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I'm deploying a custom Site Template (wsp) through Visual Studio with the code shown below:

<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
  <Module Name="IRBaseTemplate" List="111" Url="_catalogs/solutions">
    <File Url="IRBaseTemplate/IRBaseTemplate.wsp" Path="IRBaseTemplate\IRBaseTemplate.wsp" Type="GhostableInLibrary">
      <Property Name="LanguageDisplay" Value="English" />
      <Property Name="Version" Value="4" />
    </File>
  </Module>
</Elements>

This works and deploys the wsp to the solutions gallery. Does anybody know how to activate / deactivate this solution so I don't have to do it manually? Bonus points if you know how to Delete it.

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Try the below code to activate sandbox. It needs FeatureActivated event

public override void FeatureActivated(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
{
    string siteURL = "http://sitecollectionurl/";

    SPSite spSite = new SPSite(siteURL);

    SPUserToken systemToken = spSite.SystemAccount.UserToken;

    //impersonating user 
    using (SPSite site = new SPSite(siteURL, systemToken))
    {
        // Get all names of added solutions
        List solutionName = new List();
        SPUserSolutionCollection solutionsCollection = site.Solutions;

        foreach (SPUserSolution solution in site.Solutions)
        {
            string name = solution.Name;
            if (!solutionName.Contains(name))
            {
                solutionName.Add(name);
            }
        }

        // Add new solutions to the collection of the gallery
        SPDocumentLibrary solutionsGallery = (SPDocumentLibrary)site.GetCatalog(SPListTemplateType.SolutionCatalog);
        foreach (SPListItem item in solutionsGallery.Items)
        {
            if (!solutionName.Contains(item.Name))
            {
                solutionsCollection.Add(item.ID);
            }
        }

        // Properly activate solutions
        SPFeatureCollection featureCollection = site.Features;
        foreach (SPUserSolution solution in solutionsCollection)
        {
            Guid solutionId = solution.SolutionId;

            SPFeatureDefinitionCollection siteFeatures = site.FeatureDefinitions;

            var features = from SPFeatureDefinition f in siteFeatures
            where f.SolutionId.Equals(solutionId) && f.Scope == SPFeatureScope.Site
            select f;

            foreach (SPFeatureDefinition featureDefinition in features)
            {
                SPFeature foundFeature = featureCollection[featureDefinition.Id];

                if (foundFeature == null)
                site.Features.Add(featureDefinition.Id, false, SPFeatureDefinitionScope.Site);
            }
        }

    }
}

To deactivate it, you need to write it inside FeatureDeactivating event

public override void FeatureDeactivating(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
{
    ...above entire code and then replace the last foreach as below
    foreach (SPFeatureDefinition featureDefinition in features)
    {
        SPFeature foundFeature = featureCollection[featureDefinition.Id];

        site.Features.Remove(featureDefinition.Id,true);
    }
}

Reference - Activating SharePoint Sandboxed Solutions

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