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PowerShell Comes to Linux and Mac OS X

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Aug 22, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Microsoft has open sourced its scripting language PowerShell, while adding support for Linux and Mac OS X.  Microsoft Technical Fellow Jeffrey Snover made the announcement that as part of Microsoft's focus on multi-platform solutions, delivering PowerShell to non-Windows systems was a necessary step.  The code base is primarily written in C#, and the project being released under the MIT License.

PowerShell began life in 2002 and was designed as Microsoft’s solution for improving the scripting and automated management of Windows systems.  Administrators now have the ability to run PowerShell outside of Windows promoting cross-platform management.  That enables users to focus on using the best tool for the job, and easily apply their expertise to different platforms.

The current alpha release for PowerShell expressly supports Ubuntu, Centos, Redhat, and Mac OS X.  There is nothing in its design that limits PowerShell to just these systems, and it is expected that additional operating systems will be supported over time.  Snover says that Microsoft intends for PowerShell to become a “first class citizen” and that additional features are planned, including support for using OpenSSH as a communication transport. 

Reaction to the announcement has varied from those happy to see PowerShell become cross-platform to others that feel it is not worth using.  As Snover points out, those who are happy with their current toolset can continue to use it, but those who are looking for an alternative can now try PowerShell on non-Windows systems.  Snover says Microsoft intends to provide additional documentation and videos as to how PowerShell can be used today on Linux systems.  The first of these are available in the demos directory on the GitHub repository.

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