Epaga Epaga - 1 month ago 23
C# Question

ProcessStartInfo hanging on "WaitForExit"? Why?

I have the following code:

info = new System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo("TheProgram.exe", String.Join(" ", args));
info.CreateNoWindow = true;
info.WindowStyle = System.Diagnostics.ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;
info.RedirectStandardOutput = true;
info.UseShellExecute = false;
System.Diagnostics.Process p = System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(info);
p.WaitForExit();
Console.WriteLine(p.StandardOutput.ReadToEnd()); //need the StandardOutput contents


I know that the output from the process I am starting is around 7MB long. Running it in the Windows console works fine. Unfortunately programmatically this hangs indefinitely at WaitForExit. Note also this does code NOT hang for smaller outputs (like 3KB).

Is it possible that the internal StandardOutput in ProcessStartInfo can't buffer 7MB? If so, what should I do instead? If not, what am I doing wrong?

Answer

The problem is that if you redirect StandardOutput and/or StandardError the internal buffer can become full. Whatever order you use, there can be a problem:

  • If you wait for the process to exit before reading StandardOutput the process can block trying to write to it, so the process never ends.
  • If you read from StandardOutput using ReadToEnd then your process can block if the process never closes StandardOutput (for example if it never terminates, or if it is blocked writing to StandardError).

The solution is to use asynchronous reads to ensure that the buffer doesn't get full. To avoid any deadlocks and collect up all output from both StandardOutput and StandardError you can do this:

EDIT: See answers below for to handle the timeout and avoid ObjectDisposeException exceptions.

using (Process process = new Process())
{
    process.StartInfo.FileName = filename;
    process.StartInfo.Arguments = arguments;
    process.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
    process.StartInfo.RedirectStandardOutput = true;
    process.StartInfo.RedirectStandardError = true;

    StringBuilder output = new StringBuilder();
    StringBuilder error = new StringBuilder();

    using (AutoResetEvent outputWaitHandle = new AutoResetEvent(false))
    using (AutoResetEvent errorWaitHandle = new AutoResetEvent(false))
    {
        process.OutputDataReceived += (sender, e) => {
            if (e.Data == null)
            {
                outputWaitHandle.Set();
            }
            else
            {
                output.AppendLine(e.Data);
            }
        };
        process.ErrorDataReceived += (sender, e) =>
        {
            if (e.Data == null)
            {
                errorWaitHandle.Set();
            }
            else
            {
                error.AppendLine(e.Data);
            }
        };

        process.Start();

        process.BeginOutputReadLine();
        process.BeginErrorReadLine();

        if (process.WaitForExit(timeout) &&
            outputWaitHandle.WaitOne(timeout) &&
            errorWaitHandle.WaitOne(timeout))
        {
            // Process completed. Check process.ExitCode here.
        }
        else
        {
            // Timed out.
        }
    }
}
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