PowerShell differences on non-Windows platforms

PowerShell strives to provide feature parity across all supported platforms. But, due to differences in .NET Core and platform-specific differences, some features behave differently or aren't available. Additional changes have been made to improve interoperability of PowerShell on non-Windows platforms.

.NET Framework vs .NET Core

PowerShell on Linux and macOS uses .NET Core, which is a subset of the full .NET Framework on Microsoft Windows. As a result, scripts that run on Windows may not run on non-Windows platforms because of the differences in the frameworks.

For more information about changes in .NET Core, see Breaking changes for migration from .NET Framework to .NET Core.

General Unix interoperability changes

  • Added support for native command globbing on Unix platforms. This means you can use wildcards with native commands like ls *.txt.
  • The more functionality respects the Linux $PAGER and defaults to less.
  • Trailing backslash is automatically escaped when dealing with native command arguments.
  • Fixed ConsoleHost to honor NoEcho on Unix platforms.
  • don't add PATHEXT environment variable on Unix
  • A powershell man-page is included in the package

Execution policy

The -ExecutionPolicy parameter is ignored when running PowerShell on non-Windows platforms. Get-ExecutionPolicy returns Unrestricted on Linux and macOS. Set-ExecutionPolicy does nothing on Linux and macOS.

Case-sensitivity in PowerShell

Historically, PowerShell has been uniformly case-insensitive, with few exceptions. On UNIX-like operating systems, the file system is predominantly case-sensitive and PowerShell adheres to the standard of the file system.

  • When specifying a file in PowerShell, the correct case must be used.
  • If a script tries to load a module and the module name isn't cased correctly, then the module load fails. This may cause a problem with existing scripts if the name by which the module is referenced doesn't match the proper case of the actual filename.
  • While names in the filesystem are case-sensitive, tab-completion of filenames isn't case-sensitive. Tab-completion cycles through the list of names using case-insensitive matching.
  • Get-Help supports case-insensitive pattern matching on Unix platforms.
  • Import-Module is case insensitive when it's using a filename to determine the module's name.

Filesystem support for Linux and macOS

  • Paths given to cmdlets are now slash-agnostic (both / and \ work as directory separator)
  • XDG Base Directory Specification is now respected and used by default:
    • The Linux/macOS profile path is located at ~/.config/powershell/profile.ps1
    • The history save path is located at ~/.local/share/powershell/PSReadline/ConsoleHost_history.txt
    • The user module path is located at ~/.local/share/powershell/Modules
  • Support for file and folder names containing the colon character on Unix.
  • Support for script names or full paths that have commas.
  • Detect when -LiteralPath is used to suppress wildcard expansion for navigation cmdlets.
  • Updated Get-ChildItem to work more like the *nix ls -R and the Windows DIR /S native commands. Get-ChildItem now returns the symbolic links encountered during a recursive search and doesn't search the directories that those links target.

.PS1 File Extensions

PowerShell scripts must end in .ps1 for the interpreter to understand how to load and run them in the current process. Running scripts in the current process is the expected usual behavior for PowerShell. The #! magic number may be added to a script that doesn't have a .ps1 extension, but this causes the script to be run in a new PowerShell instance preventing the script from working properly when interchanging objects. This may be the desirable behavior when executing a PowerShell script from bash or another shell.

Convenience aliases removed

On Windows, PowerShell provides a set of aliases that map to Linux command names for user convenience. On Linux and macOS, the "convenience aliases" for the basic commands ls, cp, mv, rm, cat, man, mount, ps have been removed to allow the native executable to run without specifying a path.


On macOS, PowerShell uses the native os_log APIs to log to Apple's unified logging system. On Linux, PowerShell uses Syslog, a ubiquitous logging solution.

Job Control

There is no Unix-style job-control support in PowerShell on Linux or macOS. The fg and bg commands aren't available. You can use PowerShell jobs that do work across all platforms.

Putting & at the end of a pipeline causes the pipeline to be run as a PowerShell job. When a pipeline is backgrounded, a job object is returned. Once the pipeline is running as a job, all *-Job cmdlets can be used to manage the job. Variables (ignoring process-specific variables) used in the pipeline are automatically copied to the job so Copy-Item $foo $bar & just works. The job is also run in the current directory instead of the user's home directory.

Remoting Support

PowerShell Remoting (PSRP) using WinRM on Unix platforms requires NTLM/Negotiate or Basic Auth over HTTPS. PSRP on macOS only supports Basic Auth over HTTPS. Kerberos-based authentication isn't supported.

PowerShell supports PowerShell Remoting (PSRP) over SSH on all platforms (Windows, macOS, and Linux). For more information, see SSH remoting in PowerShell.

