Microsoft is revolutionizing the world of computing and software development with an awesome product called PowerShell.
This outstanding product starts by giving you access to all features that are built into Windows and lets you configure settings for your computer, install applications, manage remote systems, deploy updates to servers as well as many more functions.
The best part about this tool is that it can be installed on any version of Windows from XP up to Windows 10!
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PowerShell Tutorial: What is PowerShell?PowerShell is a command line utility that was developed by Microsoft. It is an object oriented environment that works well as a scripting language. There are almost no limits to what you can do with this powerful tool. Here is the official Microsoft PowerShell website. There is a TON of information in there, so get your reading glasses ready. 😉
PowerShell is a great application for those who want to make their work easier. The software helps people automate tasks and manage Windows operating systems. PowerShell has the ability to use C# or .NET framework in various situations as needed, giving you more flexibility as an administrator.
PowerShell, it’s such a versatile command line tool. Initially, PowerShell was released in November 2006. It was released for Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. The second version of PowerShell comes together with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. Also, a standalone package of PowerShell 2.0 has been released for Windows Vista SP1, PowerShell 5.0 is a part of WMF (Windows Management Framework) 5.0, and was released on 24 February, 2016. Version 6 of PowerShell features OnGet (PackageManagement) PowerShell cmdlets for supporting the repository based apps of Chocolatey, and offers the ability to efficiently manage the network switches in layer 2.
What About The Windows Command Line?
The Windows command line is not the springiest of chickens anymore, if you know what I mean. With each passing year, the utility and functionality of the command line becomes more deprecated. But fret not, there is a solution. PowerShell!!
We will look at the bare basics in this article and hopefully try and demystify this awesome environment and show you a few neat PowerShell Basics! Check out our article on bypassing the execution policy here.
Why check my version of PowerShell?There are many good reasons why you might need to know which version of PowerShell that you are running.
You might have some compatibility issues with modules that you are trying to install. There might be a version conflict with a script that you are trying to run.
There could be a problem with the built in commands such as a bug or command deprecation. There are tons of reasons. Luckily it is very easy to check in just a few simple key strokes of the keyboard.
PowerShell Tutorial: How do you install PowerShell?
If you are using a modern Windows operating system like Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (or Windows Server, for that matter) then great news, you already have it installed on your computer!
Simply hit the Windows+R keys and open a run dialog, then type in ‘powershell.exe’. You will be greeted by this beautiful sight.
Now that you have your PowerShell window open, you can start to experiment!
(DISCLAIMER: Use caution, PowerShell is, as the name suggests, POWERFULL! If you are unsure about any commands then DON’T EXECUTE THEM. We take no responsibility for any damage you do to your computer, data, or anything else).
Check PowerShell Version Method 1
So, with that out of the way, let’s check what version we have installed, shall we? Simply type:
Get-Host | Select-Object Version.
This will give you the following output:
How easy was that? Super easy!
Check PowerShell Version Method 2
If you’d like a few more lines in your output for some strange reason, then you can out put the variable $PSVersionTable like so:
The great thing about having an object oriented system is that we can manipulate our output in so many different ways.
For instance, if we wanted only the PSVersion property, we could type the following:
Now we only get the values of the version:
Pretty neat huh?
That’s all folks!
Thanks for taking the time to read through our first tutorial! We hope to make this the first of many, many quick tips and guides that will help you to learn the basics of many different IT related skills.
Check out how to bypass the PowerShell execution policy in our blog post here.
PowerShell is a biggie, and you can expect it to feature quite heavily in most Microsoft environments where you will be supporting infrastructure like Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory.
The more you learn about PowerShell, the more you will understand how to script and create useful tools in the Windows Operating System, which will make you a better system admin, pen-tester or scripter!
Until next time!