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PowerShell on Linux? It's About Time

Microsoft is open sourcing its popular scripting language and porting it to the Linux and Mac OSX platforms. PowerShell capabilities will also reach into the cloud via extensions for Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

Microsoft has open sourced PowerShell, the .NET Framework-based command-line shell and scripting language commonly used for task automation and configuration management. It's also being ported for use on Linux and Mac OSX platforms.

"As we port PowerShell to Linux, we are making sure that we are a first class citizen on that platform. We fit in well with the architecture, idioms and existing tools," wrote Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow with Microsoft's Enterprise Cloud Group, in a blog post. He said that the current project is in the alpha stage, with support initially for Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat variants of Linux, as well as Mac OSX.

Snover indicated that porting PowerShell to Linux "pretty easy as most of the original PowerShell team had deep Unix backgrounds and that shows in our design." To help spur further development, his group created a PowerShell Editor Service, to extend project authoring with the usual IntelliSense, debugging, and programming aids that developers are familiar with. It also supports Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text editors, with support for other editors to come. To open up connection options for the PowerShell Remoting Protocol, he said the group will be extending it "to use OpenSSH as a native transport."

Snover notes that PowerShell is also being integrated into Microsoft Operations Management Suite, which will allow developers to extend PowerShell's capabilities to applications and workloads into Azure and other clouds using a number of modules and scripts in the PowerShell Gallery. (On a side note, Snover notes the availability of an OMS addition that can provide real-time monitoring of Linux workloads.)

"You can graphically author and manage all PowerShell resources including runbooks, DSC configurations and DSC node configurations from one place," he said.

Microsoft will be showcasing PowerShell for Linux at next week's LinuxCon event in Toronto, Canada.

PowerShell can be obtained from the GitHub site here; it's currently at version 5.1 as of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update release.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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