Features & tools for Azure Cloud Shell
Azure Cloud Shell is a browser-based terminal that provides an authenticated, preconfigured shell experience for managing Azure resources without the overhead of installing and maintaining a machine yourself.
Azure Cloud Shell runs on Azure Linux, Microsoft's Linux distribution for cloud infrastructure edge products and services. You can choose Bash or PowerShell as your default shell.
Microsoft internally compiles all the packages included in the Azure Linux repository to help guard against supply chain attacks. For more information or to request changes to the Azure Linux image, see the Cloud Shell GitHub repository.
Cloud Shell automatically authenticates your Azure account to allow secure access for Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell, and other cloud management tools.
$HOME persistence across sessions
When you start Cloud Shell for the first time, you have the option of using Cloud Shell with or without an attached storage account. Choosing to continue without storage is the fastest way to start using Cloud Shell. In Cloud Shell, this is known as an ephemeral session. When you close the Cloud Shell window, all files you saved are deleted and don't persist across sessions.
To persist files across sessions, you can choose to mount a storage account. Cloud Shell
automatically attaches your storage (mounted as
$HOME\clouddrive) for all future sessions.
$HOME directory is persisted as an
.img file in your Azure File share. The
machine state and files outside of
$HOME aren't persisted across sessions. Learn more about
Persisting files in Cloud Shell.
Use best practices when storing secrets such as SSH keys. You can use Azure Key Vault to securely store and retrieve your keys. For more information, see Manage Key Vault using the Azure CLI.
Azure drive (Azure:)
PowerShell in Cloud Shell provides the Azure drive (
Azure:). You can switch to the Azure drive
cd Azure: and back to your home directory with
cd ~. The Azure drive enables easy
discovery and navigation of Azure resources such as Compute, Network, Storage etc. similar to
filesystem navigation. You can continue to use the familiar Azure PowerShell cmdlets to manage
these resources regardless of the drive you are in.
Any changes made to the Azure resources, either made directly in Azure portal or through Azure
PowerShell cmdlets, are reflected in the
Azure: drive. However, you must run
dir -Force to
refresh the view of your resources in the
Deep integration with open source tooling
Cloud Shell includes preconfigured authentication for open source tools such as Terraform, Ansible, and Chef InSpec. For more information, see the following articles:
The most commonly used tools are preinstalled in Cloud Shell. If you're using PowerShell, use the
Get-PackageVersion command to see a more complete list of tools and versions. If you're using
Bash, use the
tdnf list command.
Cloud Shell comes with the following Azure command-line tools preinstalled:
- Azure CLI
- Azure PowerShell
- Azure Functions CLI
- Service Fabric CLI
- Batch Shipyard
Other Microsoft services
- Office 365 CLI
- Exchange Online PowerShell
- A basic set of Microsoft Graph PowerShell modules
- MicrosoftPowerBIMgmt PowerShell modules
- SqlServer PowerShell modules
- Cloud Shell editor (code)
Cloud management tools
- Docker Desktop
- D2iQ Kubernetes Platform CLI
- Cloud Foundry CLI
- Chef InSpec
- Puppet Bolt
- HashiCorp Packer
- GitHub CLI
- .NET Core 7.0
- PowerShell 7.4
- Python 3.9