Microsoft is open sourcing Powershell for Linux and Mac OS X

Microsoft goes magnanimous, open-sources PowerShell for Linux and Mac OS X

The company that was once upon a time berated for being too closeted and cold to developers, seems to have had an open heart surgery under Satya Nadella. Ever since Nadella became CEO of Microsoft, it seems to be a different company altogether. Once upon a time, Microsoft used to hate the very guts of Linux for reasons well known to us. But under Nadella, Microsoft seems to be embracing Linux more and more.

The latest announcement by Microsoft is a step further in that direction. Furthering its mission to work more closely with the developer community, Microsoft is open sourcing PowerShell and making it available on Linux and Mac OS X.

Nadella’s Linux overdrive for Microsoft has got it to release PowerShell on Github under MIT license. Powershell is a proprietary Microsoft platform for scripting and automation. The open sourced Powershell will help developers to port it to Linux and Mac with an alpha build now available on GitHub.

PowerShell is the company’s task-based command-line shell and scripting language built on the .NET Framework for running and managing system tasks. It’s similar to Bash on Linux (which is now natively available in Windows 10 as well) and builds on Microsoft’s efforts to embrace open source software; it open sourced the .NET core back in 2014 and released version 1.0 of the stack in June this year. The initial Powershell Linux support is for Ubuntu, CentOS and RedHat.

According to The Register, Microsoft is also open-sourcing OpenSSH – for remote login using the SSH protocol – will be integrated into PowerShell. “We’re embedding it into the heart of PowerShell,”Jeffrey Snover from Microsoft told The Register. “We’re layering the PowerShell remoting protocol over OpenSSH, as a native transport. Customers will be able to choose the existing WinRM protocol or OpenSSH.”

In addition, Microsoft is also porting the PowerShell Editor Service to Linux so that it can be baked into text editors for programming and debugging; Visual Studio Code and Sublime already work with this.

The company notes that this initial release is an ‘alpha’, and an official Microsoft released version of PowerShell based on open source is in the works too.

If you want to know what Microsoft Powershell is, it has also released a Learning PowerShell repo. The company is offering a free Microsoft Virtual Academy online course for those who want to give Powershell a try.

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