Quickstart: Create a Windows virtual machine with the Azure CLI

The Azure CLI is used to create and manage Azure resources from the command line or in scripts. This quickstart shows you how to use the Azure CLI to deploy a virtual machine (VM) in Azure that runs Windows Server 2016. To see your VM in action, you then RDP to the VM and install the IIS web server.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Launch Azure Cloud Shell

The Azure Cloud Shell is a free interactive shell that you can use to run the steps in this article. It has common Azure tools preinstalled and configured to use with your account.

To open the Cloud Shell, just select Try it from the upper right corner of a code block. You can also launch Cloud Shell in a separate browser tab by going to https://shell.azure.com/bash. Select Copy to copy the blocks of code, paste it into the Cloud Shell, and press Enter to run it.

Create a resource group

Create a resource group with the az group create command. An Azure resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. The following example creates a resource group named myResourceGroup in the eastus location:

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Create virtual machine

Create a VM with az vm create. The following example creates a VM named myVM. This example uses azureuser for an administrative user name.

You must change the value for --admin-password or it will fail. Change it to a password that meets the password requirements for Azure VMs. The user name and password will be used later, when you connect to the VM.

az vm create \
    --resource-group myResourceGroup \
    --name myVM \
    --image win2016datacenter \
    --admin-username azureuser \
    --admin-password myPassword

It takes a few minutes to create the VM and supporting resources. The following example output shows the VM create operation was successful.

{
  "fqdns": "",
  "id": "/subscriptions/<guid>/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/myVM",
  "location": "eastus",
  "macAddress": "00-0D-3A-23-9A-49",
  "powerState": "VM running",
  "privateIpAddress": "10.0.0.4",
  "publicIpAddress": "52.174.34.95",
  "resourceGroup": "myResourceGroup"
}

Note your own publicIpAddress in the output from your VM. This address is used to access the VM in the next steps.

Open port 80 for web traffic

By default, only RDP connections are opened when you create a Windows VM in Azure. Use az vm open-port to open TCP port 80 for use with the IIS web server:

az vm open-port --port 80 --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myVM

Connect to virtual machine

Use the following command to create a remote desktop session from your local computer. Replace the IP address with the public IP address of your VM. When prompted, enter the credentials used when the VM was created:

mstsc /v:publicIpAddress

Install web server

To see your VM in action, install the IIS web server. Open a PowerShell prompt on the VM and run the following command:

Install-WindowsFeature -name Web-Server -IncludeManagementTools

When done, close the RDP connection to the VM.

View the web server in action

With IIS installed and port 80 now open on your VM from the Internet, use a web browser of your choice to view the default IIS welcome page. Use the public IP address of your VM obtained in a previous step. The following example shows the default IIS web site:

IIS default site

Clean up resources

When no longer needed, you can use the az group delete command to remove the resource group, VM, and all related resources:

az group delete --name myResourceGroup

Next steps

In this quickstart, you deployed a simple virtual machine, open a network port for web traffic, and installed a basic web server. To learn more about Azure virtual machines, continue to the tutorial for Windows VMs.