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Directory.GetFileSystemEntries Method (String, String)

 
System_CAPS_noteNote

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Returns an array of file names and directory names that that match a search pattern in a specified path.

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

Public Shared Function GetFileSystemEntries (
	path As String,
	searchPattern As String
) As String()

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The relative or absolute path to the directory to search. This string is not case-sensitive.

searchPattern
Type: System.String

The search string to match against the names of file and directories in path. This parameter can contain a combination of valid literal path and wildcard (* and ?) characters (see Remarks), but doesn't support regular expressions.

Return Value

Type: System.String()

An array of file names and directory names that match the specified search criteria, or an empty array if no files or directories are found.

Exception Condition
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. You can query for invalid characters with the GetInvalidPathChars method.

-or-

searchPattern does not contain a valid pattern.

ArgumentNullException

path or searchPattern is null.

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 order of the returned file and directory names is not guaranteed; use the Sort method if a specific sort order is required.

searchPattern can be a combination of literal and wildcard characters, but doesn't support regular expressions. The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard specifier

Matches

* (asterisk)

Zero or more characters in that position.

? (question mark)

Zero or one character in that position.

Characters other than the wildcard are literal characters. 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".

searchPattern cannot end in two periods ("..") or contain two periods ("..") followed by DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar, nor can it contain any invalid characters. You can query for invalid characters by using the GetInvalidPathChars method.

System_CAPS_noteNote

When you use the asterisk wildcard character in a searchPattern such as "*.txt", the number of characters in the specified extension affects the search as follows:

  • If the specified extension is exactly three characters long, the method returns files with extensions that begin with the specified extension. For example, "*.xls" returns both "book.xls" and "book.xlsx".

  • In all other cases, the method returns files that exactly match the specified extension. For example, "*.ai" returns "file.ai" but not "file.aif".

When you use the question mark wildcard character, this method returns only files that match the specified file extension. For example, given two files, "file1.txt" and "file1.txtother", in a directory, a search pattern of "file?.txt" returns just the first file, whereas a search pattern of "file*.txt" returns both files.

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

FileIOPermission

for access to path information for the current directory. Associated enumeration: FileIOPermissionAccess.PathDiscovery

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
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