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Two ways to get the command line of another process using delphi

5 Comments

Note : for a updated version of the code check the Github repo.


Today I will show you how you can retrieve the Command line parameters of an external application from Delphi using the WinApi and the WMI. In order to understand how the Command line parameters are stored and treated by the system, I recommend which you read this article from  Raymond Chen .

The WinApi way

In order to get the command line from an external process using the WinAPI, you must access to the PEB (Process Environment Block) of the application. To get the PEB you can use the NtQueryInformationProcess function

NTSTATUS WINAPI NtQueryInformationProcess(
  __in       HANDLE ProcessHandle,
  __in       PROCESSINFOCLASS ProcessInformationClass,
  __out      PVOID ProcessInformation,
  __in       ULONG ProcessInformationLength,
  __out_opt  PULONG ReturnLength
);

 

function  NtQueryInformationProcess(
  ProcessHandle : THandle;
  ProcessInformationClass : DWORD;
  ProcessInformation : Pointer;
  ProcessInformationLength : ULONG;
  ReturnLength : PULONG
 ): LongInt; stdcall; external 'ntdll.dll';

Passing the ProcessBasicInformation value in the ProcessInformationClass parameter and a buffer to hold the PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION returned in the ProcessInformation.

This is the official (MSDN) definition for the PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION structure

typedef struct _PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION {
    PVOID Reserved1;
    PPEB PebBaseAddress;
    PVOID Reserved2[2];
    ULONG_PTR UniqueProcessId;
    PVOID Reserved3;
} PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION;

And this a more friendly delphi translation of this structure using the NTinterlnals.net site

  PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION = packed record
    ExitStatus: DWORD;
    PebBaseAddress: Pointer;
    AffinityMask: DWORD;
    BasePriority: DWORD;
    UniqueProcessId: DWORD;
    InheritedUniquePID:DWORD;
  end;

The key field in this structure is PebBaseAddress, which stores the address of the PEB. from this point now you must digging inside of the PEB structure again

typedef struct _PEB {
  BYTE                          Reserved1[2];
  BYTE                          BeingDebugged;
  BYTE                          Reserved2[1];
  PVOID                         Reserved3[2];
  PPEB_LDR_DATA                 Ldr;
  PRTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS  ProcessParameters;
  BYTE                          Reserved4[104];
  PVOID                         Reserved5[52];
  PPS_POST_PROCESS_INIT_ROUTINE PostProcessInitRoutine;
  BYTE                          Reserved6[128];
  PVOID                         Reserved7[1];
  ULONG                         SessionId;
} PEB, *PPEB;

and retrieve the value of the ProcessParameters field which is a pointer to a RTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS structure

typedef struct _RTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS {
  BYTE           Reserved1[16];
  PVOID          Reserved2[10];
  UNICODE_STRING ImagePathName;
  UNICODE_STRING CommandLine;
} RTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS, *PRTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS;

Finally you can note which the CommandLine field stores the info which are looking for.

The WinAPI Delphi Code

This is the Delphi source which retrieves the Command line parameters from an external application
Notes :

  1. the next code uses hard-coded offsets to read specific locations of the PEB to avoid the declaration the full structures required (feel free to declare these structures and avoid the offsets).
  2. this code only works for 32 bits process because the structure of the PEB differs from 32 to 64 processes.
  3. to gain access to the processes owned by the system the code set the  SeDebugPrivilege token before to use the OpenProcess function.
//Author Rodrigo Ruz V.
//2011-07-20
{$APPTYPE CONSOLE}
uses
  SysUtils,
  Windows;

type
  _UNICODE_STRING = record
    Length: Word;
    MaximumLength: Word;
    Buffer: LPWSTR;
  end;
  UNICODE_STRING = _UNICODE_STRING;

  PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION = packed record
    ExitStatus: DWORD;
    PebBaseAddress: Pointer;
    AffinityMask: DWORD;
    BasePriority: DWORD;
    UniqueProcessId: DWORD;
    InheritedUniquePID:DWORD;
  end;

  function  NtQueryInformationProcess(ProcessHandle : THandle; ProcessInformationClass : DWORD; ProcessInformation : Pointer; ProcessInformationLength : ULONG; ReturnLength : PULONG ): LongInt; stdcall; external 'ntdll.dll';

function GetCommandLineFromPid(PID: THandle): string;
const
  STATUS_SUCCESS             = $00000000;
  SE_DEBUG_NAME              = 'SeDebugPrivilege';
  OffsetProcessParametersx32 = $10;//16
  OffsetCommandLinex32       = $40;//64
var
  ProcessHandle        : THandle;
  rtlUserProcAddress   : Pointer;
  CommandLine          : UNICODE_STRING;
  CommandLineContents  : WideString;
  ProcessBasicInfo     : PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION;
  ReturnLength         : Cardinal;
  TokenHandle          : THandle;
  lpLuid               : TOKEN_PRIVILEGES;
  OldlpLuid            : TOKEN_PRIVILEGES;
begin
  Result:='';
  if OpenProcessToken(GetCurrentProcess(), TOKEN_ADJUST_PRIVILEGES or TOKEN_QUERY, TokenHandle) then
  begin
    try

