Introduction To Azure Cloud Shell

At the recent Build Developer Summit, Microsoft announced a very exciting and new utility feature for an Azure portal. Cloud Shell is an online Full bash shell built on the Web portal to manage your Azure subscription. It is very useful as previously we need to setup the environment in our local systems with the tools like Azure CLI, Azure CLI 2.0, PowerShell etc but this eliminates the hassle of setting up the environment and you can work with any system from anywhere on the world.

Azure Cloud Shell will give you the logged in session, so you don’t have to additionally login and get the context of your subscription. Instead it will share the session details with the Browser logged in into the portal. The sessions in an Azure Cloud Shell are not persistent and you will lose the context, once you logout, so when you login again, your previous session commands will not be available there.

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As you can see in the screenshot above, we need to create a storage account and use the File Share for a persistent $Home Directory. It is going to use the File share as our hard disk and use the same storage account for each subscription. It’s a one time activity, once we set it up the Cloud Shell will use the the storage accounts. It will be useful to work with BASH on the Cloud Shell.

Azure Shell right now supports Azure CLI 2.0. If you’re not familiar with the recently public previewed Azure CLI 2.0, then you can go through my articles here. As PowerShell is the majorly used scripting language to manage Azure resources, Microsoft is working to bring the PowerShell to Azure portal and once it is done, you can directly run your scripts from an Azure portal.

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We ran the Az VM list command and we got the output as we got in the command line on our system.

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One of the most amazing announcements that excited me personally was the launch of the Azure Mobile app, which means you can manage your resources from a mobile Application on the go. Azure portal was not mobile friendly and everytime I needed to login to my system to manage my resources, it will make my resources accessibility much easier. The best part is even the mobile app will support the Azure Cloud Shell so you can run your commands and scripts directly from your mobile. As of now, it gives the coming soon dialog.

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Summary

With new Azure Cloud Shell on the portal, we can run Azure CLI 2.0 and PowerShell is going to be supported as well soon. This console is only working in the Web portal but its going to be working in an Azure mobile app for iOS and Android soon.