PowerShell task

Azure Pipelines | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2015

Use this task to run a PowerShell script.


In Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2018 and previous versions, build and release pipelines are called definitions, runs are called builds, service connections are called service endpoints, stages are called environments, and jobs are called phases.


  • DotNetFramework

YAML snippet

# PowerShell
# Run a PowerShell script on Linux, macOS, or Windows
- task: PowerShell@2
    #targetType: 'filePath' # Optional. Options: filePath, inline
    #filePath: # Required when targetType == FilePath
    #arguments: # Optional
    #script: '# Write your PowerShell commands here.Write-Host Hello World' # Required when targetType == Inline
    #errorActionPreference: 'stop' # Optional. Options: stop, continue, silentlyContinue
    #failOnStderr: false # Optional
    #ignoreLASTEXITCODE: false # Optional
    #pwsh: false # Optional
    #workingDirectory: # Optional

The PowerShell task also has two shortcuts in YAML:

- powershell:  # inline script
  workingDirectory:  #
  displayName:  #
  failOnStderr:  #
  errorActionPreference:  #
  ignoreLASTEXITCODE:  #
  env:  # mapping of environment variables to add
- pwsh:  # inline script
  workingDirectory:  #
  displayName:  #
  failOnStderr:  #
  errorActionPreference:  #
  ignoreLASTEXITCODE:  #
  env:  # mapping of environment variables to add

Both of these resolve to the PowerShell@2 task. powershell runs Windows PowerShell and will only work on a Windows agent. pwsh runs PowerShell Core, which must be installed on the agent or container.


Each PowerShell session lasts only for the duration of the job in which it runs. Tasks that depend on what has been bootstrapped must be in the same job as the bootstrap.


(Optional) Sets whether this is an inline script or a path to a .ps1 file. Defaults to filepath
Default value: filePath
Script Path
(Required) Path of the script to execute. Must be a fully qualified path or relative to $(System.DefaultWorkingDirectory). Required if Type is filePath
(Optional) Arguments passed to the Powershell script.
For example, -Name someName -Path -Value "Some long string value"

Note: unused when Type is inline.
(Required) Contents of the script. Required if targetType is inline.
The maximum supported inline script length is 32766 characters. If you need more than that, use the script from file.
Default value: # Write your PowerShell commands here.
Write-Host "Hello World"
(Optional) Prepends the line $ErrorActionPreference = 'VALUE' at the top of your script
Default value: stop
Fail on Standard Error
(Optional) If this is true, this task will fail if any errors are written to the error pipeline, or if any data is written to the Standard Error stream. Otherwise the task will rely on the exit code to determine failure
Default value: false
(Optional) If this is false, the line if ((Test-Path -LiteralPath variable:\\LASTEXITCODE)) { exit $LASTEXITCODE } is appended to the end of your script. This will cause the last exit code from an external command to be propagated as the exit code of powershell. Otherwise the line is not appended to the end of your script
Default value: false
Use PowerShell Core
(Optional) If this is true, then on Windows the task will use pwsh.exe from your PATH instead of powershell.exe
Default value: false
Working directory
(Optional) Specify the working directory in which you want to run the command. If you leave it empty, the working directory is $(Build.SourcesDirectory)
Environment variablesA list of additional items to map into the process's environment. For example, secret variables are not automatically mapped. If you have a secret variable called Foo, you can map it in like this:

- powershell: echo $env:MYSECRET
    MySecret: $(Foo)


Hello World

Create test.ps1 at the root of your repo:

Write-Host "Hello World from $Env:AGENT_NAME."
Write-Host "My ID is $Env:AGENT_ID."
Write-Host "AGENT_WORKFOLDER contents:"
Write-Host "AGENT_BUILDDIRECTORY contents:"
Write-Host "Over and out."

On the Build tab of a build pipeline, add this task:

Task Arguments

Utility: PowerShell
Run test.ps1.

Script filename: test.ps1

Write a warning

Add the PowerShell task, set the Type to inline, and paste in this script:

# Writes a warning to build summary and to log in yellow text
Write-Host  "##vso[task.LogIssue type=warning;]This is the warning"

Write an error

Add the PowerShell task, set the Type to inline, and paste in this script:

# Writes an error to build summary and to log in red text
Write-Host  "##vso[task.LogIssue type=error;]This is the error"


If you want this error to fail the build, then add this line:

exit 1


Use a script to customize your build pipeline

Call PowerShell script with multiple arguments

Create PowerShell script test2.ps1:

param ($input1, $input2)
Write-Host "$input1 $input2"

In your YAML pipeline, call:

- task: PowerShell@2
    targetType: 'filePath'
    filePath: $(System.DefaultWorkingDirectory)\test2.ps1
    arguments: > # Use this to avoid newline characters in multiline string
      -input1 "Hello"
      -input2 "World"
  displayName: 'Print Hello World'

Open source

This task is open source on GitHub. Feedback and contributions are welcome.


Where can I learn about PowerShell scripts?

Scripting with Windows PowerShell

Microsoft Script Center (the Scripting Guys)

Windows PowerShell Tutorial


How do I set a variable so that it can be read by subsequent scripts and tasks?

To learn more about defining build variables in a script, see Define and modify your build variables in a script.

To learn more about defining release variables in a script, see Define and modify your release variables in a script

Q: I'm having issues with publishing my artifacts. How can I view the detailed logs?

To enable detailed logs for your pipeline:

  1. Edit your pipeline and select Variables
  2. Add a new variable with the name System.Debug and value true
  3. Save

Q: Which variables are available to me?

A: $(Build.SourcesDirectory) and $(Agent.BuildDirectory) are just few of the variables you can use in your pipeline. Variables are available as expressions or scripts.

See Define variables, predefined variables, and Classic release and artifacts variables to learn about the different types of variables.

Q: Task allows me to publish artifacts in deployment job in yaml pipeline, but I am not able to use it in downstream pipeline?

A: Deployment jobs do not have the context of source branches and are hence not appropriate for publishing artifacts. They have been primarily designed to consume artifacts. A workaround would be to isolate that logic into a separate job (with dependencies on your deployment jobs).

Do I need an agent?

You need at least one agent to run your build or release.

I'm having problems. How can I troubleshoot them?

See Troubleshoot Build and Release.

I can't select a default agent pool and I can't queue my build or release. How do I fix this?

See Agent pools.

My NuGet push task is failing with the following error: "Error: unable to get local issuer certificate". How can I fix this?

This can be fixed by adding a trusted root certificate. You can either add the NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS=file environment variable to your build agent, or you can add the NODE.EXTRA.CA.CERTS=file task variable in your pipeline. See Node.js documentation for more details about this variable. See Set variables in a pipeline for instructions on setting a variable in your pipeline.

I use TFS on-premises and I don't see some of these features. Why not?

Some of these features are available only on Azure Pipelines and not yet available on-premises. Some features are available on-premises if you have upgraded to the latest version of TFS.