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Windows PowerShell for beginners

For those unfamiliar with scripting, learning to use Windows PowerShell may seem a bit daunting at first. Still, for admins working with Windows Server 2008, it's important to know the basics.

This collection of screencasts, book excerpts and tutorials lays the groundwork for those looking to get started with PowerShell, with advice from Windows experts to help you get the most out of Microsoft's scripting language.

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Has PowerShell's time come for Windows admins?
Learn why some experts are saying now is the time to learn PowerShell -- even if you've been reluctant in the past.

Book Excerpts

Essential PowerShell

What is Windows PowerShell?
This excerpt from "Essential PowerShell" introduces you to Windows PowerShell. Along with a brief history on PowerShell, you'll learn what it is and why you need it.

Downloading and Installing Windows PowerShell
Here you'll learn the steps and procedures for downloading and installing Windows PowerShell, as well as the process of taking WPS for a test run in interactive mode and script mode.

PowerShell Community Extensions and PowerShell Plus
In this excerpt from you'll learn how to download and install two important additions to your Windows PowerShell environment, as well as the process of testing and using them.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference

PowerShell resources for Windows Server 2008
This excerpt from "Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference" provides tips and links for admins in need of advice for using PowerShell with Microsoft's latest operating system.

Windows PowerShell in Action

Learning Windows PowerShell
In this excerpt from Chapter 1 of "Windows PowerShell in Action," you'll learn how to install Windows PowerShell and how to use PowerShell's Tab-Completion feature, and review basic formats of its commands and learn how command-line editing works..

Screencasts

Part 1: A basic introduction to Windows PowerShell
This short screencast explains the basics of the Microsoft scripting language and walks you through some simple commands to get you started.

Part 2: Creating pipelines and interacting with objects in Windows PowerShell
This segment demonstrates how to create basic pipelines in Windows PowerShell, and introduces you to three more simple commands: get-process, get-member and get-alias.

Part 3: A look at Windows PowerShell's security features
Here you'll learn how new security features in PowerShell can help keep admins from accidentally executing scripts obtained from outside sources.

Part 4: Writing simple scripts and functions in Windows PowerShell
In the last of our four-part series on working with Windows PowerShell, learn to write simple commands and utilize functionality with Microsoft's scripting language.

Tutorials

Top 25 Windows PowerShell commands for administrators
This tip lists the most common PowerShell commands, with details on when to use them.

Windows PowerShell: A backdoor to malware?
While Windows PowerShell is great for automating tasks, it can pose a serious security risk if you aren't careful. Learn to diffuse the situation in Windows Server 2008.

Scripting School

Christa Anderson

An inside look at PowerShell 2.0
The next version of Windows PowerShell is now available for testing. Scripting expert Christa Anderson takes an in-depth look at some of the best new features from the CTP.

Editing content with Windows PowerShell
A continued in-depth look at Windows PowerShell with scripting advice for finding and setting content in text files.

Introducing Active Directory to Windows PowerShell
This article breaks down the process of using PowerShell to create or manipulate data in Microsoft Active Directory.

Scripting School Archive
Find all of Christa Anderson's scripting columns -- including a wealth of information on working with PowerShell -- on our Scripting School archive page.

More Information

Windows PowerShell topic page
Find even more news and expert advice on using Windows PowerShell.

IT Knowledge Exchange
Have a scripting question of your own? Ask your peers by submitting it to our ITKE forum.


This was first published in December 2009

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