Skip to main content

SSH into Linux boxes with PowerShell from Windows Server 2016

With an ever-changing IT environment, you need a way to manage everything from a centralized location, if possible. If you're in a Windows/Linux hybrid environment, PowerShell is your friend. Let's get started.

First, you will need a nifty little module called Posh-SSH on your Windows Server/Desktop. You can install this by running;

Install-Module Posh-SSH

 After that, you want to ensure SSH is configured on your Linux box. Depending on what distro, these settings may vary. I personally like using open-SSH. You can check the status of SSH on your Linux box by typing;

sudo service ssh status

After that, we will be good to start an SSH session from our Windows Server/Desktop.

The first thing we want to do is open up PowerShell ISE. We also want to ensure to store this SSH session into a variable. Use the following one-liner;

$Sess = New-SSHSession -ComputerName IPADDRESS -Credential (get-credential)

 When the credentials pop up, you will type in your username and password. (please note: you don't have to do username@hostname or username@ipaddress like you would in traditional SSH).

Next, we want to run Get-SSHSession  to confirm an SSH session has been open. You should see something like the following;

Finally, we are ready to run our command. We will use the Invoke-SSHCommand cmdlet to run our command. In my case, I'm going to use a simple "ls" to list some files.

Invoke-SSHCommand -SSHSession $Sess -Command {ls}

 You should see output like this;

There you have it! You have officially ran SSH from Windows to Linux. I'll leave you with a quick and dirty function/cmdlet that I created to create multiple SSH sessions and the ability to run a command against multiple Linux boxes.

Function New-SSHConnection {
    [cmdletbinding(SupportsShouldProcess = $true, ConfirmImpact = 'High')]
    Param (
        [Parameter(ParameterSetName = 'DeviceIP',
            Position = 0,

        [Parameter(ParameterSetName = 'DeviceHostname',
            Position = 0,

            HelpMessage = 'Please enter a command you would like to run on the device')]

            HelpMessage = 'Please enter a username for your device you want to SSH into')]

    Begin {
        Add-Type -AssemblyName System;
        Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Management.Automation;

        Import-Module Posh-SSH
        Write-Output "Starting: ($($MyInvocation.MyCommand.Name))"
        $Pass = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList  $Username, (Read-Host 'Please enter password' | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force)
        #If DeviceIP is selected, use this array
        $deviceArray = @()
        $deviceArray += $deviceIP

        #If Hostname is selected, use this array
        $deviceArray2 = @()
        $deviceArray2 += $Hostname
    Process {
        if ($PSCmdlet.ShouldProcess($deviceIP -or $PSCmdlet.ShouldProcess($Hostname))) {
            if ($deviceIP) {
                $SSHSession = New-SSHSession -ComputerName $deviceArray -Credential $Pass

            elseif ($Hostname) {
                $SSHSession = New-SSHSession -ComputerName $deviceArray -Credential $Pass
        Foreach ($Device in $SSHSession) {
            $invokeSSHCommandPARAMS = @{
                'SSHSession'       = $Device
                'Command'          = $Command
                'EnsureConnection' = $true
            $invokeSSHCommand = Invoke-SSHCommand @invokeSSHCommandPARAMS
            $invokeSSHCommandOBJECT = [pscustomobject] @{
                'IP_or_Host'    = $invokeSSHCommand.Host
                'CommandOutput' = $invokeSSHCommand.Output

            Start-sleep -Seconds 7
    End {Get-SSHSession | Remove-SSHSession}


Popular posts from this blog

DevOps tooling in the Microsoft realm

When I really started to dive into automation and practicing DevOps with specific tooling, there were a few key players. At the time Microsoft was not one of them. They were just starting to embrace the open source world, including the art and practice of DevOps. Since then Microsoft has went all in and the tech giant has made some incredible tooling. Recently I switched to a Microsoft-heavy environment and I love it. I went from AWS/Python/Ansible/Jenkins to Azure/PowerShell/ARM/Azure DevOps. My first programming language was PowerShell so being back in the saddle allowed me to do a full circle between all of the different types of tooling in both worlds. Today I want to share some of that tooling with you.

The first thing I want to talk about is ARM. What is ARM? ARM is a configuration management tool that allows you to perform software-defined-infrastructure. Much like Ansible and Terraform, ARM allows you to define what you want your environment to look like at scale. With ARM, yo…

Monitoring your containers in an AKS cluster with Prometheus

Monitoring and alerting is arguably one of the most important thing in Cloud Engineering and DevOps. It's the difference between your clients stack being up and a client being down. Most of us have SLA's to abide by (for good reason). Today we're going to learn how to spin up Prometheus in an AKS cluster to monitor our applications.

1. Intermediate knowledge of Kubernetes
2. An AKS cluster spun up in Azure

Recently AKS supports Prometheus via Helm, so we'll use that for an automated solution to spin this up. This installs kube-prometheus, which is a containerized version of the application. With raw Prometheus, there are a few things that are needed for the operator;

1. Prometheus: Defines a desired deployment.
2. ServiceMonitor: Specifies how groups of services should be monitored
3. Alertmanager: Defines the operator to ensure services and deployments are running by matching the resource

With kube-prometheus, it is all packaged for you. This means configuri…

Run PowerShell code with Ansible on a Windows Host

Ansible is one of the Configuration Manager kings in the game. With it's easy-to-understand syntax and even easier to use modules, Ansible is certainly a go-to when you're picking what Configuration Management you want to use for your organization. Your question may be "but Ansible is typically on Linux and what happens when I'm in a Windows environment?". Luckily I'm here to tell you that Ansible will still work! I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use Ansible on Windows with a little WinRM magic. Let's get started.

Pre-requisites for this post:
1) WinRM set up to connect to your Windows host from Ansible
2) Ansible set up for Windows Remote Management
3) SSH access to the Ansible host
4) Proper firewall rules to allow WinRM (port 5985) access from your Ansible host to your Windows host
5) Hosts file set up in Ansible that has your IP or hostname of your Windows Server.
6) At least one Linux host running Ansible and one Windows Server host …