Enter-PSSession

Starts an interactive session with a remote computer.

Syntax

Enter-PSSession
     [-ComputerName] <String>
     [-EnableNetworkAccess]
     [[-Credential] <PSCredential>]
     [-ConfigurationName <String>]
     [-Port <Int32>]
     [-UseSSL]
     [-ApplicationName <String>]
     [-SessionOption <PSSessionOption>]
     [-Authentication <AuthenticationMechanism>]
     [-CertificateThumbprint <String>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-HostName] <String>
     [-Port <Int32>]
     [-UserName <String>]
     [-KeyFilePath <String>]
     [-SSHTransport]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [[-Session] <PSSession>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [[-ConnectionUri] <Uri>]
     [-EnableNetworkAccess]
     [[-Credential] <PSCredential>]
     [-ConfigurationName <String>]
     [-AllowRedirection]
     [-SessionOption <PSSessionOption>]
     [-Authentication <AuthenticationMechanism>]
     [-CertificateThumbprint <String>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-InstanceId <Guid>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [[-Id] <Int32>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-Name <String>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-VMId] <Guid>
     [-Credential] <PSCredential>
     [-ConfigurationName <String>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-VMName] <String>
     [-Credential] <PSCredential>
     [-ConfigurationName <String>]
     [<CommonParameters>]
Enter-PSSession
     [-ContainerId] <String>
     [-ConfigurationName <String>]
     [-RunAsAdministrator]
     [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Enter-PSSession cmdlet starts an interactive session with a single remote computer. During the session, the commands that you type run on the remote computer, just as if you were typing directly on the remote computer. You can have only one interactive session at a time.

Typically, you use the ComputerName parameter to specify the name of the remote computer. However, you can also use a session that you create by using the New-PSSession cmdlet for the interactive session. However, you cannot use the Disconnect-PSSession, Connect-PSSession, or Receive-PSSession cmdlets to disconnect from or re-connect to an interactive session.

Starting with PowerShell 6.0 you can use Secure Shell (SSH) to establish a connection to a remote computer, if SSH is available on the local computer and the remote computer is configured with a PowerShell SSH endpoint. The benefit an SSH based PowerShell remote session is that it works across multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS). For SSH based remoting you use the HostName parameter set to specify the remote computer and relevant connection information. For more information about how to set up PowerShell SSH remoting, see PowerShell Remoting Over SSH.

To end the interactive session and disconnect from the remote computer, use the Exit-PSSession cmdlet, or type exit.

Examples

Example 1: Start an interactive session

PS C:\> Enter-PSSession
[localhost]: PS C:\>

This command starts an interactive session on the local computer. The command prompt changes to indicate that you are now running commands in a different session.

The commands that you enter run in the new session, and the results are returned to the default session as text.

Example 2: Work with an interactive session

The first command uses the **Enter-PSSession** cmdlet to start an interactive session with Server01, a remote computer. When the session starts, the command prompt changes to include the computer name.
PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -ComputerName Server01
[Server01]: PS C:\>

The second command gets the PowerShell process and redirects the output to the Process.txt file. The command is submitted to the remote computer, and the file is saved on the remote computer.
[Server01]: PS C:\> Get-Process Powershell > C:\ps-test\Process.txt

The third command uses the **Exit** keyword to end the interactive session and close the connection.
[Server01]: PS C:\> exit
PS C:\>

The fourth command confirms that the Process.txt file is on the remote computer. A **Get-ChildItem** ("dir") command on the local computer cannot find the file.
PS C:\> dir C:\ps-test\process.txt
Get-ChildItem : Cannot find path 'C:\ps-test\process.txt' because it does not exist.
At line:1 char:4
+ dir <<<<  c:\ps-test\process.txt

This command shows how to work in an interactive session with a remote computer.

Example 3: Use the Session parameter

PS C:\> $s = New-PSSession -ComputerName Server01
PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -Session $s
[Server01]: PS C:\>

These commands use the Session parameter of Enter-PSSession to run the interactive session in an existing PowerShell session (PSSession).

Example 4: Start an interactive session and specify the Port and Credential parameters

PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -ComputerName Server01 -Port 90 -Credential Domain01\User01
[Server01]: PS C:\>

This command starts an interactive session with the Server01 computer. It uses the Port parameter to specify the port and the Credential parameter to specify the account of a user who has permission to connect to the remote computer.

Example 5: Stop an interactive session

PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -ComputerName Server01
[Server01]: PS C:\> Exit-PSSession
PS C:\>

This example shows how to start and stop an interactive session. The first command uses the Enter-PSSession cmdlet to start an interactive session with the Server01 computer.

