Create a Windows virtual machine from a Resource Manager template

Learn how to create a Windows virtual machine by using an Azure Resource Manager template and Azure PowerShell from the Azure Cloud shell. The template used in this article deploys a single virtual machine running Windows Server in a new virtual network with a single subnet. For creating a Linux virtual machine, see How to create a Linux virtual machine with Azure Resource Manager templates.

Create a virtual machine

Creating an Azure virtual machine usually includes two steps:

  • Create a resource group. An Azure resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. A resource group must be created before a virtual machine.
  • Create a virtual machine.

The following example creates a VM from an Azure Quickstart template. Here is a copy of the template:

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "adminUsername": {
      "type": "string",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Username for the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "adminPassword": {
      "type": "securestring",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Password for the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "dnsLabelPrefix": {
      "type": "string",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Unique DNS Name for the Public IP used to access the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "windowsOSVersion": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "2016-Datacenter",
      "allowedValues": [
        "2008-R2-SP1",
        "2012-Datacenter",
        "2012-R2-Datacenter",
        "2016-Nano-Server",
        "2016-Datacenter-with-Containers",
        "2016-Datacenter",
        "2019-Datacenter"
      ],
      "metadata": {
        "description": "The Windows version for the VM. This will pick a fully patched image of this given Windows version."
      }
    },
    "location": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "[resourceGroup().location]",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Location for all resources."
      }
    }
  },
  "variables": {
    "storageAccountName": "[concat(uniquestring(resourceGroup().id), 'sawinvm')]",
    "nicName": "myVMNic",
    "addressPrefix": "10.0.0.0/16",
    "subnetName": "Subnet",
    "subnetPrefix": "10.0.0.0/24",
    "publicIPAddressName": "myPublicIP",
    "vmName": "SimpleWinVM",
    "virtualNetworkName": "MyVNET",
    "subnetRef": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/subnets', variables('virtualNetworkName'), variables('subnetName'))]"
  },
  "resources": [
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts",
      "apiVersion": "2018-11-01",
      "name": "[variables('storageAccountName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "sku": {
        "name": "Standard_LRS"
      },
      "kind": "Storage",
      "properties": {}
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses",
      "apiVersion": "2018-11-01",
      "name": "[variables('publicIPAddressName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "properties": {
        "publicIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
        "dnsSettings": {
          "domainNameLabel": "[parameters('dnsLabelPrefix')]"
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks",
      "apiVersion": "2018-11-01",
      "name": "[variables('virtualNetworkName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "properties": {
        "addressSpace": {
          "addressPrefixes": [
            "[variables('addressPrefix')]"
          ]
        },
        "subnets": [
          {
            "name": "[variables('subnetName')]",
            "properties": {
              "addressPrefix": "[variables('subnetPrefix')]"
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces",
      "apiVersion": "2018-11-01",
      "name": "[variables('nicName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses/', variables('publicIPAddressName'))]",
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/', variables('virtualNetworkName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "ipConfigurations": [
          {
            "name": "ipconfig1",
            "properties": {
              "privateIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
              "publicIPAddress": {
                "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses',variables('publicIPAddressName'))]"
              },
              "subnet": {
                "id": "[variables('subnetRef')]"
              }
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines",
      "apiVersion": "2018-10-01",
      "name": "[variables('vmName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/', variables('storageAccountName'))]",
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces/', variables('nicName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "hardwareProfile": {
          "vmSize": "Standard_A2"
        },
        "osProfile": {
          "computerName": "[variables('vmName')]",
          "adminUsername": "[parameters('adminUsername')]",
          "adminPassword": "[parameters('adminPassword')]"
        },
        "storageProfile": {
          "imageReference": {
            "publisher": "MicrosoftWindowsServer",
            "offer": "WindowsServer",
            "sku": "[parameters('windowsOSVersion')]",
            "version": "latest"
          },
          "osDisk": {
            "createOption": "FromImage"
          },
          "dataDisks": [
            {
              "diskSizeGB": 1023,
              "lun": 0,
              "createOption": "Empty"
            }
          ]
        },
        "networkProfile": {
          "networkInterfaces": [
            {
              "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces',variables('nicName'))]"
            }
          ]
        },
        "diagnosticsProfile": {
          "bootDiagnostics": {
            "enabled": true,
            "storageUri": "[reference(resourceId('Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/', variables('storageAccountName'))).primaryEndpoints.blob]"
          }
        }
      }
    }
  ],
  "outputs": {
    "hostname": {
      "type": "string",
      "value": "[reference(variables('publicIPAddressName')).dnsSettings.fqdn]"
    }
  }
}

To run the PowerShell script, Select Try it to open the Azure Cloud shell. To paste the script, right-click the shell, and then select Paste:

$resourceGroupName = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the Resource Group name"
$location = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the location (i.e. centralus)"
$adminUsername = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the administrator username"
$adminPassword = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the administrator password" -AsSecureString
$dnsLabelPrefix = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter an unique DNS name for the public IP"

New-AzResourceGroup -Name $resourceGroupName -Location "$location"
New-AzResourceGroupDeployment `
    -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroupName `
    -TemplateUri "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/master/101-vm-simple-windows/azuredeploy.json" `
    -adminUsername $adminUsername `
    -adminPassword $adminPassword `
    -dnsLabelPrefix $dnsLabelPrefix

 (Get-AzVm -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroupName).name

If you choose to install and use the PowerShell locally instead of from the Azure Cloud shell, this tutorial requires the Azure PowerShell module. Run Get-Module -ListAvailable Az to find the version. If you need to upgrade, see Install Azure PowerShell module. If you're running PowerShell locally, you also need to run Connect-AzAccount to create a connection with Azure.

In the previous example, you specified a template stored in GitHub. You can also download or create a template and specify the local path with the --template-file parameter.

Here are some additional resources:

Connect to the virtual machine

The last PowerShell command from the previous script shows the virtual machine name. To connect to the virtual machine, see How to connect and sign on to an Azure virtual machine running Windows.

Next Steps

To learn more about creating templates, view the JSON syntax and properties for the resources types you deployed: