Tag: SSH

SSH Remote Edit File with Visual Studio Code

Remote Edit Files on Azure Linux VMs using VS Code

There are a lot of different ways to remote manage your Azure virtual machines using various tools and technics. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can remotely edit files on Azure Linux virtual machines using Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code has a new Remote Development Extention which allows you to open any folder in a container, on a remote computer, or in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and take advantage of the VS Code feature set. With the Remote – SSH extensions, you can easily browse and edit files on an Azure VM or any other system where you can connect using SSH.

Installation

As mentioned to edit the files on the Azure Linux virtual machine remotely, we are using the light-weight, cross-platform, opensource editor Visual Studio Code. You can download and install VS Code from the official website.

Visual Studio Code Remote Development Extension

In addition to Visual Studio code, we need to install the Remote – SSH extension, which comes with Remote Development Extension Pack. This also includes remote extensions for containers or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

If you are running on a Windows 10 machine, you will also need to install the OpenSSH client on your machine. You can do that going through this blog post, or by running this command.

# Install the OpenSSH Client
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name OpenSSH.Client~~~~0.0.1.0

Azure VM connection using SSH

The Remote – SSH extensions currently only supports connecting to x86_64 Linux-based SSH servers using key-based authentication.

Optional: Create Azure Linux VM with key-based SSH authentication using the Azure CLI

Create Azure Linux VM Azure CLI SSH Keys DNS Name

If you want to try it out, and you haven’t set up a Linux VM SSH and key-based authentication. This Azure CLI command here helps you to create a new Azure virtual machine and sets up ssh keys as well as an optional unique Azure DNS name.

az vm create --resource-group demosshvm --name tomsVM --image UbuntuLTS --admin-username thomas --generate-ssh-keys --public-ip-address-dns-name tomsazurelinuxvm

In this example, you can use the public IP address or the Azure FQDN to connect to the Azure VM. If you have a VPN or Express Route set up, you can also use private IP addresses and DNS names. If you are using public IP addresses in production, make sure you are using a service like Azure Just in Time VM access.

Connect Visual Studio Code to Azure VM using SSH

After you have installed Visual Studio Code, the Remote – SSH extension, the SSH client and have a VM with key-based authentication, you can now easily connect. Open Visual Studio Code, on the bottom left, you see the Remote connection button. If you press it, you will find the remoting options. Select “Remote-SSH: Connect to Host…

Visual Studio Open Remote SSH Connection

This will ask you for the username and IP address or DNS name of the virtual machine. In my case, I am going to use the DNS name.

Visual Studio Code SSH Remoting Connection

 

After pressing enter, this will connect your Visual Studio Code environment to the Azure virtual machine.

Visual Studio Code SSH Connection

 

Remote edit files on Azure Linux VMs using VS Code

You can start opening folders and files on the remote Azure Linux VM and begin browsing the file system. On the bottom left, you see the name or IP address of the machine you are connected with.

SSH Remote File System Visual Studio Code

You can also open files and start remote edit files on your Azure Linux VM. If you save the changes you made to the file, this is directly saved on the remote Azure virtual machine.

SSH Remote Edit File with Visual Studio Code

You get all the advanced VS Code features you know from your local Visual Studio Code like syntax-highlighting and more.

I hope this shows you an easy way to remotely edit files on your Azure Linux virtual machines using Visual Studio Code and SSH. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Azure Bastion Windows VM

Azure Bastion – Private RDP and SSH access to Azure VMs

Azure Bastion is a new service which enables you to have private and fully managed RDP and SSH access to your Azure virtual machines. If you wanted to access your Azure virtual machines using RDP or SSH today, and you were not using a VPN connection, you had to assign a public IP address to the virtual machine. You were able to secure the connection using Azure Just in Time VM access in Azure Security Center. However, this had still some drawbacks. With Azure Bastion you get a private and fully managed service, which you deploy to your Virtual Network, which then allows you to access your VMs directly from the Azure portal using your browser over SSL.

