Features & tools for Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell is a browser-based shell experience to manage and develop Azure resources.

Cloud Shell offers a browser-accessible, pre-configured shell experience for managing Azure resources without the overhead of installing, versioning, and maintaining a machine yourself.

Cloud Shell provisions machines on a per-request basis and as a result machine state will not persist across sessions. Since Cloud Shell is built for interactive sessions, shells automatically terminate after 20 minutes of shell inactivity.

Azure Cloud Shell runs on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.


Secure automatic authentication

Cloud Shell securely and automatically authenticates account access for the Azure CLI 2.0 and Azure PowerShell.

$Home persistence across sessions

To persist files across sessions, Cloud Shell walks you through attaching an Azure file share on first launch. Once completed, Cloud Shell will automatically attach your storage (mounted as $Home\clouddrive) for all future sessions. Additionally, your $Home directory is persisted as an .img in your Azure File share. Files outside of $Home and machine state are not persisted across sessions. Use best practices when storing secrets such as SSH keys. Services like Azure Key Vault have tutorials for setup.

Learn more about persisting files in Cloud Shell.

Azure drive (Azure:)

PowerShell in Cloud Shell (Preview) starts you in Azure drive (Azure:). The Azure drive enables easy discovery and navigation of Azure resources such as Compute, Network, Storage etc. similar to filesystem navigation. You can continue to use the familiar Azure PowerShell cmdlets to manage these resources regardless of the drive you are in. Any changes made to the Azure resources, either made directly in Azure portal or through Azure PowerShell cmdlets, are reflected in the Azure drive. You can run dir -Force to refresh your resources.

Deep integration with open-source tooling

Cloud Shell includes pre-configured authentication for open-source tools such as Terraform, Ansible, and Chef InSpec. Try it out from the example walkthroughs.


Category Name
Linux tools bash
Azure tools Azure CLI 2.0 and 1.0
Service Fabric CLI
Text editors vim
Source control git
Build tools make
Containers Docker CLI/Docker Machine
Databases MySQL client
PostgreSql client
sqlcmd Utility
Other iPython Client
Cloud Foundry CLI
Chef InSpec

Language support

Language Version
.NET Core 2.0.0
Go 1.9
Java 1.8
Node.js 8.9.4
PowerShell 6.1.0-preview.4
Python 2.7 and 3.5 (default)

Next steps

Bash in Cloud Shell Quickstart
PowerShell in Cloud Shell (Preview) Quickstart
Learn about Azure CLI 2.0
Learn about Azure PowerShell