_spawnvpe, _wspawnvpe


The latest version of this topic can be found at _spawnvpe, _wspawnvpe.

Creates and executes a new process.


This API cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported with /ZW.


intptr_t _spawnvpe(  
   int mode,  
   const char *cmdname,  
   const char *const *argv,  
   const char *const *envp   
intptr_t _wspawnvpe(  
   int mode,  
   const wchar_t *cmdname,  
   const wchar_t *const *argv,  
   const wchar_t *const *envp   


Execution mode for calling process

Path of file to be executed

Array of pointers to arguments. The argument argv[0] is usually a pointer to a path in real mode or to the program name in protected mode, and argv[1] through argv[n] are pointers to the character strings forming the new argument list. The argument argv[n +1] must be a NULL pointer to mark the end of the argument list.

Array of pointers to environment settings

Return Value

The return value from a synchronous _spawnvpe or _wspawnvpe (_P_WAIT specified for mode) is the exit status of the new process. The return value from an asynchronous _spawnvpe or _wspawnvpe (_P_NOWAIT or _P_NOWAITO specified for mode) is the process handle. The exit status is 0 if the process terminated normally. You can set the exit status to a nonzero value if the spawned process specifically calls the exit routine with a nonzero argument. If the new process did not explicitly set a positive exit status, a positive exit status indicates an abnormal exit with an abort or an interrupt. A return value of –1 indicates an error (the new process is not started). In this case, errno is set to one of the following values:

Argument list exceeds 1024 bytes

mode argument is invalid

File or path is not found

Specified file is not executable or has invalid executable-file format

Not enough memory is available to execute new process

See _doserrno, errno, _sys_errlist, and _sys_nerr for more information on these, and other, return codes.


Each of these functions creates and executes a new process, passing an array of pointers to command-line arguments and an array of pointers to environment settings. These functions use the PATH environment variable to find the file to execute.

These functions validate their parameters. If either cmdname or argv is a null pointer, or if argv points to null pointer, or argv[0] is an empty string, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation . If execution is allowed to continue, these functions set errno to EINVAL, and return -1. No new process is spawned.


Routine Required header
_spawnvpe <stdio.h> or <process.h>
_wspawnvpe <stdio.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility.


See the example in _spawn, _wspawn Functions.

.NET Framework Equivalent

See Also

_exec, _wexec Functions
exit, _Exit, _exit
_onexit, _onexit_m
system, _wsystem