Get started with Azure CLI 2.0

Welcome to the Azure CLI 2.0! The CLI is a tool designed to get you working quickly and efficiently with Azure services, with an emphasis on automation. This article introduces features of the CLI and links out to resources that help you be productive.

Install and sign in

If you haven't already, install the CLI or try out the Azure Cloud Shell.

Before using any CLI commands with a local install, you need to sign in with az login.

  1. Run the login command.

    az login

    If the CLI can determine your default browser and has access to open it, it will do so and direct you immediately to a sign in page.

    Otherwise, you need to open a browser page and follow the instructions on the command line to enter an authorization code after navigating to in your browser.

  2. Sign in with your account credentials in the browser.

There are ways to sign in non-interactively, which are covered in detail in Sign in with Azure CLI 2.0.

Common commands

This table lists a few of the common commands used in the CLI links out to their documentation pages in the reference. All subcommands of these groups and their documentation can be looked up in online reference or with the --help argument.

Resource type Azure CLI command group
Resource group az group
Virtual machines az vm
Storage accounts az storage account
Key Vault az keyvault
Web applications az webapp
SQL databases az sql server
CosmosDB az cosmosdb

Finding commands

Commands in the CLI are provided as subcommands of groups. Each group represents a service provided by Azure, and the subgroups divide commands for these services into logical groupings.

To search for commands, use az find. For example, to search for command names containing secret, use the following command:

az find -q secret

If you know which group of commands you want to work with, the --help argument may be a better choice. This displays not just detailed information for a command, but when used with a command group, displays all of the available subcommands. For example, when working with Network Security Groups (NSGs) you can find the available NSG subgroups and commands.

az network nsg --help

The CLI has full tab completion for commands under the bash shell.

Globally available arguments

There are some arguments that are available for every command.

  • --help prints CLI reference information about commands and their arguments and lists available subgroups and commands.
  • --output changes the output format. The available output formats are json, jsonc (colorized JSON), tsv (Tab-Separated Values), and table (human-readable ASCII tables). By default the CLI outputs json. To learn more about the available output formats, see Output formats for Azure CLI 2.0.
  • --query uses the JMESPath query language to filter the output returned from Azure services. To learn To learn more about queries, see Query command results with Azure CLI 2.0 and the JMESPath tutorial.
  • --verbose prints information about resources created in Azure during an operation, and other useful information.
  • --debug prints even more information about CLI operations, used for debugging purposes. If you encounter a bug, provide output generated with the --debug flag on when submitting a bug report.

Interactive mode

The CLI offers an interactive mode that automatically displays help information and makes it easier to select subcommands. You enter interactive mode with the az interactive command.

az interactive

For more information on interactive mode, see Azure CLI 2.0 Interactive Mode.

There is also a Visual Studio Code plugin that offers an interactive experience, including autocomplete and mouse-over documentation.

Learn CLI basics with quickstarts and tutorials

To get you started with the Azure CLI 2.0, try an in-depth tutorial for setting up virtual machines and using the power of the CLI to query Azure resources.

If you would rather focus on other services, there are a variety of quickstarts for Azure services that use the CLI.

Give feedback

We welcome your feedback for the CLI to help us make improvements and resolve bugs. You can file an issue on Github or use the built-in features of the CLI to leave general feedback with the az feedback command.

az feedback