Yaroslav Yakovlev Yaroslav Yakovlev - 5 months ago 48
C# Question

How to run console application from Windows Service?

I have a windows service, written in c# and I need to run a console application from it.
Console application also written in c#.

Console application is running fine when it is run not from windows service. When it is ran from ws it doesn`t do anything it should and as it should work for 10-20 seconds I see in debug code is executed at once.

I`m starting my console app with the following code:

proc.Start(fullPathToConsole, args);

the path to console is right and when I`m trying to run it from the cmd or just in explorer (without args) it works fine. But after running with the service I see no effect.

I already tried to go to service properties and give it access to desktop and run under both system and my user (also specified in service properties). All remains the same.

ADDITION: I know service do not have ui and I don't want one. I want service to run console application. No need to get any data from it or use this console like ui, just run it to do it`s job.

UPDATE I: discovered, that running calc or any other windows app is easy. But still can`t run cmd or any console app. Actually I need to run it on XP SP2 and Windows 2003 Server. So do not need to interact with Vista in anyway.

Would be glad to any comments!


Starting from Windows Vista, a service cannot interact with the desktop. You will not be able to see any windows or console windows that are started from a service. See this MSDN forum thread.

On other OS, there is an option that is available in the service option called "Allow Service to interact with desktop". Technically, you should program for the future and should follow the Vista guideline even if you don't use it on Vista.

If you still want to run an application that never interact with the desktop, try specifying the process to not use the shell.

ProcessStartInfo info = new ProcessStartInfo(@"c:\myprogram.exe");
info.UseShellExecute = false;
info.RedirectStandardError = true;
info.RedirectStandardInput = true;
info.RedirectStandardOutput = true;
info.CreateNoWindow = true;
info.ErrorDialog = false;
info.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;

Process process = Process.Start(info);

See if this does the trick.

First you inform Windows that the program won't use the shell (which is inaccessible in Vista to service).

Secondly, you redirect all consoles interaction to internal stream (see process.StandardInput and process.StandardOutput.