What is Azure Cloud Shell?

Azure Cloud Shell is an interactive, authenticated, browser-accessible terminal for managing Azure resources. It provides the flexibility of choosing the shell experience that best suits the way you work, either Bash or PowerShell.

Cloud Shell runs on a temporary host provided on a per-session, per-user basis. Your Cloud Shell session times out after 20 minutes without interactive activity. Cloud Shell persists your files in your $HOME location using a 5-GB file share.

Multiple access points

Cloud Shell is a flexible tool that can be used from:

Authenticated and configured Azure workstation

Microsoft manages Cloud Shell so you don't have to. Cloud Shell comes with popular command-line tools and language support. Cloud Shell automatically securely authenticates for instant access to your resources through the Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell cmdlets. See the list of tools installed in Cloud Shell.

Cloud Shell offers an integrated graphical text editor so you can create and edit files for seamless deployment through Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell. For more information, see Using the Azure Cloud Shell editor.

Security and compliance

  • Encryption at rest

    All Cloud Shell infrastructure is compliant with double encryption at rest by default. You don't have to configure anything.

  • Shell permissions

    Your user account has the permissions of a regular Linux user.


Use of the machine hosting Cloud Shell is free. Cloud Shell requires a storage account to host the mounted Azure Files share. Regular storage costs apply.

Next steps