      if not LookupPrivilegeValue(nil, SE_DEBUG_NAME, lpLuid.Privileges[0].Luid) then
        RaiseLastOSError
      else
      begin
        lpLuid.PrivilegeCount := 1;
        lpLuid.Privileges[0].Attributes  := SE_PRIVILEGE_ENABLED;
        ReturnLength := 0;
        OldlpLuid    := lpLuid;
        //Set the SeDebugPrivilege privilege
        if not AdjustTokenPrivileges(TokenHandle, False, lpLuid, SizeOf(OldlpLuid), OldlpLuid, ReturnLength) then RaiseLastOSError;
      end;

      ProcessHandle := OpenProcess(PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION or PROCESS_VM_READ, false, PID);
      if ProcessHandle=0 then RaiseLastOSError
      else
      try
        // get the PROCESS_BASIC_INFORMATION to access to the PEB Address
        if (NtQueryInformationProcess(ProcessHandle,0{=>ProcessBasicInformation},@ProcessBasicInfo, sizeof(ProcessBasicInfo), @ReturnLength)=STATUS_SUCCESS) and (ReturnLength=SizeOf(ProcessBasicInfo)) then
        begin
          //get the address of the RTL_USER_PROCESS_PARAMETERS struture
          if not ReadProcessMemory(ProcessHandle, Pointer(Longint(ProcessBasicInfo.PEBBaseAddress) + OffsetProcessParametersx32), @rtlUserProcAddress, sizeof(Pointer), ReturnLength) then
            RaiseLastOSError
          else
          if ReadProcessMemory(ProcessHandle, Pointer(Longint(rtlUserProcAddress) + OffsetCommandLinex32), @CommandLine, sizeof(CommandLine), ReturnLength) then
          begin
            SetLength(CommandLineContents, CommandLine.length);
            //get the CommandLine field
            if ReadProcessMemory(ProcessHandle, CommandLine.Buffer, @CommandLineContents[1], CommandLine.Length, ReturnLength) then
             Result := WideCharLenToString(PWideChar(CommandLineContents), CommandLine.length div 2)
            else
            RaiseLastOSError;
          end;
        end
        else
        RaiseLastOSError;
      finally
        CloseHandle(ProcessHandle);
      end;
    finally
      CloseHandle(TokenHandle);
    end;
  end
  else
  RaiseLastOSError;
end;

begin
 try
   Writeln(GetCommandLineFromPid(5440));
 except
    on E:Exception do
        Writeln(E.Classname, ':', E.Message);
 end;
 Readln;
end.

The WMI way

The WMI provides a very reliable and easy way to access the Command line parameters from an external process, all you must to do is use the Win32_Process wmi class and look in the CommandLine property.

The WMI Delphi Code

Notes

  1. The next code can retrieve the command line for 32 and 64 bits processes.
  2. The code uses Late binding to access the WMI, if you want use another way to access the WMI from Delphi (like direct COM access or importing th e Microsoft scripting library) take a look to the Delphi WMI Code creator.
  3. You can change the credentials of the ConnectServer function to access to the command line parameters of a remote machine process.
{$APPTYPE CONSOLE}

uses
  Windows,
  SysUtils,
  ActiveX,
  Variants,
  ComObj;

function  GetCommandLineFromPid(ProcessId:DWORD): string;
var
  FSWbemLocator : OLEVariant;
  FWMIService   : OLEVariant;
  FWbemObjectSet: OLEVariant;
begin;
  Result:='';
  FSWbemLocator := CreateOleObject('WbemScripting.SWbemLocator');
  FWMIService   := FSWbemLocator.ConnectServer('localhost', 'root\CIMV2', '', '');
  //if the pid not exist a EOleException exception will be raised with the code $80041002 - Object Not Found
  FWbemObjectSet:= FWMIService.Get(Format('Win32_Process.Handle="%d"',[ProcessId]));
  Result:=FWbemObjectSet.CommandLine;
end;

begin
 try
    CoInitialize(nil);
    try
     Writeln(GetCommandLineFromPid(5452));
    finally
      CoUninitialize;
    end;
 except
    on E:EOleException do
        Writeln(Format('EOleException %s %x', [E.Message,E.ErrorCode]));
    on E:Exception do
        Writeln(E.Classname, ':', E.Message);
 end;
 Writeln('Press Enter to exit');
 Readln;
end.

Author: Rodrigo

Just another Delphi guy.

5 thoughts on “Two ways to get the command line of another process using delphi

  1. Great article very clear to understand

  2. There is no way to determine CMD Line or ImagePath from a x64 process, if it is runnig from a “subst” drive (subst-mounted folder).

  3. Pingback: Get path to file currently open in Windows Picture & Fax viewer | PHP Developer Resource

  4. THandle is the wrong type to use for PID. It should be DWORD.

  5. Great article! Exactly the code I was looking for!
    Both approaches work fine.
    Thank you!

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