How do I run two commands in one line in Windows CMD?
I want to run two commands in a Windows CMD console.
In Linux I would do it like this
touch thisfile ; ls -lstrh
How is it done on Windows?
Like this on all Microsoft OSes since 2000, and still good today:
dir & echo foo
If you want the second command to execute only if the first exited successfully:
dir && echo foo
The single ampersand (&) syntax to execute multiple commands on one line goes back to Windows XP, Windows 2000, and some earlier NT versions. (4.0 at least, according to one commenter here.)
There are quite a few other points about this that you'll find scrolling down this page.
Historical data follows, for those who may find it educational.
Prior to that, the && syntax was only a feature of the shell replacement 4DOS before that feature was added to the Microsoft command interpreter.
In Windows 95, 98 and ME, you'd use the pipe character instead:
dir | echo foo
In MS-DOS 5.0 and later, through some earlier Windows and NT versions of the command interpreter, the (undocumented) command separator was character 20 (Ctrl+T) which I'll represent with ^T here.
dir ^T echo foo
A quote from the documentation:
- Source: Microsoft, Windows XP Professional Product Documentation, Command shell overview
- Also: An A-Z Index of Windows CMD commands
Using multiple commands and conditional processing symbols
You can run multiple commands from a single command line or script using conditional processing symbols. When you run multiple commands with conditional processing symbols, the commands to the right of the conditional processing symbol act based upon the results of the command to the left of the conditional processing symbol.
For example, you might want to run a command only if the previous command fails. Or, you might want to run a command only if the previous command is successful.
You can use the special characters listed in the following table to pass multiple commands.
command1 & command2
Use to separate multiple commands on one command line. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then the second command.
command1 && command2
Use to run the command following && only if the command preceding the symbol is successful. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then runs the second command only if the first command completed successfully.
command1 || command2
Use to run the command following || only if the command preceding || fails. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then runs the second command only if the first command did not complete successfully (receives an error code greater than zero).
( ) [...]
(command1 & command2)
Use to group or nest multiple commands.
; or ,
Use to separate command parameters.
Read more... Read less...
& is the Bash equivalent for
; ( run commands) and
&& is the Bash equivalent of
&& (run commands only when the previous has not caused an error).
You can use & to run commands one after another. Example:
c:\dir & vim myFile.txt
If you want to create a cmd shortcut (for example on your desktop) add /k parameter (/k means keep, /c will close window):
cmd /k echo hello && cd c:\ && cd Windows
You can use call to overcome the problem of environment variables being evaluated too soon - e.g.
set A=Hello & call echo %A%
A number of processing symbols can be used when running several commands on the same line, and may lead to processing redirection in some cases, altering output in other case, or just fail. One important case is placing on the same line commands that manipulate variables.
@echo off setlocal enabledelayedexpansion set count=0 set "count=1" & echo %count% !count! 0 1
As you see in the above example, when commands using variables are placed on the same line, you must use delayed expansion to update your variable values. If your variable is indexed, use CALL command with %% modifiers to update its value on the same line:
set "i=5" & set "arg!i!=MyFile!i!" & call echo path!i!=%temp%\%%arg!i!%% path5=C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp\MyFile5