Tag: Windows Powershell

Write PowerShell Code Online in a web browser using Visual Studio Codespaces

Write PowerShell Online using Visual Studio Codespaces

Last week the Visual Studio Services team announced a new service called Visual Studio Codespaces. Visual Studio Codespaces allows you to do cloud-hosted development for wherever you’re working. While the new services support many different programming and scripting languages, it also supports PowerShell. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can write PowerShell code online in a web browser using Visual Studio Codespaces.

What is Visual Studio Codespaces

As mentioned, Visual Studio Codespaces (earlier known as Visual Studio Online) are cloud-hosted development environments, which are accessible from everywhere. I don’t want to go too deep into what Visual Studio Codespaces are since there are already great resources out there. However, I want to quickly give you an overview of the basics of Visual Studio Code spaces and how you can use them to write PowerShell code.

Visual Studio Codespaces gives you access to development machines, which can be cloud-hosted or self-hosted.

  • Cloud-hosted machines are machines running in the Microsoft Cloud, and you can take advantage of the power of that machine. In this case, you can use the web browser or Visual Studio Code to access that Codespace.
  • Self-hosted machines can be computers in your home, company, installed in the cloud using Azure VMs, or everywhere. Again, here you can use a remote machine using a web browser or VS Code to access that code space remotely.
Visual Studio Codespaces Overview

Visual Studio Codespaces Overview

This now allows you to have a powerful development environment that you can access and run from anywhere. I think that is pretty cool!

You can read more about the introduction of Visual Studio Codespaces here.



PowerShell ISE Mode in Visual Studio Code

How to use PowerShell ISE Mode in Visual Studio Code

If you are writing PowerShell code, you might have realized that there weren’t really improvements to the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (PowerShell ISE) in the last couple of releases. With PowerShell becoming more popular on cross-platform systems, Visual Studio Code (VS Code) becomes the editor of choice. However, by default Visual Studio Code has a different behavior than the PowerShell ISE. To make it even easier, the latest PowerShell extension for Visual Studio Code, now includes PowerShell ISE Mode. PowerShell ISE Mode in Visual Studio Code, helps you to replicate and enable the settings from the following Microsoft Docs article: How to replicate the ISE experience in Visual Studio Code.

The ISE was first introduced with Windows PowerShell V2 and was re-designed with PowerShell V3. The ISE is supported in all supported versions of Windows PowerShell up to and including Windows PowerShell V5.1.

The PowerShell ISE is no longer in active feature development. As a shipping component of Windows, it continues to be officially supported for security and high-priority servicing fixes. We currently have no plans to remove the ISE from Windows.

There is no support for the ISE in PowerShell v6 and beyond.



What's new in PowerShell 7

What’s new in PowerShell 7 – Check it out!

As you know, the PowerShell team just released the new PowerShell version called PowerShell 7. PowerShell 7 will brings a couple of new features and enhancements not only for users who used PowerShell Core 6 but also for people who are currently using Windows PowerShell 5.0. I want to quickly give you an overview of what’s new in PowerShell 7.

New feature enhancements – What’s new in PowerShell 7

There are many enhancements in PowerShell 7 to make it the best PowerShell version yet. It is almost impossible to list all of them in one single blog post, so I will focus on the once, which are the most important once for me.

Out-GridView, -ShowWindow and other GUI cmdlets are back on Windows

With .NET Core 3 brining back WPF support on Windows, the PowerShell team was able to bring back some of the popular graphical tools and cmdlets like Out-Gridview, Show-Command, and the Get-Help -ShowWindow.

Show-Command PowerShell 7

Show-Command PowerShell 7

ForEach-Object -Parallel

Since I started using PowerShell and get into working with objects, ForEach-Object was one of the most critical cmdlets. By adding the -Parallel parameter to the ForEach-Object cmdlet, you can execute a scriptblock in parallel, similar to the option we had with PSWorkflow. With that performance can get so much better if you are working with a broad set of objects. You can also optionally set the maximum threads, which will be used in parallel (the default thread count is set to 5) with the -ThrottleLimit parameter.