Just-Enough-Administration (JEA) Support

The ability to create constrained administration (JEA) remoting endpoints isn't available in PowerShell on Linux or macOS.

sudo, exec, and PowerShell

Because PowerShell runs most commands in memory (like Python or Ruby), you can't use sudo directly with PowerShell built-ins. You can run pwsh from sudo. If it's necessary to run a PowerShell cmdlet from within PowerShell with sudo, for example, sudo Set-Date 8/18/2016, then you would do sudo pwsh Set-Date 8/18/2016.

Missing Cmdlets

A large number of the commands (cmdlets) normally available in PowerShell aren't available on Linux or macOS. In many cases, these commands make no sense on these platforms (e.g. Windows-specific features like the registry). Other commands like the service control commands are present, but not functional. Future releases may correct these problems by fixing the broken cmdlets and adding new ones over time.

For a comprehensive list of modules and cmdlets and the platforms they support, see Release history of modules and cmdlets.

Modules no longer shipped with PowerShell

For various compatibility reasons, the following modules are no longer included in PowerShell.

  • ISE
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.LocalAccounts
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.ODataUtils
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Operation.Validation
  • PSScheduledJob
  • PSWorkflow
  • PSWorkflowUtility

The following Windows-specific modules aren't included in PowerShell for Linux or macOS.

  • CimCmdlets
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Diagnostics
  • Microsoft.WSMan.Management
  • PSDiagnostics

Cmdlets not available on non-Windows platforms

For non-Windows platforms, PowerShell includes the following modules:

  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Archive
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Core
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Host
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Management
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Security
  • Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility
  • PackageManagement
  • PowerShellGet
  • PSDesiredStateConfiguration
  • PSReadLine
  • ThreadJob

However, some cmdlets have been removed from PowerShell, and others aren't available or may work differently on non-Windows platforms. For a comprehensive list of cmdlets removed from PowerShell, see Cmdlets removed from PowerShell.


The ShowWindow parameter of Get-Help isn't available for non-Windows platforms.

Microsoft.PowerShell.Security cmdlets

The following cmdlets aren't available on Linux or macOS:

  • Get-Acl
  • Set-Acl
  • Get-AuthenticodeSignature
  • Set-AuthenticodeSignature
  • New-FileCatalog
  • Test-FileCatalog

These cmdlets are only available beginning in PowerShell 7.1.

  • Get-CmsMessage
  • Protect-CmsMessage
  • Unprotect-CmsMessage

Microsoft.PowerShell.Management cmdlets

The following cmdlets aren't available on Linux and macOS:

  • Clear-RecycleBin
  • Get-HotFix

The following cmdlets are available with limitations:

Get-Clipboard - available on Linux but not supported on macOS Set-Clipboard - available in PowerShell 7.0+ Restart-Computer - available for Linux and macOS in PowerShell 7.1+ Stop-Computer - available for Linux and macOS in PowerShell 7.1+

Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility cmdlets

The following cmdlets aren't available on Linux and macOS:

  • Convert-String
  • ConvertFrom-String
  • Out-GridView
  • Out-Printer
  • Show-Command

Aliases not available on Linux or macOS

The following table lists the aliases available for Windows that aren't available on non-Windows platforms. These aliases aren't available because the target cmdlet isn't available or the alias conflicts with a native command on those platforms.

Alias Cmdlet
ac Add-Content
cat Get-Content
clear Clear-Host
cnsn Connect-PSSession
compare Compare-Object
cp Copy-Item
cpp Copy-ItemProperty
diff Compare-Object
dnsn Disconnect-PSSession
gsv Get-Service
kill Stop-Process
ls Get-ChildItem
man help
mount New-PSDrive
mv Move-Item
ogv Out-GridView
ps Get-Process
rm Remove-Item
rmdir Remove-Item
sasv Start-Service
shcm Show-Command
sleep Start-Sleep
sort Sort-Object
spsv Stop-Service
start Start-Process
tee Tee-Object
write Write-Output

PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Many cmdlets were removed from the PSDesiredStateConfiguration module beginning in PowerShell 6.0. Support for DSC on non-Windows platforms is limited and mostly experimental. The Invoke-DscResource cmdlet was restored as an experimental feature in PowerShell 7.0.

DSC isn't supported on macOS.

For more information about using DSC on Linux, see Get started with DSC for Linux.

Beginning with PowerShell 7.2, the PSDesiredStateConfiguration module has been removed from PowerShell and is published to the PowerShell Gallery. For more information, see the announcement in the PowerShell Team blog.