How to Run a PowerShell Script From Within the Python Program

Migel Hewage Nimesha Feb 02, 2024
  1. Python subprocess.Popen() Method
  2. Run a PowerShell Script From Within the Python Program Using the Popen() Method
How to Run a PowerShell Script From Within the Python Program

Windows PowerShell consists of tens of in-built cmdlets, which provide a rich set of features. Some of these features are unique and only available via PowerShell; hence, it is very useful if we can use PowerShell scripts within other programming languages like Python.

This article will focus on executing PowerShell logic from Python code.

Python subprocess.Popen() Method

In Python, the external programs can be executed using the subprocess.Popen() method. The subprocess module consists of several more efficient methods than the ones available in the old os module; hence, it is recommended to use the subprocess module instead of the os module.

Since we will run a PowerShell code from the Python program, the most convenient approach is to use the Popen class in the subprocess module. It creates a separate child process to execute an external program.

The one thing to keep in mind is that this process is platform-dependent.

Whenever you call subprocess.Popen(), the Popen constructor is called. It accepts multiple parameters, as shown in the following.

subprocess.Popen(args, bufsize=0, executable=None, stdin=None, stdout=None, stderr=None, preexec_fn=None, close_fds=False, shell=False, cwd=None, env=None, universal_newlines=False, startupinfo=None, creationflags=0)

The argument args is used to pass the command that starts the external program. There are two ways that you can pass the command with its parameters.

  1. As a Sequence of Arguments

    Popen(["path_to_external_program_executable", "command_args1", "command_args2", ...])
  2. As a Single Command String

    Popen('path_to_external_program_executable -command_param1 arg1 -command_param2 arg2 ...')

The sequence of arguments is recommended with the Popen constructor.

The next important argument is the stdout parameter which we will be used in the next section. This specifies the standard output that the process should use.

Run a PowerShell Script From Within the Python Program Using the Popen() Method

First, create a simple PowerShell script that prints to the console window.

Write-Host 'Hello, World!'

We will be saving it as sayhello.ps1.

Next, we will be creating a Python script, Since we will use the subprocess.Popen() command, we must import the subprocess module first.

import subprocess

Then we will call the Popen constructor with the args and stdout parameters, as shown in the following.

p = subprocess.Popen(["powershell.exe", "D:\\codes\\sayhello.ps1"], stdout=sys.stdout)

As you can see, the arguments have been passed as a sequence which is the recommended way. The first argument is the external program executable name, and the next is the file path to the previously created PowerShell script.

Another important thing to remember is that we should specify the standard output parameter as sys.stdout. To use the sys.stdout in your Python program, we must also import the sys module.

The final program should look as follows.

import subprocess
import sys

p = subprocess.Popen(["powershell.exe", "D:\\codes\\sayhello.ps1"], stdout=sys.stdout)

Finally, let’s run the Python program, as shown in the following.

python .\


Run a PowerShell Script From a Python Program - Output

As expected, the PowerShell script has been executed from the Python code and printed the Hello, World! string to the PowerShell window.

The Python program can also be written by passing the Popen constructor arguments as a single string.

import subprocess
import sys

p = subprocess.Popen(
    'powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -file 	 "D:\\codes\\sayhello.ps1"',

Migel Hewage Nimesha avatar Migel Hewage Nimesha avatar

Nimesha is a Full-stack Software Engineer for more than five years, he loves technology, as technology has the power to solve our many problems within just a minute. He have been contributing to various projects over the last 5+ years and working with almost all the so-called 03 tiers(DB, M-Tier, and Client). Recently, he has started working with DevOps technologies such as Azure administration, Kubernetes, Terraform automation, and Bash scripting as well.