Microsoft PowerShell Goes Open Source

Opening the code and making the product available on Linux is intended to drive innovation and increase interoperability across various technologies and vendors.

Aldrin Brown, Editor-in-Chief

August 20, 2016

2 Min Read
Microsoft PowerShell Goes Open Source

Microsoft this week announced that PowerShell is now open sourced and available on Linux, the start of a development process that aims to enable users to mange any platform from anywhere, on any device.

The task-based command-line shell and scripting language utilizes .NET framework and is widely used by managed services providers (MSPs) and other IT professionals to control and automate administration of operating systems and applications.

Until now, PowerShell was only available on Windows.

Opening the code to outside developers is part of Microsoft’s increasingly customer-centric philosophy, which calls for allowing the same tools and staff to seamlessly manage the growing number of diverse cloud and hybrid environments.

“Microsoft wants to earn customers’ preference as the platform for running all their workloads – Linux as well as Windows,” said a blog post by Jeffrey Snover, a technical fellow with Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Group. “This new thinking empowered the .NET team to port .NET Core to Linux and that in turn, enabled PowerShell to port to Linux as well.”

The new open source PowerShell is available immediately on Ubuntu, Centos, Red Hat and Mac OS X. Alpha builds and the source code are available on GitHub, the post said.

“Now, users across Windows and Linux, current and new PowerShell users, even application developers can experience a rich interactive scripting language as well as a heterogeneous automation and configuration management that works well with your existing tools,” Snover wrote. “Your PowerShell skills are now even more marketable, and your Windows and Linux teams, who may have had to work separately, can now work together more easily.”

Microsoft officials said they are expanding their community to encourage participation by developers, as well as working with third party companies, including Chef, Amazon Web Services, VMware and Google, to ensure a seamless experience across popular platforms.

The newly created PowerShell Editor Service allows users to select from a variety of authoring editors, and Microsoft has enhanced the PowerShell Remoting Protocol to incorporate OpenSSH for native transport.

Open source PowerShell will also improve the capabilities of Operations Management Suite (OMS), Microsoft’s cloud management solution.

“OMS gives you visibility and control of your applications and workloads across Azure and other clouds,” Snover wrote. “Integral to this, it enables customers to transform their cloud experience when using PowerShell on both Linux and Windows Server.” 

OMS Automation elevates PowerShell and Desired State Configuration (DSC) with a highly available and scalable management service from Azure,” he continued. “You can graphically author and manage all PowerShell resources including runbooks, DSC configurations and DSC node configurations from one place.”

The current alpha release will be replaced in the future with an official Microsoft version of open source PowerShell.

“We hope all of you will help us get it right,” the blog states.


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About the Author(s)

Aldrin Brown

Editor-in-Chief, Penton

Veteran journalist Aldrin Brown comes to Penton Technology from Empire Digital Strategies, a business-to-business consulting firm that he founded that provides e-commerce, content and social media solutions to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to create or grow their digital presence.

Previously, Brown served as the Desert Bureau Chief for City News Service in Southern California and Regional Editor for Patch, AOL's network of local news sites. At Patch, he managed a staff of journalists and more than 30 hyper-local and business news and information websites throughout California. In addition to his work in technology and business, Brown was the city editor for The Sun, a daily newspaper based in San Bernardino, CA; the college sports editor at The Tennessean, Nashville, TN; and an investigative reporter at the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA.


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