Powershell – How to handle command-line arguments in PowerShell


What is the "best" way to handle command-line arguments?

It seems like there are several answers on what the "best" way is and as a result I am stuck on how to handle something as simple as:

script.ps1 /n name /d domain


script.ps1 /d domain /n name.

Is there a plugin that can handle this better? I know I am reinventing the wheel here.

Obviously what I have already isn't pretty and surely isn't the "best", but it works.. and it is UGLY.

for ( $i = 0; $i -lt $args.count; $i++ ) {
    if ($args[ $i ] -eq "/n"){ $strName=$args[ $i+1 ]}
    if ($args[ $i ] -eq "-n"){ $strName=$args[ $i+1 ]}
    if ($args[ $i ] -eq "/d"){ $strDomain=$args[ $i+1 ]}
    if ($args[ $i ] -eq "-d"){ $strDomain=$args[ $i+1 ]}
Write-Host $strName
Write-Host $strDomain

Best Solution

You are reinventing the wheel. Normal PowerShell scripts have parameters starting with -, like script.ps1 -server http://devserver

Then you handle them in param section in the beginning of the file.

You can also assign default values to your params, read them from console if not available or stop script execution:

 param (
    [string]$server = "http://defaultserver",
    [string]$password = $( Read-Host "Input password, please" )

Inside the script you can simply

write-output $server

since all parameters become variables available in script scope.

In this example, the $server gets a default value if the script is called without it, script stops if you omit the -username parameter and asks for terminal input if -password is omitted.

Update: You might also want to pass a "flag" (a boolean true/false parameter) to a PowerShell script. For instance, your script may accept a "force" where the script runs in a more careful mode when force is not used.

The keyword for that is [switch] parameter type:

 param (
    [string]$server = "http://defaultserver",
    [string]$password = $( Read-Host "Input password, please" ),
    [switch]$force = $false

Inside the script then you would work with it like this:

if ($force) {
  //deletes a file or does something "bad"

Now, when calling the script you'd set the switch/flag parameter like this:

.\yourscript.ps1 -server "http://otherserver" -force

If you explicitly want to state that the flag is not set, there is a special syntax for that

.\yourscript.ps1 -server "http://otherserver" -force:$false

Links to relevant Microsoft documentation (for PowerShell 5.0; tho versions 3.0 and 4.0 are also available at the links):