How do I pipe a byte stream to/from an external command?

Using Get-Content -AsByteStream, one can read file as a byte stream.

Using Set-Content -AsByteStream, one can create a file from a byte stream.

However, I haven't found a way to pass these byte streams to other non-PowerShell commands. Pipes between external commands always decode the data as a string, which mangle binaries.

cmd /c --% or Start-Process -RedirectStandardInput do solve part of the problem, but it can get a bit tedious if any of involved commands is another cmdlet. Is there a PowerShell-native way to handle executable input/output as a stream of byte?


  • There is an open closed issue on GitHub for that. The thread is full of a variety of workarounds. (found via this answer)

    Edit: There is a PowerShell Module to wrap native commands by @GeeLaw though I haven't tried.

    Edit^2(2023-06-29): @SeeminglyScience implemented awesome PSNativeCommandPreserveBytePipe experimental feature and it's incorporated as part of v7.4.0-preview.4. It can be enabled with Enable-ExperimentalFeature PSNativeCommandPreserveBytePipe.

    Edit^3(2023-11-16): PowerShell 7.4 has been released. The feature has become built-in, so cmd /c type a.zip > b.zip should work by default now.