_spawnvpe, _wspawnvpe
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_spawnvpe, _wspawnvpe

Create and execute a new process.

Important note Important

This API cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported with /ZW.

intptr_t _spawnvpe(
   int mode,
   const char *cmdname,
   const char *const *argv,
   const char *const *envp 
intptr_t _wspawnvpe(
   int mode,
   const wchar_t *cmdname,
   const wchar_t *const *argv,
   const wchar_t *const *envp 


Execution mode for calling process


Path of file to be executed


Array of pointers to arguments. The argument argv[0] is usually a pointer to a path in real mode or to the program name in protected mode, and argv[1] through argv[n] are pointers to the character strings forming the new argument list. The argument argv[n +1] must be a NULL pointer to mark the end of the argument list.


Array of pointers to environment settings

The return value from a synchronous _spawnvpe or _wspawnvpe (_P_WAIT specified for mode) is the exit status of the new process. The return value from an asynchronous _spawnvpe or _wspawnvpe (_P_NOWAIT or _P_NOWAITO specified for mode) is the process handle. The exit status is 0 if the process terminated normally. You can set the exit status to a nonzero value if the spawned process specifically calls the exit routine with a nonzero argument. If the new process did not explicitly set a positive exit status, a positive exit status indicates an abnormal exit with an abort or an interrupt. A return value of –1 indicates an error (the new process is not started). In this case, errno is set to one of the following values:


Argument list exceeds 1024 bytes


mode argument is invalid


File or path is not found


Specified file is not executable or has invalid executable-file format


Not enough memory is available to execute new process

See _doserrno, errno, _sys_errlist, and _sys_nerr for more information on these, and other, return codes.

Each of these functions creates and executes a new process, passing an array of pointers to command-line arguments and an array of pointers to environment settings. These functions use the PATH environment variable to find the file to execute.

These functions validate their parameters. If either cmdname or argv is a null pointer, or if argv points to null pointer, or argv[0] is an empty string, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation . If execution is allowed to continue, these functions set errno to EINVAL, and return -1. No new process is spawned.


Required header


<stdio.h> or <process.h>


<stdio.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

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