Azure Bastion Architecture

Source: Microsoft Docs

Azure Bastion brings a couple of advantages

  • Removes requirement for a Remote Desktop (RDP) client on your local machine
  • Removes element for a local SSH client
  • No need for local RDP or SSH ports (handy when your company blocks it)
  • Uses secure SSL/TLS encryption
  • No need to assign public IP addresses to your Azure Virtual Machine
  • Works in basically any modern browser on any device (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.)
  • Better hardening and more straightforward Network Security Group (NSG) management
  • Can remove the need for a Jumpbox

If you want to know more directly here is the link to the Azure Bastion announcement blog and the Microsoft Docs.

Public Preview

Azure Bastion is currently in public preview. The public preview is limited to the following Azure public regions:

  • West US
  • East US
  • West Europe
  • South Central US
  • Australia East
  • Japan East

To participate in this preview, you need to register. Use these steps to register for the preview:

Register-AzureRmProviderFeature -FeatureName AllowBastionHost -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network
 
Register-AzureRmResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network
 
Get-AzureRmProviderFeature -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

To use the Azure Bastion service, you will also need to use the Azure Portal – Preview.

How to set up an Azure Bastion host for a private RDP and SSH access to Azure VMs

Create Azure Bastion Host

First, you will need to deploy Bastion Host in your virtual network (VNet). The Azure Bastion Host will need at least a /27 subnet.

AzureBastionSubnet

Access Azure virtual machines using Azure Bastion

Azure Bastion integrates natively in the Azure portal. The platform will automatically be detected if Bastion is deployed to the virtual network your virtual machine is in. To connect to a virtual machine, click on the connect button for the virtual machine. Now you can enter your username and password for the virtual machine.

Azure Portal connect to Linux VM SSH

This will now open up a web-based SSL RDP session in the Azure portal to the virtual machine. Again, there is no need to have a public IP address assigned to your virtual machine.

Private access to Azure Linux VM

 

Roadmap – more to come

As Yousef Khalidi (CVP Azure Networking) mentions in his preview announcement blog, the team will add more great capabilities, like Azure Active Directory and MFA support, as well as support for native RDP and SSH clients.

The Azure networking and compute team are doing more great work on creating a great Azure IaaS experience. I hope this gives you an overview of how you can get a private RDP or SSH access to your Azure VM. If you want to know more about the Azure Bastion service, check out the Microsoft Docs for more information. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



PowerShell SSH Remoting Linux to Windows

Setup PowerShell SSH Remoting in PowerShell 6

With PowerShell version 6, Microsoft introduced PowerShell Remoting over SSH, which allows true multiplatform PowerShell remoting between Linux, macOS and Windows. PowerShell SSH Remoting creates a PowerShell host process on the target machine as an SSH subsystem. Normally, PowerShell remoting uses WinRM for connection negotiation and data transport, however WinRM is only available on Windows based machines.

There are also some downsides to it. SSH-based remoting doesn’t currently support remote endpoint configuration and JEA (Just Enough Administration). It is also important to understand, that this is not just another PowerShell SSH client.

Use SSH Transport with PowerShell Remoting

To use PowerShell remoting with SSH you can use the same cmdlets, you know from PowerShell remoting with WinRM.

  • New-PSSession
  • Enter-PSSession
  • Invoke-Command

There are 3 new parameters for these cmdlets, if you are using PowerShell SSH remoting.

  • -HostName (Instead of -Computername, you define the SSH target)
  • -UserName (Instead of -Credentials you use the -UserName parameter)
  • -KeyFilePath (If you are using SSH key authentication you can use the -KeyFilePath parameter to point to the key file)
 
New-PSSession -HostName tomsssh.server.com -UserName thomas


Mastering Azure with Cloud Shell

Mastering Azure with Cloud Shell

There are multiple ways to interact and manage resources in Microsoft Azure. You can use the Azure Portal or command line tools like the Azure PowerShell module or the Azure CLI, which you can install on your local machine. However, to set up a cloud management workstation for administrators and developers can be quite a lot of work. Especially if you have multiple computers, keeping consistency between these machines can be challenging. Another challenge is keeping the environment secure and all the tools up to date. The Azure Cloud Shell addresses this any many more things.