The second command uses the Exit-PSSession cmdlet to end the session. You can also use the Exit keyword to end the interactive session. Exit-PSSession and Exit have the same effect.

Example 6: Start an interactive session using SSH

PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -HostName UserA@LinuxServer01

This example shows how to start an interactive session using Secure Shell (SSH). If SSH is configured on the remote computer to prompt for passwords then you will get a password prompt. Otherwise you will have to use SSH key based user authentication.

Example 7: Start an interactive session using SSH and specify the Port and user authentication key

PS C:\> Enter-PSSession -HostName UserA@LinuxServer02:22 -KeyFilePath c:\<path>\userAKey_rsa

This example shows how to start an interactive session using SSH. It uses the Port parameter to specify the port to use and the KeyFilePath parameter to specify an RSA key used to authenticate the user on the remote computer.

Required Parameters

-ComputerName

Specifies a computer name. This cmdlet starts an interactive session with the specified remote computer. Enter only one computer name. The default is the local computer.

Type the NetBIOS name, the IP address, or the fully qualified domain name of the computer. You can also pipe a computer name to Enter-PSSession.

To use an IP address in the value of the ComputerName parameter, the command must include the Credential parameter. Also, the computer must be configured for HTTPS transport or the IP address of the remote computer must be included in the WinRM TrustedHosts list on the local computer. For instructions for adding a computer name to the TrustedHosts list, see "How to Add a Computer to the Trusted Host List" in about_Remote_Troubleshooting.

Note: In Windows Vista and later versions of the Windows operating system, to include the local computer in the value of the ComputerName parameter, you must start PowerShell with the Run as administrator option.

Type:String
Aliases:Cn
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ContainerId

Specifies the ID of a container.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Credential

Specifies a user account that has permission to perform this action. The default is the current user.

Type a user name, such as User01, Domain01\User01, or User@Domain.com, or enter a PSCredential object, such as one returned by the Get-Credential cmdlet.

When you type a user name, this cmdlet prompts you for a password.

Type:PSCredential
Position:1
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-HostName

Specifies a computer name for a Secure Shell (SSH) based connection. This is similar to the ComputerName parameter except that the connection to the remote computer is made using SSH rather than Windows WinRM. This parameter supports specifying the user name and/or port as part of the host name parameter value using the form user@hostname:port. The user name and/or port specified as part of the host name takes precedence over the -UserName and -Port parameters, if specified. This allows passing multiple computer names to this parameter where some have specific user names and/or ports, while others use the user name and/or port from the -UserName and -Port parameters.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 6.0.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-VMId

Specifies the ID of a virtual machine.

Type:Guid
Aliases:VMGuid
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-VMName

Specifies the name of a virtual machine.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False

Optional Parameters

-AllowRedirection

Allows redirection of this connection to an alternate Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). By default, redirection is not allowed.

When you use the ConnectionURI parameter, the remote destination can return an instruction to redirect to a different URI. By default, PowerShell does not redirect connections, but you can use this parameter to allow it to redirect the connection.

You can also limit the number of times the connection is redirected by changing the MaximumConnectionRedirectionCount session option value. Use the MaximumRedirection parameter of the New-PSSessionOption cmdlet or set the MaximumConnectionRedirectionCount property of the $PSSessionOption preference variable. The default value is 5.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ApplicationName

Specifies the application name segment of the connection URI. Use this parameter to specify the application name when you are not using the ConnectionURI parameter in the command.

The default value is the value of the $PSSessionApplicationName preference variable on the local computer. If this preference variable is not defined, the default value is WSMAN. This value is appropriate for most uses. For more information, see about_Preference_Variables.

The WinRM service uses the application name to select a listener to service the connection request. The value of this parameter should match the value of the URLPrefix property of a listener on the remote computer.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Authentication

Specifies the mechanism that is used to authenticate the user's credentials. The acceptable values for this parameter are:

  • Default
  • Basic
  • Credssp
  • Digest
  • Kerberos
  • Negotiate
  • NegotiateWithImplicitCredential

The default value is Default.

CredSSP authentication is available only in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later versions of the Windows operating system.

For more information about the values of this parameter, see AuthenticationMechanism Enum.

Caution: Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) authentication, in which the user's credentials are passed to a remote computer to be authenticated, is designed for commands that require authentication on more than one resource, such as accessing a remote network share. This mechanism increases the security risk of the remote operation. If the remote computer is compromised, the credentials that are passed to it can be used to control the network session.

