Introduction to Microsoft PowerShell

This post is an introudction to command-line interpreter (CLI) PowerShell, developed by Microsoft.

Introducing PowerShell

PowerShell is an application developed by American company Microsoft that is open-source and cross-platform. You can find the source code on PowerShell GitHub project.

It was originally developed for Windows OS, but it is now available for other Unix-like operating systems like macOS, Ubuntu, Debian and others.

Before PowerShell appeared, Microsoft DOS and Windows operating systems relied on a command-line interpreter (CLI) that received different names over the time, like COMMAND.COM, cmd.exe, cmd or Command Prompt. Command Prompt is still available by default on current Windows versions, alongside PowerShell, as some users still use it.

Command Prompt had limited functionality, and users and administrator had to rely on the graphical user interface (GUI) to perform many operations and configurations. The purpose of PowerShell was to provide enough functionality to allow to configure the whole OS from a CLI.

The earliest versions of PowerShell were included as an option for Windows Vista and as a feature for Windows Server 2008. PowerShell was installed on by default on Windows since Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

PowerShell is based on other existing shells like the Unix shell Bash.

PowerShell is backward-compatible with Command Prompt through the uses of aliases that map the original Command Prompts commands with its equivalent in PowerShell.

For example:

  • if you type dir in PowerShell it will map it to the PowerShell command Get-ChildItem transparently.
  • running ipconfig.exe in PowerShell is equivalent to running the PowerShell command (cmdlet) Get-NetIPAddress

Learning PowerShell

Microsoft has the PowerShell team at ScriptCenter, where you can find Windows PowerShell scripts based on what you want the script to do.

Getting Support on PowerShell

Some sources to get support on PowerShell:

  • Microsoft PowerShell Community
  • Reddit r/PowerShell
  • Discord Group PowerShell

Microsoft PowerShell Community

There is a Microsoft PowerShell Community at Microsoft TechCommunity.

Official web

Reddit r/PowerShell

Official web

Discord Group PowerShell

Official web

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External references

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