I am *very* excited to share some thoughts and possibilities for PowerCLI.
Packaging and Installation are big areas we have been looking at. We have heard loud and clear that our customers wanted to embrace modules and in our recent releases we have moved away from snapins into modules. We’re now looking at how we package the modules and deliver them to our users.
One possibility would be releasing PowerCLI exclusively from the Powershell Gallery, the central repository for Powershell modules. The benefits of this would be great, as it provides easy installation and upgrade, follows Powershell patterns for modules, and most importantly would allow us to deliver PowerCLI to multiple platforms, such as Linux and MacOS.
Here is an idea of what we are currently thinking:
- You would need to make sure you have the latest Powershell. WMF 5.1 is required for the PowershellGet cmdlets, which includes
install-module. (You may want to do this now!)
- Make sure
$env:PSModulePath includes C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules . This is only precautionary because it should already be set, but you should check anyway.
- Prior to installation of the PowerCLI from the Microsoft Gallery you would need to uninstall any previous version of PowerCLI that was installed by MSI.
- You would no longer have PowerCLI shortcuts on your desktop. PowerCLI would be immediately available when you run powershell, no
Import-Module required. If you really miss the icon, find me at a conference and I’ll give you a sticker! 🙂
- Installation of PowerCLI on machines that cannot access the Powershell Gallery can be done by saving the module to a thumb drive or network share accessible to the installation target and dropping the files in the module folder of the destination computer or using Install-Module with a path to the downloaded file.
- We are thinking about using
Update-Module in the future to make geting the latest bits faster and easier!
I understand that change can be hard, so I’m giving you the opportunity to tell us why (or why not) a Powershell Gallery installation/update would not work for you.
Regarding the results from the survey we recently held, an extremely high percentage of the respondents prefer the Gallery installation for ease of installation and updates. Still, there were a few respondents that had some concerns that I want to address here.
- “The Powershell Gallery is not as secure as downloading an MSI from vmware.com” – This is not true. We digitally sign all PowerCLI files as we always have, guaranteeing authenticity. PowershellGet has built-in verification of the digital signature, and will not install unsigned modules unless you explicitly skip the publisher check.
- “This makes offline installation/upgrades much harder” – So far, I’ve identified two different methods of offline installation and both require less steps (and ZERO mouse clicks). Method one uses Save-Module to copy to a network drive accessible by the ‘offline’ machine. You could also save to a USB drive or any other storage location that your installation target can access. Method two uses Invoke-WebRequest to download the package and can again be saved to a location of your choosing. Either of these options are still far easier than the current process.
In my prior life as a customer, I could only dream of installation and upgrades being this easy. By releasing to the gallery, it would not only make *that* dream come true, but would also give us the ability to accelerate our releases to get improvements out for you to enjoy much sooner.
Added to this we would be bringing PowerCLI back in line with the PowerShell patterns and ensuring future powershell enhancements made around modules and module tooling could easily be consumed with PowerCLI.
I hope you join with me in the excitement of the amazing opportunities we have with PowerCLI!
What are you excited or concerned about with a Powershell Gallery release? Let us know in the comments here!