Copy files to Azure VM using PowerShell Remoting

Copy Files to Azure VM using PowerShell Remoting

There are a couple of different cases you want to copy files to Azure virtual machines. To copy files to Azure VM, you can use PowerShell Remoting. This works with Windows and Linux virtual machines using Windows PowerShell 5.1 (Windows only) or PowerShell 6 (Windows and Linux). Check out my blog post at the ITOpsTalk.com about copying files from Windows to Linux using PowerShell Remoting.

Prepare your client machine

Prepare the client machine to create PowerShell Remote connections to a specific remote VM.

Set-Item WSMan:localhost\client\trustedhosts -value "AZUREVMIP"

You can also enable remoting to all machines by using an asterisk.

Set-Item WSMan:localhost\client\trustedhosts -value *

Copy Files to Windows Server Azure VM

If you want to copy files to an Azure VM running Windows Server, you have two options. If you are copying files from Windows to Windows, you can use Windows PowerShell Remoting; if you are copying files from Linux or macOS to Windows, you can use the cross-platform PowerShell 6 and PowerShell Remoting over SSH.

Using Windows PowerShell Remoting

To copy files from a Windows machine to a Windows Server running in Azure, you can use Windows PowerShell Remoting.

Prepare the host (Azure VM) to receive Windows PowerShell remote commands. The Enable-PSRemoting cmdlet configures the computer to receive Windows PowerShell remote commands that are sent by using the WS-Management technology.

Enable-PSRemoting -Force

Now you can create a new PowerShell Remoting session to the Azure VM.

$cred = Get-Credential
 
$s = New-PSSession -ComputerName "AZUREVMIPORNAME" -Credential $cred

After the session was successfully created, you can use the copy-item cmdlet with the -toSession parameter.

Copy-Item .\windows.txt C:\ -ToSession $s

Some important notes

  • You need to configure the Network Security Group for the Azure VM to allow port 5985 (HTTP) or 5986 (HTTPS)
  • You can use PowerShell Remoting over Public Internet or Private connectivity (VPN or Express Route). If you are using the Public Internet, I highly recommend that you use https. I also recommend that you use Just-in-time virtual machine access in Azure Security for public exposed ports.

Using PowerShell Core 6 PowerShell Remoting over SSH

If you are running PowerShell Core 6, you can use PowerShell Remoting over SSH. This gives you a simple connection and cross-platform support. First, you will need to install PowerShell 6. After that, you will need to configure and setup PowerShell SSH Remoting together with OpenSSH. You can follow my blog post to do this here: Setup PowerShell SSH Remoting in PowerShell 6

Now you can create a new PowerShell Remoting session to the Azure VM.

$s = New-PSSession -HostName "AZUREVMIPORNAME" -UserName

After the session was successfully created, you can use the copy-item cmdlet with the -toSession parameter.

Copy-Item .\windows.txt C:\ -ToSession $s

Some important notes

  • You need to configure the Network Security Group for the Azure VM to allow port 22 (SSH)
  • You can use PowerShell Remoting over Public Internet or Private connectivity (VPN or Express Route). Exposing the SSH port to the public internet maybe is not secure. If you still need to use a public SSH connection, I recommend that you use Just-in-time virtual machine access in Azure Security.

Copy Files to Linux Azure VM

Copy File Windows to Linux using PowerShell Remoting

If you want to copy files to a Linux VM running in Azure, you can make use of the cross-platform PowerShell capabilities of PowerShell 6, using PowerShell Remoting over SSH. As for the Windows virtual machines, you will need to install PowerShell 6. Next, you will need to configure and setup PowerShell SSH Remoting together with OpenSSH. You can follow my blog post to do this here: Setup PowerShell SSH Remoting in PowerShell 6

After installing and configuring PowerShell Remoting over SSH, you can create a new PowerShell Remoting session to the Azure VM.

$s = New-PSSession -HostName "AZUREVMIPORNAME" -UserName

After you successfully connected to your Azure VM, you can use the copy-item cmdlet with the -toSession parameter.

Copy-Item .\windows.txt /home/thomas -ToSession $s

I hope this gives you an overview about how you can copy files to Azure VMs using PowerShell Remoting. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.



Install or Update PowerShell 6 on Windows 10

How to Install and Update PowerShell 6

Today Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 ship with Windows PowerShell 5.1 as the default version. PowerShell Core 6 is a new edition of PowerShell that is cross-platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux), open-source, and built for heterogeneous environments and the hybrid cloud. PowerShell 6 today is a side by side version next to Windows PowerShell 5.1. That means on Windows you cannot just upgrade to PowerShell 6, you will need to install it, same as on Linux and macOS. This blog post shows you how simple you can install PowerShell 6 or update PowerShell 6, if you have already installed it, on Windows 10, Windows Server 2019 or Linux.

