Run PowerShell on Azure Linux VM as Docker Container in 4 simple steps

Please note that this blog posts documents the steps (for quick reference) as covered by Trevor Sullivan in his original Channel9 video.

Step 1: Deploy a Linux Virtual Machine using Azure Quickstart Template

Visit the simple template at Github to deploy a Linux VM on Azure using ‘Deploy to Azure’ link.

Deploye to Azure

Provide the required credentials and your VM would ideally be up and running in under a minute.

Create VM

Step 2: Install Docker Engine (Daemon) on Linux VM

Connect with the newly created Linux VM using Putty. You can identify the hostname of VM from Azure portal,

Public IP

Now run the curl command below that will fetch the latest Docker build and install it on our VM (the most updated command can be found at,

curl -fsSL | sh

Once the curl process finishes installation of Docker engine, you’ll see instruction to use Docker as a non-root user, you should now consider adding your user to the "docker" group with something like:

sudo usermod -aG docker usman

Right click on Putty shell and choose ‘Duplicate Session’ for the above command to alleviate permissions to take affect (you can close the old session after the new shell is initiated),

Duplicate Shell

Step 3: Build a custom Powershell image using DockerFile

Let’s create a new directory named PowerShell within which we’ll host the repo for building Powershell image using DockerFile,

usman@MyUbuntuVM:~$ mkdir PowerShell

usman@MyUbuntuVM:~$ cd PowerShell


Now create a new DockerFil inside the Powershell folder using Visual Editor (vi), paste the content from Dockerfile by right clicking in the editor (Esc :wq to write the file and exit editor)

Finally, let’s create the Powershell image by running docker build command,

usman@MyUbuntuVM:~/PowerShell$ docker build --tag powershell --no-cache .

You can optionally run docker images command to ensure that a PowerShell image and base Xenial Ubuntu image is created,

usman@MyUbuntuVM:~/PowerShell$ docker images

REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE

powershell          latest              19caf902a0ec        2 minutes ago       530.8 MB

ubuntu              xenial              f8d79ba03c00        11 days ago         126.4 MB


Step 4: Run the Powershell container

Finally, we can run the PowerShell container with following command,

usman@MyUbuntuVM:~/PowerShell$ docker run -i -t –-rm powershell

This will start the PowerShell prompt as follows,


Copyright (C) 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS /powershell>

Congratulations. You’re now running PowerShell as a self-contained container on top of a Linux machine. To ensure this, simple type any PowerShell command and notice the syntax highlighting as a benefit of PowerShell,

Powershell Commands

In the run command executed above, note that,

  • -i makes the PowerShell terminal interactive (so we can type commands and receive response back)
  • -t creates a virtual container on the host
  • --rm ensures that the container is deleted/removed as soon as it stops. i.e. container is stateless