Type:AuthenticationMechanism
Accepted values:Default, Basic, Negotiate, NegotiateWithImplicitCredential, Credssp, Digest, Kerberos
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-CertificateThumbprint

Specifies the digital public key certificate (X509) of a user account that has permission to perform this action. Enter the certificate thumbprint of the certificate.

Certificates are used in client certificate-based authentication. They can be mapped only to local user accounts; they do not work with domain accounts.

To get a certificate, use the Get-Item or Get-ChildItem command in the PowerShell Cert: drive.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ConfigurationName

Specifies the session configuration that is used for the interactive session.

Enter a configuration name or the fully qualified resource URI for a session configuration. If you specify only the configuration name, the following schema URI is prepended: http://schemas.microsoft.com/powershell.

When used with SSH, this specifies the subsystem to use on the target as defined in sshd_config. The default value for SSH is the powershell subsystem.

The session configuration for a session is located on the remote computer. If the specified session configuration does not exist on the remote computer, the command fails.

The default value is the value of the $PSSessionConfigurationName preference variable on the local computer. If this preference variable is not set, the default is Microsoft.PowerShell. For more information, see about_Preference_Variables.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ConnectionUri

Specifies a URI that defines the connection endpoint for the session. The URI must be fully qualified. The format of this string is as follows:

<Transport>://<ComputerName>:<Port>/<ApplicationName>

The default value is as follows:

http://localhost:5985/WSMAN

If you do not specify a ConnectionURI, you can use the UseSSL, ComputerName, Port, and ApplicationName parameters to specify the ConnectionURI values.

Valid values for the Transport segment of the URI are HTTP and HTTPS. If you specify a connection URI with a Transport segment, but do not specify a port, the session is created by using standards ports: 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS. To use the default ports for PowerShell remoting, specify port 5985 for HTTP or 5986 for HTTPS.

If the destination computer redirects the connection to a different URI, PowerShell prevents the redirection unless you use the AllowRedirection parameter in the command.

Type:Uri
Aliases:URI, CU
Position:1
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Credential

Specifies a user account that has permission to perform this action. The default is the current user.

Type a user name, such as User01, Domain01\User01, or User@Domain.com, or enter a PSCredential object, such as one returned by the Get-Credential cmdlet.

When you type a user name, this cmdlet prompts you for a password.

Type:PSCredential
Position:1
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-EnableNetworkAccess

Indicates that this cmdlet adds an interactive security token to loopback sessions. The interactive token lets you run commands in the loopback session that get data from other computers. For example, you can run a command in the session that copies XML files from a remote computer to the local computer.

A loopback session is a PSSession that originates and ends on the same computer. To create a loopback session, omit the ComputerName parameter or set its value to . (dot), localhost, or the name of the local computer.

By default, loopback sessions are created by using a network token, which might not provide sufficient permission to authenticate to remote computers.

The EnableNetworkAccess parameter is effective only in loopback sessions. If you use EnableNetworkAccess when you create a session on a remote computer, the command succeeds, but the parameter is ignored.

You can also allow remote access in a loopback session by using the CredSSP value of the Authentication parameter, which delegates the session credentials to other computers.

This parameter was introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Id

Specifies the ID of an existing session. Enter-PSSession uses the specified session for the interactive session.

To find the ID of a session, use the Get-PSSession cmdlet.

Type:Int32
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-InstanceId

Specifies the instance ID of an existing session. Enter-PSSession uses the specified session for the interactive session.

The instance ID is a GUID. To find the instance ID of a session, use the Get-PSSession cmdlet. You can also use the Session, Name, or ID parameters to specify an existing session. Or, you can use the ComputerName parameter to start a temporary session.

Type:Guid
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-KeyFilePath

Specifies a key file path used by Secure Shell (SSH) to authenticate a user on a remote computer.

SSH allows user authentication to be performed via private/public keys as an alternative to basic password authentication. If the remote computer is configured for key authentication then this parameter can be used to provide the key that identifies the user.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 6.0.

Type:String
Aliases:IdentityFilePath
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Name

Specifies the friendly name of an existing session. Enter-PSSession uses the specified session for the interactive session.

If the name that you specify matches more than one session, the command fails. You can also use the Session, InstanceID, or ID parameters to specify an existing session. Or, you can use the ComputerName parameter to start a temporary session.

To establish a friendly name for a session, use the Name parameter of the New-PSSession cmdlet.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Port

Specifies the network port on the remote computer that is used for this command.

In PowerShell 6.0 this parameter was inlcuded in the HostName parameter set which supports Secure Shell (SSH) connections.

WinRM (ComputerName parameter set) To connect to a remote computer, the remote computer must be listening on the port that the connection uses. The default ports are 5985, which is the WinRM port for HTTP, and 5986, which is the WinRM port for HTTPS.

