parameter cannot end in two periods ("..") or contain two periods ("..") followed by DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar, nor can it contain any of the characters in InvalidPathChars.

Return Value

Type: System.String()
A String array of file system entries matching the search criteria.

ExceptionCondition
UnauthorizedAccessException

The caller does not have the required permission.

ArgumentException

path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters as defined by InvalidPathChars.

-or-

searchPattern does not contain a valid pattern.

ArgumentNullException

path or searchPattern is Nothing.

PathTooLongException

The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters and file names must be less than 260 characters.

IOException

path is a file name.

DirectoryNotFoundException

The specified path is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard character

Description

*

Zero or more characters.

?

Exactly one character.

Characters other than the wildcard specifiers represent themselves. For example, the searchPattern string "*t" searches for all names in path ending with the letter "t". The searchPattern string "s*" searches for all names in path beginning with the letter "s".

The matching behavior of searchPattern when the extension is exactly three characters long is different from when the extension is more than three characters long. A searchPattern of exactly three characters returns files having an extension of three or more characters. A searchPattern of one, two, or more than three characters returns only files having extensions of exactly that length.

The following list shows the behavior of different lengths for the searchPattern parameter:

  • "*.abc" returns files having an extension of.abc,.abcd,.abcde,.abcdef, and so on.

  • "*.abcd" returns only files having an extension of.abcd.

  • "*.abcde" returns only files having an extension of.abcde.

  • "*.abcdef" returns only files having an extension of.abcdef.

The path parameter is permitted to specify relative or absolute path information. Relative path information is interpreted as relative to the current working directory. To obtain the current working directory, see GetCurrentDirectory.

The path parameter is not case-sensitive.

For a list of common I/O tasks, see Common I/O Tasks.

The following example uses the GetFileSystemEntries method to fill an array of strings with the names of all files matching a user-specified filter in a specific location and prints each string in the array to the console. The example is configured to catch all errors common to this method.

Option Explicit On 
Option Strict On

Imports System

Namespace GetFileSystemEntries
    Class Class1
        Overloads Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
            Dim snippets As New Class1()
            Dim path As String = System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory()
            Dim filter As String = "*.exe"
            snippets.PrintFileSystemEntries(path)
            snippets.PrintFileSystemEntries(path, filter)
            snippets.GetLogicalDrives()
            snippets.GetParent(path)
            snippets.Move("C:\proof", "C:\Temp")
        End Sub 'Main

        Sub PrintFileSystemEntries(ByVal path As String)
            Try 
                ' Obtain the file system entries in the directory path. 
                Dim directoryEntries As String()
                directoryEntries = System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries(path)
                Dim str As String 
                For Each str In directoryEntries
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str)
                Next str
            Catch exp As ArgumentNullException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.")
            Catch exp As System.Security.SecurityException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " + _
                                        "required permission.")
            Catch exp As ArgumentException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " + _
                                        "contains only white spaces, " + _
                                        "or contains invalid characters.")
            Catch exp As System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The path encapsulated in the " + _
                                        "Directory object does not exist.")
            End Try 
        End Sub 
        Sub PrintFileSystemEntries(ByVal path As String, _
                                   ByVal pattern As String)
            Try 
                ' Obtain the file system entries in the directory 
                ' path that match the pattern. 
                Dim directoryEntries As String()
                directoryEntries = _
                   System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries(path, pattern)

                Dim str As String 
                For Each str In directoryEntries
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str)
                Next str
            Catch exp As ArgumentNullException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.")
            Catch exp As System.Security.SecurityException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " + _
                                        "required permission.")
            Catch exp As ArgumentException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " + _
                                        "contains only white spaces, " + _
                                        "or contains invalid characters.")
            Catch exp As System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The path encapsulated in the " + _
                                        "Directory object does not exist.")
            End Try 
        End Sub 

        ' Print out all logical drives on the system. 
        Sub GetLogicalDrives()
            Try 
                Dim drives As String()
                drives = System.IO.Directory.GetLogicalDrives()

                Dim str As String 
                For Each str In drives
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str)
                Next str
            Catch exp As System.IO.IOException
                System.Console.WriteLine("An I/O error occurs.")
            Catch exp As System.Security.SecurityException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " + _
                                           "required permission.")
            End Try 
        End Sub 
        Sub GetParent(ByVal path As String)
            Try 
                Dim directoryInfo As System.IO.DirectoryInfo
                directoryInfo = System.IO.Directory.GetParent(path)
                System.Console.WriteLine(directoryInfo.FullName)
            Catch exp As ArgumentNullException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.")
            Catch exp As ArgumentException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " + _
                                     "contains only white spaces, or " + _
                                     "contains invalid characters.")
            End Try 
        End Sub 
        Sub Move(ByVal sourcePath As String, ByVal destinationPath As String)
            Try
                System.IO.Directory.Move(sourcePath, destinationPath)
                System.Console.WriteLine("The directory move is complete.")
            Catch exp As ArgumentNullException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.")
            Catch exp As System.Security.SecurityException
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " + _
                                           "required permission.")
            Catch exp As ArgumentException
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " + _
                                        "contains only white spaces, " + _
                                        "or contains invalid characters.")
            Catch exp As System.IO.IOException
                System.Console.WriteLine("An attempt was made to move a " + _
                                        "directory to a different " + _
                                        "volume, or destDirName " + _
                                        "already exists.")
            End Try 
        End Sub 
    End Class 
End Namespace

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

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