Cloud Shell is not brand new, Microsoft announced Cloud Shell at Build 2017. This blog post is about how you can master Azure with Cloud Shell and give you an overview of the possibilities of Cloud Shell.

 

What is Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell Azure Portal

Cloud Shell offers a browser-accessible, pre-configured shell experience for managing Azure resources without the overhead of installing, versioning, and maintaining a machine yourself. Azure Cloud Shell is assigned per unique user account and automatically authenticated with each session. This makes it a private and secure environment.

You get a modern web-based command line experience which can be accessed from several endpoints like the Azure Portal, shell.azure.com and the Azure mobile app, Visual Studio Code or directly in the Azure docs.

In the backend, Azure uses containers and automatically attaches an Azure File Share to the container. You can store the data on it, so your data is persistent. This persists your data across different Cloud Shell sessions.

Cloud Shell Bash and PowerShell

You can choose your preferred shell experience. Cloud Shell supports Bash and PowerShell and included your favorite third-party tools and standard tools and languages. If something like a module is missing, you can add it.



Inked Azure Security Center Just in time VM access_LI

Azure – Just in Time VM access

If you run virtual machines with a public IP address connected to the internet, attackers immediately try to run attacks against it. Brute force attacks commonly target management ports, like RDP or SSH, to gain access to a VM. If the attacker is successful, he can take control over the VM and access other resources in the environment. To address that issue it is highly recommended to reduce the ports open, especially for the management ports. However, sometimes you will need to open to ports for some of the virtual machines for management tasks. Microsoft Azure has a simple way to address this issue, called Azure JIT virtual machine (VM) access. Just in time VM access can be used to lock down inbound traffic to your Azure VMs, reducing exposure to attacks while providing easy access to connect to VMs when needed.

To find more about Just-in-time virtual machine access in Azure Security, check out the Microsoft Docs.

How does Azure Just in Time VM Access work

In the Azure Security Center, you can enable just in time VM access; this will create a Network Security Rule (NSG) to lock down inbound traffic to the Azure VM. During the initial JIT VM access configuration, you will be configuring the ports specified, which will be managed by Azure Security Center, these ports will be locked down by the Azure Security Center using an NSGs.

Configure Azure JIT VM access

Inked Configure Just in time VM access_LI

Azure JIT VM access is configured in the Azure Security Center. To configure and enable JIT on a virtual machine open up the Azure Security Center and click on Just in time VM access.

Here you will find three states, Configured, Recommended and No recommendation.

  • Configured – VMs that have been set to support just in time VM access. The data presented is for the last week and includes for each VM the number of approved requests, last access date and time, and last user.
  • Recommended – VMs that can support just in time VM access but have not been configured to. We recommend that you enable just in time VM access control for these VMs. See Configuring a just in time access policy.
  • No recommendation – Reasons that can cause a VM not to be recommended are:
    • Missing NSG – The just in time solution requires an NSG to be in place.
    • Classic VM – Security Center just in time VM access currently supports only VMs deployed through Azure Resource Manager. A classic deployment is not supported by the just in time solution.
    • Other – A VM is in this category if the just in time solution is turned off in the security policy of the subscription or the resource group, or that the VM is missing a public IP and doesn’t have an NSG in place.

To configure you click on Recommended and select the Virtual Machine, for which you want to enable JIT.

Click on Enable JIT on VMs and configure the ports which should be managed by Just in time VM Access. Just in time VM access will recommend some default ports like RDP, SSH, and PowerShell Remoting. You can also add other ports to the virtual machine if you want or need to.

Requesting Just in time VM Access for Azure Virtual Machine

Request Just in time VM access

On the Configured section, you can select the VM you want to request access to and click on Request access. You can now choose the ports you want to be open for a specific time and a particular IP address. This will open up the ports, and after 2-3 minutes, you will be able to access the virtual machine.

To send such a request, the user who requests access to the Virtual Machine needs to have write access to the virtual machines in the Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).

Auditing access activity

Of course, all the request get logged and can be reviewed in the Activity Log.

Licensing

Azure just in time VM access is licensed over Azure Security Center and needs the Standard Tier to be enabled for the specific virtual machine.

