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Author Archives: Jake Robinson

PowerCLI Beta

The PowerCLI Beta containing support for MacOS and Linux is LIVE!

How to participate:

  1. Log in to the VMware Community and read this first!
  2. Join the Community discussions in the beta forum
  3. Join us on VMware {Code} Slack in the #PowerCLI channel!

That’s it for now! Happy Automating!

❤️Jake

Windows Defender reports false positive for PowerShell Modules

Over the weekend, Microsoft released a Windows Defender signature file that falsely reports many PowerShell modules, including PowerCLI as containing a virus.

This is a FALSE POSITIVE widely affecting the PowerShell community.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/40fa56dd-b73f-456a-9d97-cdb4500bc7ed/latest-updates-indicated-peasectoa-infection-?forum=WindowsDefenderATPPreview

There is no official statement from Microsoft yet, but the PowerCLI community on VMware {Code} has been working overtime! Here’s what you need to do to get back to automating:

  1. Update Windows Defender Signatures to the latest (>= 1.261.424.0 1.261.459.0).
  2. If your PowerShellGet module was affected, you may need to download manually from Github (https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShellGet)
    1. Update: Kevin Marquette has a pretty good workaround for PowerShellGet, which reverts back it back to 1.0.0.1.
  3. Release the affected files from Quarantine, or reinstall PowerCLI (Install-Module VMware.PowerCLI -scope CurrentUser -force)

This story is still developing, so I will update as the info comes in.

This is a great time for a shout out to the PowerCLI community on VMware {Code}. Special thanks to the PowerCLI users that have been working on this over the weekend and this morning: Luc Dekens, Edgar Sanchez, Wouter Kursten, Scott Haas, and John Kavanagh

You can join the VMware {Code} Slack by signing up here: https://code.vmware.com/join

 

Powershell Core 6.0 Released

It’s an exciting time for infrastructure automation!

PowerShell Core 6.0 enables us to use the same amazing automation framework on Mac and Linux, opening the door for many more automation opportunities in your infrastructure. I want to personally congratulate everyone at Microsoft and the PowerShell community that made this dream a reality. The amount of effort that went into this was truly amazing and we’re excited to be a part of it!

For over ten years, the PowerCLI team has been iterating on our modules as new PowerShell functionality was created, and I am excited to say we’re about to take another big leap. A little over a year ago, we released a fling called PowerCLI Core, which was a great proof of concept that we could get PowerCLI to run on Mac and Linux. Since that time, we’ve been in very close communication with the PowerShell team about porting PowerCLI. The PowerShell team has been a great partner in listening and responding to feedback from the PowerCLI team on the porting experience, and I am happy to say were are very, very close.

Coming Soon…

Our next release is currently in closed alpha, and I am excited to announce we will have an open beta beginning on Feb 1 Feb 2, 2018. My goal with the open beta is to give you the opportunity to get started with PowerCLI on the OS of your choice, while also allowing us to hear your feedback and put the final polish on the release. More information about the open beta will be available very soon.

The early feedback on the next release of PowerCLI is already coming in, and the critics say:

IT’S AWESOME!

Important Notes about the Upcoming Release

The next release of PowerCLI supports PowerShell 3,4, 5.x, and Core 6.0 on Windows, and PowerShell Core 6.0 on Ubuntu 16.04, CentOS 7, and MacOS 10.12. We’ll continue to add more as we have the opportunity to add testing for these operating systems.

Finally, there are a number of deprecated cmdlets and parameters that we’ll be removing in this release, so make sure you have your deprecation warnings turned on in your current version so you know what will be removed.

Thoughts around PowerCLI and the Powershell Gallery

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:

  1. 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!)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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! 🙂
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  1. “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.
  2. “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.

Conclusion

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!