Stream Class

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Provides a generic view of a sequence of bytes.

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

'Declaration
<SerializableAttribute> _
Public MustInherit Class Stream _
	Inherits MarshalByRefObject _
	Implements IDisposable

The Stream type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Protected methodStreamInitializes a new instance of the Stream class.
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  NameDescription
Public propertyCanReadWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports reading.
Public propertyCanSeekWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports seeking.
Public propertyCanTimeoutGets a value that determines whether the current stream can time out.
Public propertyCanWriteWhen overridden in a derived class, gets a value indicating whether the current stream supports writing.
Public propertyLengthWhen overridden in a derived class, gets the length in bytes of the stream.
Public propertyPositionWhen overridden in a derived class, gets or sets the position within the current stream.
Public propertyReadTimeoutGets or sets a value, in milliseconds, that determines how long the stream will attempt to read before timing out.
Public propertyWriteTimeoutGets 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 methodCloseCloses the current stream and releases any resources (such as sockets and file handles) associated with the current stream. Instead of calling this method, ensure that the stream is properly disposed.
Public methodDispose()()()()Releases all resources used by the Stream.
Protected methodDispose(Boolean)Releases the unmanaged resources used by the Stream and optionally releases the managed resources.
Public methodEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodFinalizeCleans up resources. (Overrides Object..::..Finalize()()()().)
Public methodFlushWhen overridden in a derived class, clears all buffers for this stream and causes any buffered data to be written to the underlying device.
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodReadWhen 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 methodReadByteReads 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 methodSeekWhen overridden in a derived class, sets the position within the current stream.
Public methodSetLengthWhen overridden in a derived class, sets the length of the current stream.
Public methodToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodWriteWhen 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 methodWriteByteWrites a byte to the current position in the stream and advances the position within the stream by one byte.
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Streams involve three fundamental operations:

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

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

  • Streams can support seeking. Seeking refers to querying and modifying 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, and isolate 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. You can query a stream for its capabilities by using the CanRead, CanWrite, and CanSeek properties of the Stream class.

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.

Disposing a Stream object flushes any buffered data, and essentially calls the Flush method for you. Dispose 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 the Null field to retrieve an instance of a stream that is designed for this purpose.

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

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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