By Mark Maxham

2008-12-29 20:02:21 8 Comments

I don't know if it's legit at StackOverflow to post your own answer to a question, but I saw nobody had asked this already. I went looking for a C# Glob and didn't find one, so I wrote one that others might find useful.


@sergeyt 2019-01-22 03:22:15

it is easy with


public static class Glob
  public static IEnumerable<FileInfo> Exec(DirectoryInfo dir, string glob)
    var matcher = DotNet.Globbing.Glob.Parse(glob);
    return dir.EnumerateAllFiles().Where(f => matcher.IsMatch(f.FullName));

  public static IEnumerable<FileInfo> EnumerateAllFiles(this DirectoryInfo dir)
    foreach (var f in dir.EnumerateFiles())
      yield return f;

    foreach (var sub in dir.EnumerateDirectories())
      foreach (var f in EnumerateAllFiles(sub))
        yield return f;

@Robert Fey 2013-08-27 15:31:33

You can use the "dir" (aka "Get-ChildItem") powershell cmdlet from C#.
(I'm not saying whether you should.)

You have to add this reference to your project file (".csproj" or ".vcproj") manually:

<Reference Include="System.Management.Automation" />

See here for more details on how to use cmdlets from C#:

Here a working program:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Management.Automation;
using System.Management.Automation.Runspaces;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

namespace CsWildcard {
    class Program {

        static IEnumerable<string> CmdletDirGlobbing(string basePath, string glob){
            Runspace runspace = RunspaceFactory.CreateRunspace();

            // cd to basePath
            if(basePath != null){
                Pipeline cdPipeline = runspace.CreatePipeline();
                Command cdCommand = new Command("cd");
                cdCommand.Parameters.Add("Path", basePath);
                cdPipeline.Invoke(); // run the cmdlet

            // run the "dir" cmdlet (e.g. "dir C:\*\*\*.txt" )
            Pipeline dirPipeline = runspace.CreatePipeline();
            Command dirCommand = new Command("dir");
            dirCommand.Parameters.Add("Path", glob);

            Collection<PSObject> dirOutput = dirPipeline.Invoke();

            // for each found file
            foreach (PSObject psObject in dirOutput) {

                PSMemberInfoCollection<PSPropertyInfo> a = psObject.Properties;
                // look for the full path ("FullName")
                foreach (PSPropertyInfo psPropertyInfo in psObject.Properties) {
                    if (psPropertyInfo.Name == "FullName") {
                        yield return psPropertyInfo.Value.ToString(); // yield it


        static void Main(string[] args) {
            foreach(string path in CmdletDirGlobbing(null,"C:\\*\\*\\*.txt")){
            foreach (string path in CmdletDirGlobbing("C:\\", "*\\*\\*.exe")) {


@Andreas 2010-05-13 21:45:42

I stumbled upon the source to iron ruby that contains a pretty neat Glob class. It's fairly easy extract it from the related code.

@Mark Maxham 2008-12-29 20:03:51

    /// <summary>
    /// return a list of files that matches some wildcard pattern, e.g. 
    /// C:\p4\software\dotnet\tools\*\*.sln to get all tool solution files
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="glob">pattern to match</param>
    /// <returns>all matching paths</returns>
    public static IEnumerable<string> Glob(string glob)
        foreach (string path in Glob(PathHead(glob) + DirSep, PathTail(glob)))
            yield return path;

    /// <summary>
    /// uses 'head' and 'tail' -- 'head' has already been pattern-expanded
    /// and 'tail' has not.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="head">wildcard-expanded</param>
    /// <param name="tail">not yet wildcard-expanded</param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static IEnumerable<string> Glob(string head, string tail)
        if (PathTail(tail) == tail)
            foreach (string path in Directory.GetFiles(head, tail).OrderBy(s => s))
                yield return path;
            foreach (string dir in Directory.GetDirectories(head, PathHead(tail)).OrderBy(s => s))
                foreach (string path in Glob(Path.Combine(head, dir), PathTail(tail)))
                    yield return path;

    /// <summary>
    /// shortcut
    /// </summary>
    static char DirSep = Path.DirectorySeparatorChar;

    /// <summary>
    /// return the first element of a file path
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="path">file path</param>
    /// <returns>first logical unit</returns>
    static string PathHead(string path)
        // handle case of \\share\vol\foo\bar -- return \\share\vol as 'head'
        // because the dir stuff won't let you interrogate a server for its share list
        // FIXME check behavior on Linux to see if this blows up -- I don't think so
        if (path.StartsWith("" + DirSep + DirSep))
            return path.Substring(0, 2) + path.Substring(2).Split(DirSep)[0] + DirSep + path.Substring(2).Split(DirSep)[1];

        return path.Split(DirSep)[0];

    /// <summary>
    /// return everything but the first element of a file path
    /// e.g. PathTail("C:\TEMP\foo.txt") = "TEMP\foo.txt"
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="path">file path</param>
    /// <returns>all but the first logical unit</returns>
    static string PathTail(string path)
        if (!path.Contains(DirSep))
            return path;

        return path.Substring(1 + PathHead(path).Length);

@jturcotte 2009-03-05 16:08:17

Bug? I had to replace "Path.Combine(head, dir)" with "dir" since Directory.GetDirectories already returns the full path. This caused a bug with paths like "..\SomeDir*.dll" since "..\" were duplicated by Combine

@Ben 2011-09-30 11:06:39

This doesn't seem to work if you pass a string like * to the Glob function. Are there some assumptions being made as to the sort of wildcard string it can handle? An absolute path maybe?

@AdrianHHH 2015-07-30 11:18:41

Method Glob splits the argument into two pieces at a DirSep. The code fails if there is no Dirsep. Adding the following statement to the beginning of method PathHead appears to work: if (! path.Contains(DirSep)) {return ".";}.

@AdrianHHH 2015-08-17 09:29:23

@Ben The assumption seems to be that the string contains a DirSep. With the change in my previous comment the code works for me.

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