I hope this gives you an idea of how you can leverage Just in time VM access in Azure for your workloads.



OpenSSH Server on Windows Server

Install OpenSSH Server on Windows Server

Back in 2017 Microsoft made OpenSSH available on Windows 10. Shorty after OpenSSH was also available for Windows Server, version 1709. This blog post should give you a simple step by step guy how you install OpenSSH Server on Windows Server. OpenSSH is available for Windows Server, version 1709 and higher. If you are running Windows Server 2016, and you want to stay in the long-term servicing branch, you will need to wait for the next Windows Server LTSC build.

Install OpenSSH Server on Windows Server

If you are running a Windows Server 1709 or higher, you can simply use PowerShell to install the OpenSSH Client and Server.

OpenSSH on Windows Server

You can use the following PowerShell commands to install the OpenSSH Server on the server.

 
Get-WindowsCapability -Online | ? Name -like 'OpenSSH*'
 
# Install the OpenSSH Server
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name OpenSSH.Server~~~~0.0.1.0
 
# Install the OpenSSHUtils helper module, which is needed to fix the ACL for ths host keys.
Install-Module -Force OpenSSHUtils

After the installation you can find the OpenSSH Server files and some more configuration options under “C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH”

Next you need to configure the OpenSSH Server (sshd)

To enable authentication into an SSH server on Windows, you first have to generate host keys and repair the ACL on the host keys.

Configure OpenSSH Server on Windows

To configure the OpenSSH Server, just run the following PowerShell commands:

 
Start-Service ssh-agent
 
cd C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH
 
# Generate Key
.\ssh-keygen -A
 
# Add Key
.\ssh-add ssh_host_ed25519_key
 
# Repair SSH Host Key Permissions
Repair-SshdHostKeyPermission -FilePath C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH\ssh_host_ed25519_key
 
# Open firewall port
New-NetFirewallRule -Protocol TCP -LocalPort 22 -Direction Inbound -Action Allow -DisplayName SSH
# Consider to configure the Profile for the Firewall rule

Now you should be able to access your Windows Server using an SSH client.

OpenSSH Server on Windows Server

Remember if you run your server in Microsoft Azure, you might also need to configure the Network Security Group to allow SSH Remoting on port 22.

I hope this post help you and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Hyper-V HVC SSH Direct for Linux VMs

HVC – SSH Direct for Linux VMs on Hyper-V

If you are running Hyper-V on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, you probably know about a feature called PowerShell Direct. I also mentioned that PowerShell Direct is one of the 10 hidden features in Hyper-V you should know about. PowerShell Direct lets you remotely connect to a Windows Virtual Machine running on a Hyper-V host, without any network connection inside the VM. PowerShell Direct uses the Hyper-V VMBus to connect inside the Virtual Machine. Of course, this feature is convenient if you need it for automation and configuration for Virtual Machines. As this is great for Windows virtual machines, it does not work with Virtual Machines running Linux. In the latest Windows 10, Windows Server 1803 (RS4) and Windows Server 2019 (RS5) Insider Preview builds, Microsoft enabled a tool called HVC. HVC is a tool which allows you to do some command line VM management. HVC SSH is basically PowerShell Direct for Linux VMs.

This allows connecting to a Linux VM using SSH over the Hyper-V VMBus. You are also able to copy files inside a virtual machine using scp, similar to Copy-item -ToSession using PowerShell Direct. You can read more about PowerShell Direct on my blog or the Microsoft Doc pages.

How to connect to Linux VMs using SSH Direct

HVC SSH on Hyper-V

To connect to Linux VMs using SSH Direct (HVC) type hvc.exe into the command line or PowerShell. This will give you all the possible command options. Of course, SSH has to big configured inside the Linux virtual machine.

hvc ssh Thomas@VMNAME

To make this work, the SSH server inside the VM needs to be configured.

Final Thoughts

A pretty cool tool which will be available in the official releases of Windows 10 and Windows Server 1803, released this spring. Later this year this feature will also be included in Windows Server 2019. If you want to try it out today, give the Windows Insider Preview builds a spin.

Thanks to Ben Armstrong for pointing this out ;)