Creating and Publishing an Item

The PowerShell Gallery is the place to publish and share stable PowerShell modules, scripts, and DSC resources with the broader PowerShell user community.

This article covers the mechanics and important steps for preparing a script or module, and publishing it to the PowerShell Gallery. We strongly encourage that you review the Publishing Guidelines to understand how to ensure that the items you publish will be more widely accepted by PowerShell Gallery users.

The minimum requirements to publish an item to the PowerShell Gallery are:

  • Have a PowerShell Gallery account, and the API Key associated with it
  • Ensure Required Metadata is in your item
  • Use the pre-validation tools to ensure your item is ready to publish
  • Publish the item to the PowerShell Gallery using the Publish-Module and Publish-Script commands
  • Responding to questions or concerns about your item

The PowerShell Gallery accepts PowerShell modules and PowerShell scripts. When we refer to scripts, we mean a PowerShell script that is a single file, and not part of a larger module.

See Creating a PowerShell Gallery Account for how to set up your PowerShell Gallery account.

Once you have created an account, you can get the API Key needed to publish an item. After you sign in with the account, your username will be displayed at the top of the PowerShell Gallery pages instead of Register. Clicking on your username will take you to the My Account page, where you will find the API Key.

Note: The API Key must be treated as securely as your login and password. With this key you, or anyone else, can update any item you own in the PowerShell Gallery. We recommend updating the key regularly, which can be done using Reset Key on your My Account page.

The PowerShell Gallery provides information to gallery users drawn from metadata fields that are included in the script or module manifest. Creating or modifying items for publication to the PowerShell Gallery has a small set of requirements for information supplied in the item manifest. We strongly encourage that you review the Item Metadata section of the Publishing Guidelines to learn how to provide the best information to users with your items.

The New-ModuleManifest and New-ScriptFileInfo cmdlets will create the manifest template for you, with placeholders for all the manifest elements.

Both manifests have two sections that are important for publishing, the Primary Key Data and PSData area of PrivateData The primary key data in a PowerShell module manifest is everything outside of the PrivateData section. The set of primary keys is tied to the version of PowerShell in use, and undefined are not supported. PrivateData supports adding new keys, so the elements specific to the PowerShell Gallery are in PSData.

Manifest elements that are most important to fill in for item you publish to the PowerShell Gallery are:

  • Script or Module Name - Those are drawn from the names of the .PS1 for a script, or the .PSD1 for a module.
  • Version - this is a required primary key, format should follow SemVer guidelines (see Best Practices for details)
  • Author - this is a required primary key, and contains the name to be associated with the item (see Authors and Owners, below)
  • Description - this is a required primary key, used to briefly explain what this item does and any requirements for using it
  • ProjectURI - this is a strongly recommended URI field in PSData that provides a link to a Github repo or similar location where you do development on the item

Authors and Owners of PowerShell Gallery items are related concepts, but do not always match.
Item Owners are users with PowerShell Gallery accounts that have permission to maintain the item. There may be many Owners who can update any item. The Owner is only available from the PowerShell Gallery, and is lost if the item is copied from one system to another. Author is a string that is built into the manifest data, so it is always part of the item. The recommendations for items from Microsoft products are:

  • Have multiple owners, with at least one being the name of the team that produces the item;
  • Have the Author be a well-known team name (such as Azure SDK Team), or Microsoft Corporation.

Pre-Validate Your Item

There are a few tools you need to run against your code before publishing your item to the PowerShell Gallery:

  • PowerShell Script Analyzer, which is in the PowerShell Gallery
  • For modules, Test-ModuleManifest which is part of PowerShell
  • For scripts, Test-ScriptFileInfo which comes with PowerShell Get

PowerShell Script Analyzer is a static code analysis tool that will scan your code to ensure it meets basic PowerShell coding guidelines. This tool will identify common and critical issues in your code, and should be run regularly during development to help you get your item ready to publish. PowerShell Script Analyzer will provide list of issues identified as Errors, Warning, and Information. All errors must be addressed before you publish to the PowerShell Gallery. Warnings need to be reviewed, and most should be addressed. PowerShell Script Analyzer is run every time an item is published or updated in the PowerShell Gallery. The Gallery Operations team will contact item owners to address errors that are found.

If the manifest information in your item cannot be read by the PowerShell Gallery infrastructure, you will not be able to publish. Test-ModuleManifest will catch common problems that would cause the module to not be usable when it is installed. It must be run for every module prior to publishing it to the PowerShell Gallery.

Likewise, Test-ScriptFileInfo validates the metadata in a script, and must be run on every script (published separate from a module) prior to publishing it to the Powershell Gallery.

Publishing Items

You must use the Publish-Script or Publish-Module to publish items to the PowerShell Gallery. These commands both require

  • The path to the item you will publish. For a module, use the folder named for your module. If you specify a folder that contains multiple versions of the same module, you must specify RequiredVersion.
  • A Nuget API key. This is the API key found in the My Account page on the PowerShell Gallery.

Most of the other options in the command line should be in the manifest data for the item you are publishing, so you should not need to specify them in the command.

To avoid errors, it is strongly recommended that you try the commands using -Whatif -Verbose, before publishing. This will save considerable time, since every time you publish to the PowerShell Gallery, you must update the version number in the manifest section of the item.

Examples would be: 'Publish-Module -Path ".\MyModule" -RequiredVersion "0.0.1" -NugetAPIKey "GUID" -Whatif -Verbose' 'Publish-Script -Path ".\MyScriptFile.PS1" -NugetAPIKey "GUID" -Whatif -Verbose'

Review the output carefully, and if you see no errors or warnings, repeat the command without -Whatif.

All items that are published to the PowerShell Gallery will be scanned for viruses, and will be analyzed using the PowerShell Script Analyzer. Any issues that arise at that time will be sent back to the publisher for resolution.

Once you have published an item to the PowerShell Gallery, you will need to watch for feedback on your item.

  • Ensure you monitor the email address associated with the account used to publish. Users, and the PowerShell Gallery Operations team will provide feedback via that account, including issues from the PSSA or antivirus scans. If the email account is invalid, or if serious issues are reported to the account and left unresolved for a long time, items can be considered abandoned and will be removed from the PowerShell Gallery as described in our Terms of Use.
  • We recommend you subscribe to Comments for each PowerShell Gallery item you publish. This allows you to be notified if anyone comments on your items in the PowerShell Gallery. This is optional, as it requires creating an account with LiveFyre.