Start-ThreadJob

Creates background jobs similar to the Start-Job cmdlet.

Syntax

Start-ThreadJob
     [-ScriptBlock] <ScriptBlock>
     [-Name <String>]
     [-InitializationScript <ScriptBlock>]
     [-InputObject <PSObject>]
     [-ArgumentList <Object[]>]
     [-ThrottleLimit <Int32>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Start-ThreadJob
     [-FilePath] <String>
     [-Name <String>]
     [-InitializationScript <ScriptBlock>]
     [-InputObject <PSObject>]
     [-ArgumentList <Object[]>]
     [-ThrottleLimit <Int32>]
     [<CommonParameters>]

Description

Start-ThreadJob creates background jobs similar to the Start-Job cmdlet. The main difference is that the jobs which are created run in separate threads within the local process. By default, the jobs use the current working directory of the caller that started the job.

The cmdlet also supports a ThrottleLimit parameter to limit the number of jobs running at one time. As more jobs are started, they are queued and wait until the current number of jobs drops below the throttle limit.

Examples

Example 1 - Create background jobs with a thread limit of 2

Start-ThreadJob -ScriptBlock { 1..100 | % { sleep 1; "Output $_" } } -ThrottleLimit 2
Start-ThreadJob -ScriptBlock { 1..100 | % { sleep 1; "Output $_" } }
Start-ThreadJob -ScriptBlock { 1..100 | % { sleep 1; "Output $_" } }
Get-Job

Id   Name   PSJobTypeName   State        HasMoreData   Location     Command
--   ----   -------------   -----        -----------   --------     -------
1    Job1   ThreadJob       Running      True          PowerShell   1..100 | % { sleep 1;...
2    Job2   ThreadJob       Running      True          PowerShell   1..100 | % { sleep 1;...
3    Job3   ThreadJob       NotStarted   False         PowerShell   1..100 | % { sleep 1;...

Example 2 - Compare the performance of Start-Job and Start-ThreadJob

This example shows the difference between Start-Job and Start-ThreadJob. The jobs run the Start-Sleep cmdlet for 1 second. Since the jobs run in parallel, the total execution time is about 1 second, plus any time required to create the jobs.

# start five background jobs each running 1 second
Measure-Command {1..5 | % {Start-Job {Start-Sleep 1}} | Wait-Job} | Select-Object TotalSeconds
Measure-Command {1..5 | % {Start-ThreadJob {Start-Sleep 1}} | Wait-Job} | Select-Object TotalSeconds

TotalSeconds
------------
   5.7665849
   1.5735008

After subtracting 1 second for execution time, you can see that Start-Job takes about 4.8 seconds to create five jobs. Start-ThreadJob is 8 times faster, taking about 0.6 seconds to create five jobs. The results may vary in your environment but the relative improvement should be the same.

Example 3 - Create jobs using InputObject

In this example, the script block uses the $input variable to receive input from the InputObject parameter. This can also be done by piping objects to Start-ThreadJob.

$j = Start-ThreadJob -InputObject (Get-Process pwsh) -ScriptBlock { $input | Out-String }
$j | Wait-Job | Receive-Job

NPM(K)    PM(M)      WS(M)     CPU(s)      Id  SI ProcessName
 ------    -----      -----     ------      --  -- -----------
     94   145.80     159.02      18.31   18276   1 pwsh
    101   163.30     222.05      29.00   35928   1 pwsh

$j = Get-Process pwsh | Start-ThreadJob -ScriptBlock { $input | Out-String }
$j | Wait-Job | Receive-Job

NPM(K)    PM(M)      WS(M)     CPU(s)      Id  SI ProcessName
 ------    -----      -----     ------      --  -- -----------
     94   145.80     159.02      18.31   18276   1 pwsh
    101   163.30     222.05      29.00   35928   1 pwsh

Parameters

-ArgumentList

Specifies an array of arguments, or parameter values, for the script that is specified by the FilePath or ScriptBlock parameters.

ArgumentList must be the last parameter on the command line. All the values that follow the parameter name are interpreted values in the argument list.

Type:Object[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-FilePath

Specifies a script file to run as a background job. Enter the path and filename of the script. The script must be on the local computer or in a folder that the local computer can access.

When you use this parameter, PowerShell converts the contents of the specified script file to a script block and runs the script block as a background job.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-InitializationScript

Specifies commands that run before the job starts. Enclose the commands in braces ({}) to create a script block.

Use this parameter to prepare the session in which the job runs. For example, you can use it to add functions and modules to the session.

Type:ScriptBlock
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-InputObject

Specifies the objects used as input to the script block. It also allows for pipeline input. Use the $input automatic variable in the script block to access the input objects.

Type:PSObject
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Name

Specifies a friendly name for the new job. You can use the name to identify the job to other job cmdlets, such as the Stop-Job cmdlet.

The default friendly name is "Job#", where "#" is an ordinal number that is incremented for each job.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ScriptBlock

Specifies the commands to run in the background job. Enclose the commands in braces ({}) to create a script block. Use the $Input automatic variable to access the value of the InputObject parameter. This parameter is required.

Type:ScriptBlock
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-StreamingHost

This parameter provides a thread safe way to allow Write-Host output to go directly to the passed in PSHost object. Without it, Write-Host output goes to the job information data stream collection and doesn't appear in a host console until after the jobs finish running.

Type:PSHost
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ThrottleLimit

This parameter limits the number of jobs running at one time. As jobs are started, they are queued and wait until a thread is available in the thread pool to run the job. The default limit is 5 threads.

The thread pool size is global to the PowerShell session. Specifying a ThrottleLimit in one call sets the limit for subsequent calls in the same session.

Type:Int32
Position:Named
Default value:5
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

PSObject

Outputs

ThreadJob.ThreadJob