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How can I get the application's path in a .NET console application?


Question

How do I find the application's path in a console application?

In Windows Forms, I can use Application.StartupPath to find the current path, but this doesn't seem to be available in a console application.

2013/11/20
1
971
11/20/2013 3:40:05 PM

Accepted Answer

System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location1

Combine that with System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName if all you want is the directory.

1As per Mr.Mindor's comment:
System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location returns where the executing assembly is currently located, which may or may not be where the assembly is located when not executing. In the case of shadow copying assemblies, you will get a path in a temp directory. System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase will return the 'permanent' path of the assembly.

2019/03/14
1203
3/14/2019 8:48:54 AM

You can use the following code to get the current application directory.

AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory
2013/11/22

You have two options for finding the directory of the application, which you choose will depend on your purpose.

// to get the location the assembly is executing from
//(not necessarily where the it normally resides on disk)
// in the case of the using shadow copies, for instance in NUnit tests, 
// this will be in a temp directory.
string path = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location;

//To get the location the assembly normally resides on disk or the install directory
string path = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase;

//once you have the path you get the directory with:
var directory = System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(path);
2020/02/09

Probably a bit late but this is worth a mention:

Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()[0];

Or more correctly to get just the directory path:

System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()[0]);

Edit:

Quite a few people have pointed out that GetCommandLineArgs is not guaranteed to return the program name. See The first word on the command line is the program name only by convention. The article does state that "Although extremely few Windows programs use this quirk (I am not aware of any myself)". So it is possible to 'spoof' GetCommandLineArgs, but we are talking about a console application. Console apps are usually quick and dirty. So this fits in with my KISS philosophy.

2015/08/27

For anyone interested in asp.net web apps. Here are my results of 3 different methods

protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
  string p1 = System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location);
  string p2 = System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.ApplicationPhysicalPath;
  string p3 = this.Server.MapPath("");
  Console.WriteLine("p1 = " + p1);
  Console.WriteLine("p2 = " + p2);
  Console.WriteLine("p3 = " + p3);
}

result

p1 = C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files\root\a897dd66\ec73ff95\assembly\dl3\ff65202d\29daade3_5e84cc01
p2 = C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging\
p3 = C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging

the app is physically running from "C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging", so the first solution is definitely not appropriate for web apps.

2011/10/06

The answer above was 90% of what I needed, but returned a Uri instead of a regular path for me.

As explained in the MSDN forums post, How to convert URI path to normal filepath?, I used the following:

// Get normal filepath of this assembly's permanent directory
var path = new Uri(
    System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(
        System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase)
    ).LocalPath;
2012/04/13

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/837488
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