One great example of how cross-platform PowerShell can work, check out my blog post: How to set up PowerShell SSH Remoting

Of course, you can find excellent documentation out there on Microsoft Docs. However, Steve Lee (Microsoft Principal Software Engineer Manager in the PowerShell Team) shared some one-liner, which helps you quickly install and update PowerShell 6.

Install PowerShell Core 6

Before showing you the one-liner option to install PowerShell 6, I want to share with you the documentation to install PowerShell Core 6 on different operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.



Updated PowerShellGet and PackageManagment

Update PowerShellGet and PackageManagement

Since I am just setting up a new work machine, I wanted to share some information how you can update PowerShellGet and PackageManagement to the latest version. This will give you the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. Since you don’t get the latest version in Windows PowerShell nor PowerShell Core, you will need to update it manually.

PowerShellGet is a PowerShell module with commands for discovering, installing, updating and publishing the PowerShell artifacts like Modules, DSC Resources, Role Capabilities and Scripts. For example you use PowerShellGet to install the Azure PowerShell module, or other modules.

PowerShellGet module is also integrated with the PackageManagement module as a provider, users can also use the PowerShell PackageManagement cmdlets for discovering, installing and updating the PowerShell artifacts like Modules and Scripts.

(source: GitHub)

How to update PowerShellGet and PackageManagement

Updating to the latest version of PowerShellGet and the PackageManagement module is simple. Since both modules are part of the PowerShell Gallery, you can update them using a couple of simple commands.

You can find both modules in the PowerShell Gallery:

First lets check which versions of the modules you have available. If you use Update-Module, it will automatically load PowerShellGet and PackageManagement and list them as loaded PowerShell modules. Of course you can also use Get-Module -ListAvailable.

PowerShell Modules PowerShellGet and PackageManagement

 
Get-Module -ListAvailable PackageManagement, PowerShellGet

As you can see, In my default installation, I got PowerShellGet version 1.6.7 and PackageManagement 1.1.7.2. If you have a look at PSGallery, you will see that these are pretty old versions and that there are newer available.

To get the latest version from PowerShell Gallery, you should first install the latest Nuget provider. You will need to run PowerShell as an Administrator for all  the following commands.

 
Install-PackageProvider Nuget –Force
Exit

If you run PowerShell 5.0 or newer, you can install the latest PowerShellGet using the following command. PowerShell 5.0 is included in Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, any system with WMF 5.0 and 5.1 or a system running PowerShell 6.

 
Install-Module –Name PowerShellGet –Force
Exit

Two quick tips, first of, you will need to set the execution policy to RemoteSigned to allow the new module to run. Secondly in some cases you will need to use the -AllowClobber parameter to install the updated version of the module.

 
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
 
Install-Module –Name PowerShellGet –Force -AllowClobber

You can then use Update-Module to get newer versions:

 
Update-Module -Name PowerShellGet
Exit

Updated PowerShellGet and PackageManagment

After that you will see the latest versions of PowerShellGet and PackageMangement available

If you run older versions of PowerShell you can check out the full documention on the PowerShell Docs. I hope this blog post helps you to update PowerShellGet and benefit from the latest versions. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



PowerShell

Windows and PowerShell support for SSH

One of the biggest request Microsoft got from customers in terms of PowerShell was that customers want to use Secure Shell protocol and Shell session (aka SSH) to interoperate between Windows and Linux – both Linux connecting to and managing Windows via SSH and Windows connecting to and managing Linux via SSH.

Yesterday Angel Calvo, Group Software Engineering Manager in the PowerShell Team at Microsoft, finally announced that the PowerShell team is going to work, contribute and support the OpenSSH community. This will allow Microsoft to bring SSH (Secure Shell) support for PowerShell in the coming releases. For me connecting from Windows to Linux systems will be a great benefit and helps me manage some of my Azure Virtual Machines from my Surface without having to install any third party tools.

If you want to know more about that check out his Looking Forward: Microsoft: Support for Secure Shell (SSH)