Limitations of Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell has the following known limitations:

General limitations

System state and persistence

The machine that provides your Cloud Shell session is temporary, and it is recycled after your session is inactive for 20 minutes. Cloud Shell requires an Azure file share to be mounted. As a result, your subscription must be able to set up storage resources to access Cloud Shell. Other considerations include:

  • With mounted storage, only modifications within the clouddrive directory are persisted. In Bash, your $Home directory is also persisted.
  • Azure file shares can be mounted only from within your assigned region.
    • In Bash, run env to find your region set as ACC_LOCATION.
  • Azure Files supports only locally redundant storage and geo-redundant storage accounts.

Browser support

Cloud Shell supports the latest versions of Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. Safari in private mode is not supported.

Copy and paste

  • Windows: Ctrl-insert to copy and Shift-insert to paste. Right-click dropdown can also enable copy/paste.
    • FireFox/IE may not support clipboard permissions properly.
  • Mac OS: Cmd-c to copy and Cmd-v to paste. Right-click dropdown can also enable copy/paste.

For a given user, only one shell can be active

Users can only launch one type of shell at a time, either Bash or PowerShell. However, you may have multiple instances of Bash or PowerShell running at one time. Swapping between Bash or PowerShell causes Cloud Shell to restart, which terminates existing sessions.

Usage limits

Cloud Shell is intended for interactive use cases. As a result, any long-running non-interactive sessions are ended without warning.

Bash limitations

User permissions

Permissions are set as regular users without sudo access. Any installation outside your $Home directory is not persisted. Although certain commands within the clouddrive directory, such as git clone, do not have proper permissions, your $Home directory does have permissions.

Editing .bashrc

Take caution when editing .bashrc, doing so can cause unexpected errors in Cloud Shell.


Your history of bash commands may be inconsistent because of Cloud Shell session disruption or concurrent sessions.

PowerShell limitations

Slow startup time

PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell (Preview) could take up to 60 seconds to initialize during preview.

No $Home directory persistence

Data written to $Home by any application (such as: git, vim, and others) does not persist across PowerShell sessions. For a workaround, see here.

Default file location when created from Azure drive:

Using PowerShell cmdlets, users can not create files under the Azure drive. When users create new files using other tools, such as vim or nano, the files are saved to C:\Users folder by default.

GUI applications are not supported

If the user runs a command that would create a Windows dialog box, such as Connect-AzureAD or Login-AzureRMAccount, one sees an error message such as: Unable to load DLL 'IEFRAME.dll': The specified module could not be found. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8007007E).

Next steps

Troubleshooting Cloud Shell
Quickstart for Bash
Quickstart for PowerShell