Azure Cloud Shell

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Microsoft has released Azure Cloud Shell, which let’s developers spin up a Bash Shell terminal environment from within your web browser.  This allows you to make use of the Azure Command Line Interface (CLI) to manage your Azure environment.  So I thought I’d do what I always do, which is just dive into the tool and see what

I logged into my azure portal at

At the top right, I see an icon that looks similar to the PowerShell icon.


If you hover the mouse over the icon, it has a tool tip named “Cloud Shell”.

Opens a shell section at the bottom, and I’m prompted with this:


I select the appropriate subscription and click the Create storage button. It looks like it creates an Azure File Storage share.  We shall see.




I now have a bash shell command prompt in the bottom half of my browser window.



You’ll notice the drop down next to “Bash”. If you click that, you’ll see it says PowerShell is coming soon.

Let’s start simple.  If I enter “az account list” I get the following:



It returns a JSON list of azure accounts.  I can then set the account I want to work with in the shell:

az account set –subscription “Windows Azure MSDN – Visual Studio Ultimate”

And the shell has autocomplete! I typed “—subsc” and hit Tab and it filled out the rest of the command for me.

At this point I’m just using the CLI, so I can do pretty much anything in Azure: create resource groups, create VMs, etc…

This is going to be a great tool for helping with Azure administration.  I can’t wait for the PowerShell support.


Behind The Scenes

If I go look at my list of storage accounts, I can see a new storage account has been created.


And a new resource group. The storage account is the only thing in the resource group.

If we drill into the storage account, and select Files:


We can see that a File Share was created:


And if I click the File Share:


There is a folder named .cloudconsole

In that folder I see this:



the  acc_mickey.img file, that is 5 GB.  I’m not sure what this is yet.  The documentation explains it more here, but I have not dived into it yet.

I do think I am going to start trying to use the CLI more in my daily use with Azure.

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