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powershell for newbies getting started powershell4.pdf


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POWERSHELL FOR NEWBIES. Getting started with PowerShell 4.0

Introduction and expectations
Windows PowerShell has been around for several years and even though at the
time of writing this eBook we are at v4.0, and v5.0 is in preview, there are still
many IT Pros who are only now coming around and realizing they need to learn
PowerShell. They have realized that PowerShell isn’t a passing fad and that
if they want any sort of job security or career future related to Windows and
Microsoft-based technologies, PowerShell is going to play an important role.
The goal of this eBook is to give you a crash course on PowerShell essential
terms, concepts and commands. I am assuming you have little to no experience
with PowerShell and are what Microsoft considers an IT Pro; that is, someone
whose daily work involves managing Windows-based servers, applications and
platforms. Naturally, you can’t learn PowerShell from one eBook, but I hope to
leave you with enough information to get started and I’ll wrap up with a list of
resources and next steps.

What is PowerShell?
First off, what exactly is PowerShell? My answer is that PowerShell is an objectbased management engine based on the .NET Framework. This engine is
exposed through a series of commands called cmdlets and providers (note that
PowerShell terms are explained later in the Terminology section). PowerShell
can be exposed through an interactive console as well as a batch-oriented
scripting language.
The engine is hosted in an application. Microsoft ships two out of the box, at
least on the client. The PowerShell console you have probably seen is hosted
by the legacy cmd.exe command shell. In other words, PowerShell is sitting
on top of a CMD window, with all of the benefits and drawbacks that entails.
PowerShell can also be hosted in a GUI, like the PowerShell ISE, which I’ll touch
on later. Vendors, developers and the PowerShell community can create their
own hosting applications, and usually PowerShell behaves the same regardless
of how you are interacting with it.
In fact, that is one of the great things about PowerShell. Once you learn the
fundamentals, it doesn’t matter if you are working with files, processes, Active
Directory user accounts, Exchange mailboxes or Hyper-V virtual machines. You
will use the same skills and often the same cmdlets. Yes, you may struggle at
first learning PowerShell, but once you get over the initial hurdle, I think you’ll
find your learning curve becomes much shallower.

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