Persist files in Azure Cloud Shell
Cloud Shell utilizes Azure Files to persist files across sessions. On initial start, Cloud Shell prompts you to associate a new or existing file share to persist files across sessions.
Bash and PowerShell share the same file share. Only one file share can be associated with automatic mounting in Cloud Shell.
Azure storage firewall is not supported for cloud shell storage accounts.
Create new storage
When you use basic settings and select only a subscription, Cloud Shell creates three resources on your behalf in the supported region that's nearest to you:
- Resource group:
- Storage account:
- File share:
The file share mounts as
clouddrive in your
$Home directory. This is a one-time action, and the file share mounts automatically in subsequent sessions.
The file share also contains a 5-GB image that is created for you which automatically persists data in your
$Home directory. This applies for both Bash and PowerShell.
Use existing resources
By using the advanced option, you can associate existing resources. When selecting a Cloud Shell region you must select a backing storage account co-located in the same region. For example, if your assigned region is West US then you must associate a file share that resides within West US as well.
When the storage setup prompt appears, select Show advanced settings to view additional options. The populated storage options filter for locally redundant storage (LRS), geo-redundant storage (GRS), and zone-redundant storage (ZRS) accounts.
Using GRS or ZRS storage accounts are recommended for additional resiliency for your backing file share. Which type of redundancy depends on your goals and price preference. Learn more about replication options for Azure Storage accounts.
Securing storage access
For security, each user should provision their own storage account. For Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC), users must have contributor access or above at the storage account level.
Cloud Shell uses an Azure File Share in a storage account, inside a specified subscription. Due to inherited permissions, users with sufficient access rights to the subscription will be able to access all the storage accounts, and file shares contained in the subscription.
Users should lock down access to their files by setting the permissions at the storage account or the subscription level.
The Cloud Shell storage account will contain files created by the Cloud Shell user in their home directory, which may include sensitive information including access tokens or credentials.
Supported storage regions
To find your current region you may run
env in Bash and locate the variable
ACC_LOCATION, or from PowerShell run
$env:ACC_LOCATION. File shares receive a 5-GB image created for you to persist your
Cloud Shell machines exist in the following regions:
|Americas||East US, South Central US, West US|
|Europe||North Europe, West Europe|
|Asia Pacific||India Central, Southeast Asia|
Customers should choose a primary region, unless they have a requirement that their data at rest be stored in a particular region. If they have such a requirement, a secondary storage region should be used.
Secondary storage regions
If a secondary storage region is used, the associated Azure storage account resides in a different region as the Cloud Shell machine that you're mounting them to. For example, Jane can set her storage account to be located in Canada East, a secondary region, but the machine she is mounted to is still located in a primary region. Her data at rest is located in Canada, but it is processed in the United States.
If a secondary region is used, file access and startup time for Cloud Shell may be slower.
A user can run
(Get-CloudDrive | Get-AzStorageAccount).Location in PowerShell to see the location of their File Share.
Restrict resource creation with an Azure resource policy
Storage accounts that you create in Cloud Shell are tagged with
ms-resource-usage:azure-cloud-shell. If you want to disallow users from creating storage accounts in Cloud Shell, create an Azure resource policy for tags that are triggered by this specific tag.
How Cloud Shell storage works
Cloud Shell persists files through both of the following methods:
- Creating a disk image of your
$Homedirectory to persist all contents within the directory. The disk image is saved in your specified file share as
fileshare.storage.windows.net/fileshare/.cloudconsole/acc_<User>.img, and it automatically syncs changes.
- Mounting your specified file share as
$Homedirectory for direct file-share interaction.
/Home/<User>/clouddriveis mapped to
All files in your
$Home directory, such as SSH keys, are persisted in your user disk image, which is stored in your mounted file share. Apply best practices when you persist information in your
$Home directory and mounted file share.
In Cloud Shell, you can run a command called
clouddrive, which enables you to manually update the file share that is mounted to Cloud Shell.
To discover which file share is mounted as
clouddrive, run the
The file path to clouddrive shows your storage account name and file share in the URL. For example,
justin@Azure:~$ df Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on overlay 29711408 5577940 24117084 19% / tmpfs 986716 0 986716 0% /dev tmpfs 986716 0 986716 0% /sys/fs/cgroup /dev/sda1 29711408 5577940 24117084 19% /etc/hosts shm 65536 0 65536 0% /dev/shm //mystoragename.file.core.windows.net/fileshareName 5368709120 64 5368709056 1% /home/justin/clouddrive justin@Azure:~$
Mount a new clouddrive
Prerequisites for manual mounting
You can update the file share that's associated with Cloud Shell by using the
clouddrive mount command.
If you mount an existing file share, the storage accounts must be located in your select Cloud Shell region. Retrieve the location by running
env and checking the
clouddrive mount command
If you're mounting a new file share, a new user image is created for your
$Home directory. Your previous
$Home image is kept in your previous file share.
clouddrive mount command with the following parameters:
clouddrive mount -s mySubscription -g myRG -n storageAccountName -f fileShareName
To view more details, run
clouddrive mount -h, as shown here:
You can unmount a file share that's mounted to Cloud Shell at any time. Since Cloud Shell requires a mounted file share to be used, you will be prompted to create and mount another file share on the next session.
- Acknowledge and confirm prompts.
Your file share will continue to exist unless you delete it manually. Cloud Shell will no longer search for this file share on subsequent sessions. To view more details, run
clouddrive unmount -h, as shown here:
Although running this command will not delete any resources, manually deleting a resource group, storage account, or file share that's mapped to Cloud Shell erases your
$Home directory disk image and any files in your file share. This action cannot be undone.
clouddrive Azure file shares
Get-CloudDrive cmdlet retrieves the Azure file share information currently mounted by the
clouddrive in the Cloud Shell.
You can unmount an Azure file share that's mounted to Cloud Shell at any time. If the Azure file share has been removed, you will be prompted to create and mount a new Azure file share at the next session.
Dismount-CloudDrive cmdlet unmounts an Azure file share from the current storage account. Dismounting the
clouddrive terminates the current session. The user will be prompted to create and mount a new Azure file share during the next session.
Transfer local files to Cloud Shell
clouddrive directory syncs with the Azure portal storage blade. Use this blade to transfer local files to or from your file share. Updating files from within Cloud Shell is reflected in the file storage GUI when you refresh the blade.
- In the Azure portal, go to the mounted file share.
- Select the target file.
- Select the Download button.
- Go to your mounted file share.
- Select the Upload button.
- Select the file or files that you want to upload.
- Confirm the upload.
You should now see the files that are accessible in your
clouddrive directory in Cloud Shell.
Note: If you need to define a function in a file and call it from the PowerShell cmdlets, then the dot operator must be included. For example: . .\MyFunctions.ps1
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