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Full Powershell

Capture, separate and serialise all 6 PowerShell message streams at their source.

How it works

PowerShell has 6 message streams in addition to Stdout and Stderr. Cramming these 6 streams all through stdout removes each stream's semantics and is a nightmare to parse. Unexpected and intermittent warning or error messages (very common when remoting!) will make your application very brittle. Full-PowerShell sorts these streams before returning them, so output from one stream will not affect the other, so unexpected server messages won't break your program.

This library accepts PowerShell commands as strings. It wraps those commands in an Invoke-Command block that pipes their output into individual streams. All 6 message streams are captured and sorted at their source, they are then serialised using PowerShell's standard ConvertTo-JSON function, sent back to the parent Node.js process, before finally being deserilaised as individual streams. They can be subscribed to as an RxJS Observable, or as a Promise.

The source code is fairly concise, take a look at index.ts and wrapper.ts to see exactly how it works.


The PowerShell class.

Spawns a PowerShell child process on instantiation and exposes methods to read/write to/from that process:

class PowerShell {
    constructor(private options?: PowerShellOptions);
    success$: Subject<any[]>();
    error$: Subject<any[]>();
    warning$: Subject<any[]>();
    verbose$: Subject<any[]>();
    debug$: Subject<any[]>();
    info$: Subject<any[]>();
    call(command: string, format: Format = 'json'): SubjectWithPromise<PowerShellStreams>;
    destroy(): boolean;

Note: The SubjectWithPromise object returned by call() will only emit the value returned by the command passed to call(). Use the streams postfixed with $ to listen to output from all calls made to that PowerShell instance.

The PowerShellStreams object.

Emittied by the <Observable|Promise> returned from .call().subscribe() or .call().promise().

interface PowerShellStreams {
    success: any[];
    error: any[];
    warning: any[];
    verbose: any[];
    debug: any[];
    info: any[];

The subjects exposed by the PowerShell class, as well as the singleton observable/promise returned by PowerShell.call all return arrays of strings or parsed JSON. It's important to note that these arrays reflect the output for each PowerShell command passed to PowerShell.call. For example, if you were to call PowerShell.call('Get-Date; Get-Date;'), you should expect to receive an Array containing two items in the next emission's success stream. However, there are exceptions to this - debug and verbose are newline delimited due to limitations of PowerShell redirection. While they will generally equate to one string per Write-Debug or Write-Verbose, it is up to you to ensure output has not been broken into multiple lines.



import { PowerShell } from 'full-powershell';


const { PowerShell } = require('full-powershell');


const shell = new PowerShell();


interface PowerShellOptions {
    tmp_dir?: string
    exe_path?: string
    timeout?: number
  • tmp_dir - Default: current directory Change the path for ephemeral '.tmp' files. Must have a trailing slash. (Must be set to /tmp/ when executing on AWS Lambda).

  • exe_path - Default: powershell for windows, pwsh for nix Explicitly set the path or command name for the PowerShell executable.

    • example: pwsh
    • example: C:\\Program Files\\PowerShell\\7\\pwsh.exe
  • timeout - Default: 10 minutes. Set number of milliseconds before each call to this shell will timeout. Warning: A timeout will result in the PowerShell child process being terminated and a new process created, any pending calls will be errored and PowerShell context will be lost.


const options: PowerShellOptions = {
    tmp_dir: '/tmp/'
    exe_path: 'pwsh',
    timeout: 60000
const shell = new PowerShell(options);

Executing PowerShell Commands:

The call function accepts a PowerShell command as a string, and a an optional format paramter. Use the format parameter to change how Full Powershell will serialise the command output before returing it from PowerShell.

type Format = 'string' | 'json' | null;
shell.call(command: string, format: Format = 'json')


Pipe result object to ConvertTo-Json before returning (default):


Pipe result object to Out-String before returning:

shell.call('My-Command', 'string');

Return result object using default string output:

shell.call('My-Command', null);

Subscribing to PowerShell Streams:

Subscribe directly to a call (observable will complete after first emission):

    (res: PowerShellStreams) => {
        /* result handler */
    (err: Error) => {
        /* error handler */

Subscribe to individual streams (observe all output i.e. all emissions of that type):

const shell = new PowerShell();

    (res: Array<any>) => {
        /* result handler */
    (err: Error) => {
        /* error handler */

shell.error$.subscribe( /* same as success$ */);
shell.warning$.subscribe( /* same as success$ */);
shell.verbose$.subscribe( /* same as success$ */);
shell.debug$.subscribe( /* same as success$ */);
shell.info$.subscribe( /* same as success$ */);


The object returned by the call method also exposes a function called promise() which returns a promise which will emit the first value returned by the shell.

.then((res: PowerShellStreams) => {
    /* result handler */


import { PowerShell } from 'full-powershell';

let powershell = new PowerShell();

powershell.success$.subscribe(res => {
    console.log('success:', res)

powershell.error$.subscribe(res => {
    console.log('error:', res)

powershell.warning$.subscribe(res => {
    console.log('warning:', res)

powershell.call('Get-Date', 'json');
powershell.call('throw "My Error"', 'json');

powershell.call('Get-Date; Write-Warning "My Warning";', 'json')
    res => {
    err => {


npm i full-powershell

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  • daverickdunn