Modules with compatible PowerShell Editions

Starting with version 5.1, PowerShell is available in different editions which denote varying feature sets and platform compatibility.

  • Desktop Edition: Built on .NET Framework and provides compatibility with scripts and modules targeting versions of PowerShell running on full footprint editions of Windows such as Server Core and Windows Desktop.
  • Core Edition: Built on .NET Core and provides compatibility with scripts and modules targeting versions of PowerShell running on reduced footprint editions of Windows such as Nano Server and Windows IoT.

The running edition of PowerShell is shown in the PSEdition property of $PSVersionTable.

Name                           Value
----                           -----
PSVersion                      5.1.14300.1000
PSEdition                      Desktop
PSCompatibleVersions           {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...}
CLRVersion                     4.0.30319.42000
BuildVersion                   10.0.14300.1000
WSManStackVersion              3.0
PSRemotingProtocolVersion      2.3

Declaring compatible editions

Module authors can declare their modules to be compatible with one or more PowerShell editions using the CompatiblePSEditions module manifest key. This key is only supported on PowerShell 5.1 or later.


Once a module manifest is specified with the CompatiblePSEditions key, it can not be imported on lower versions of PowerShell.

New-ModuleManifest -Path .\TestModuleWithEdition.psd1 -CompatiblePSEditions Desktop,Core -PowerShellVersion 5.1
$ModuleInfo = Test-ModuleManifest -Path .\TestModuleWithEdition.psd1
$ModuleInfo | Get-Member CompatiblePSEditions
   TypeName: System.Management.Automation.PSModuleInfo

Name                 MemberType Definition
----                 ---------- ----------
CompatiblePSEditions Property   System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable[string] CompatiblePSEditions {get;}

When getting a list of available modules, you can filter the list by PowerShell edition.

Get-Module -ListAvailable -PSEdition Desktop
    Directory: C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------
Manifest   1.0        ModuleWithPSEditions
Get-Module -ListAvailable -PSEdition Core | % CompatiblePSEditions

Targeting multiple editions

Module authors can publish a single module targeting to either or both PowerShell editions (Desktop and Core).

A single module can work on both Desktop and Core editions, in that module author has to add required logic in either RootModule or in the module manifest using $PSEdition variable. Modules can have two sets of compiled DLLs targeting both CoreCLR and FullCLR. Here are the couple of options to package your module with logic for loading proper dlls.

Option 1: Packaging a module for targeting multiple versions and multiple editions of PowerShell

Module folder contents

  • Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.BuiltinRules.dll
  • Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.dll
  • PSScriptAnalyzer.psd1
  • PSScriptAnalyzer.psm1
  • ScriptAnalyzer.format.ps1xml
  • ScriptAnalyzer.types.ps1xml
  • coreclr\Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.BuiltinRules.dll
  • coreclr\Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.dll
  • en-US\
  • en-US\Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.dll-Help.xml
  • PSv3\Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.BuiltinRules.dll
  • PSv3\Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.dll
  • Settings\CmdletDesign.psd1
  • Settings\DSC.psd1
  • Settings\ScriptFunctions.psd1
  • Settings\ScriptingStyle.psd1
  • Settings\ScriptSecurity.psd1

Contents of PSScriptAnalyzer.psd1 file


# Author of this module
Author = 'Microsoft Corporation'

# Script module or binary module file associated with this manifest.
RootModule = 'PSScriptAnalyzer.psm1'

# Version number of this module.
ModuleVersion = '1.6.1'

# ---

Below logic loads the required assemblies depending on the current edition or version.

Contents of PSScriptAnalyzer.psm1 file:

# Script module for module 'PSScriptAnalyzer'
Set-StrictMode -Version Latest

# Set up some helper variables to make it easier to work with the module
$PSModule = $ExecutionContext.SessionState.Module
$PSModuleRoot = $PSModule.ModuleBase

# Import the appropriate nested binary module based on the current PowerShell version
$binaryModuleRoot = $PSModuleRoot

if (($PSVersionTable.Keys -contains "PSEdition") -and ($PSVersionTable.PSEdition -ne 'Desktop')) {
    $binaryModuleRoot = Join-Path -Path $PSModuleRoot -ChildPath 'coreclr'
    if ($PSVersionTable.PSVersion -lt [Version]'5.0')
        $binaryModuleRoot = Join-Path -Path $PSModuleRoot -ChildPath 'PSv3'

$binaryModulePath = Join-Path -Path $binaryModuleRoot -ChildPath 'Microsoft.Windows.PowerShell.ScriptAnalyzer.dll'
$binaryModule = Import-Module -Name $binaryModulePath -PassThru

# When the module is unloaded, remove the nested binary module that was loaded with it
$PSModule.OnRemove = {
    Remove-Module -ModuleInfo $binaryModule

Option 2: Use $PSEdition variable in the PSD1 file to load the proper DLLs and Nested/Required modules

In PS 5.1 or newer, $PSEdition global variable is allowed in the module manifest file. Using this variable, module author can specify the conditional values in the module manifest file. $PSEdition variable can be referenced in restricted language mode or a Data section.


Once a module manifest is specified with the CompatiblePSEditions key or uses $PSEdition variable, it can not be imported on lower versions of PowerShell.

Sample module manifest file with CompatiblePSEditions key

    # Script module or binary module file associated with this manifest.
    RootModule = if($PSEdition -eq 'Core')
    else # Desktop

    # Supported PSEditions
    CompatiblePSEditions = 'Desktop', 'Core'

    # Modules to import as nested modules of the module specified in RootModule/ModuleToProcess
    NestedModules = if($PSEdition -eq 'Core')
    else # Desktop

Module contents

dir -Recurse
    Directory: C:\Users\manikb\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\ModuleWithEditions

Mode           LastWriteTime   Length Name
----           -------------   ------ ----
d-----    7/5/2016   1:37 PM          clr
d-----    7/5/2016   1:36 PM          coreclr
-a----    7/5/2016   1:34 PM     4906 ModuleWithEditions.psd1

    Directory: C:\Users\manikb\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\ModuleWithEditions\clr

Mode           LastWriteTime    Length Name
----           -------------    ------ ----
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM         0 MyFullClrNM1.dll
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM         0 MyFullClrNM2.dll
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM         0 MyFullClrRM.dl

    Directory: C:\Users\manikb\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\ModuleWithEditions\coreclr

Mode           LastWriteTime   Length Name
----           -------------   ------ ----
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM        0 MyCoreClrNM1.dll
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM        0 MyCoreClrNM2.dll
-a----    7/5/2016   1:35 PM        0 MyCoreClrRM.dl

PowerShell Gallery users can find the list of modules supported on a specific PowerShell Edition using tags PSEdition_Desktop and PSEdition_Core.

Modules without PSEdition_Desktop and PSEdition_Core tags are considered to work fine on PowerShell Desktop editions.

# Find modules supported on PowerShell Desktop edition
Find-Module -Tag PSEdition_Desktop

# Find modules supported on PowerShell Core editions
Find-Module -Tag PSEdition_Core

More details

Scripts with PSEditions

PSEditions support on PowerShellGallery

Update module manifest