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How To: Embedding External Files in PowerShell Scripts

Embed External Files in PowerShell Scripts

Sometimes you have to create a custom script that requires external files, e.g. binary dll files or executables.

One of the ways you can make sure the script is executed succesfully is by creating a component that first copies the necessary files to the correct locations using the FileCopy actionitem, but today I am going to show you how to embed a file in a script using base64 encoding. 

Encoding the file

The file we want to embed is called AM.dll and is located on my development machine in c:\AM\AM.dll.

Login VSI - How-To: Embedding External Files in PowerShell Scripts - embedding a file

Embedding a .dll file

To encode the file to base64 we give in the following commands in powershell prompt:

$Content = Get-Content -Path C:\AM\AM.dll -Encoding Byte
$Base64 = [System.Convert]::ToBase64String($Content)
$Base64 | Out-File c:\AM\encoded.txt

The result should be a file called encoded.txt in c:\AM.

Login VSI - How-To: Embedding External Files in PowerShell Scripts - encoded text file

Encoded text file

Open the encoded.txt file and you will see a base64 encoded string representation of the dll file.

Login VSI - How-To: Embedding External Files in PowerShell Scripts - base64 encoded string

Base64 encoded string

Embedding the file

To embed the file, simply create a new variable in your script which contains the base64 string.


NOTE: The example above has been cropped for readiblity of the blogpost, this should be a rather long string.

Decoding the file

After we have embedded the base64 string representation of the file we need to decode it to a dll file before we can use it.

$Content = [System.Convert]::FromBase64String($Base64)
Set-Content -Path $env:temp\AM.dll -Value $Content -Encoding Byte

Now we can use the $env:temp\AM.dll file in the rest of our script, for housekeeping reasons, remove the dll file at the end of the script.

Remove-Item $env:temp\AM.dll

The entire script would look like

$Content = [System.Convert]::FromBase64String($Base64)
Set-Content -Path $env:temp\AM.dll -Value $Content -Encoding Byte
#Do your things
Remove-Item $env:temp\AM.dll

There you go, a way to embed files in a powershell script, ensuring that the external files the script requires will always be there (with the right version, might I add).

Happy encoding and embedding.

Ps. Also, make sure to read my colleague Mark's blog about cleaning up esxtop log files using PowerShell.



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The company Login VSI provides end-user performance insights for virtualized desktop and server based computing environments. Enterprise IT departments use flagship product Login VSI (for load testing) and new addition Login PI (for continuity testing) in all phases of their virtual desktop deployment—from planning to deployment to change management—to build and safeguard a good performance, a high availability, and (as a result) a good and consistent end-user experience. For more information about Login VSI or for a free test license contact us.


Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Login AM

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