Before using an alternate port, you must configure the WinRM listener on the remote computer to listen at that port. Use the following commands to configure the listener:

1. winrm delete winrm/config/listener?Address=*+Transport=HTTP

2. winrm create winrm/config/listener?Address=*+Transport=HTTP @{Port="\<port-number\>"}

Do not use the Port parameter unless you must. The port setting in the command applies to all computers or sessions on which the command runs. An alternate port setting might prevent the command from running on all computers.

SSH (HostName parameter set) To connect to a remote computer, the remote computer must be configured with the SSH service (SSHD) and must be listening on the port that the connection uses. The default port for SSH is 22.

Type:Int32
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-RunAsAdministrator

Indicates that the PSSession runs as administrator.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-SSHTransport

Indicates that the remote connection is established using Secure Shell (SSH).

By default PowerShell uses Windows WinRM to connect to a remote computer. This switch forces PowerShell to use the HostName parameter set for establishing an SSH based remote connection.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 6.0.

Type:SwitchParameter
Accepted values:true
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Session

Specifies a Windows PowerShell session (PSSession) to use for the interactive session. This parameter takes a session object. You can also use the Name, InstanceID, or ID parameters to specify a PSSession.

Enter a variable that contains a session object or a command that creates or gets a session object, such as a New-PSSession or Get-PSSession command. You can also pipe a session object to Enter-PSSession. You can submit only one PSSession by using this parameter. If you enter a variable that contains more than one PSSession, the command fails.

When you use Exit-PSSession or the EXIT keyword, the interactive session ends, but the PSSession that you created remains open and available for use.

Type:PSSession
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-SessionOption

Sets advanced options for the session. Enter a SessionOption object, such as one that you create by using the New-PSSessionOption cmdlet, or a hash table in which the keys are session option names and the values are session option values.

The default values for the options are determined by the value of the $PSSessionOption preference variable, if it is set. Otherwise, the default values are established by options set in the session configuration.

The session option values take precedence over default values for sessions set in the $PSSessionOption preference variable and in the session configuration. However, they do not take precedence over maximum values, quotas or limits set in the session configuration.

For a description of the session options, including the default values, see New-PSSessionOption. For information about the $PSSessionOption preference variable, see about_Preference_Variables. For more information about session configurations, see about_Session_Configurations.

Type:PSSessionOption
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Subsystem

Specifies the SSH subsystem used for the new PSSession.

This specifies the subsystem to use on the target as defined in sshd_config. The subsystem starts a specific version of PowerShell with predefined parameters. If the specified subsystem does not exist on the remote computer, the command fails.

If this parameter is not used, the default is the 'powershell' subsystem.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:powershell
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-UseSSL

Indicates that this cmdlet uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to establish a connection to the remote computer. By default, SSL is not used.

WS-Management encrypts all Windows PowerShell content transmitted over the network. The UseSSL parameter is an additional protection that sends the data across an HTTPS connection instead of an HTTP connection.

If you use this parameter, but SSL is not available on the port that is used for the command, the command fails.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-UserName

Specifies the user name for the account used to create a session on the remote computer. User authentication method will depend on how Secure Shell (SSH) is configured on the remote computer.

If SSH is configured for basic password authentication then you will be prompted for the user password.

If SSH is configured for key based user authentication then a key file path can be provided via the KeyFilePath parameter and no password prompt will occur. Note that if the client user key file is located in an SSH known location then the KeyFilePath parameter is not needed for key based authentication, and user authentication will occur automatically based on the user name. See SSH documentation about key based user authentication for more information.

This is not a required parameter. If no UserName parameter is specified then the current log on user name is used for the connection.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 6.0.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

System.String, System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PSSession

You can pipe a computer name, as a string, or a session object to this cmdlet.

Outputs

None

The cmdlet does not return any output.

Notes

  • To connect to a remote computer, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the remote computer.
  • In Windows Vista and later versions of the Windows operating system, to start an interactive session on the local computer, you must start Windows PowerShell with the Run as administrator option.
  • When you use Enter-PSSession, your user profile on the remote computer is used for the interactive session. The commands in the remote user profile, including commands to add Windows PowerShell snap-ins and to change the command prompt, run before the remote prompt is displayed.
  • Enter-PSSession uses the UI culture setting on the local computer for the interactive session. To find the local UI culture, use the $UICulture automatic variable.
  • Enter-PSSession requires the Get-Command, Out-Default, and Exit-PSSession cmdlets. If these cmdlets are not included in the session configuration on the remote computer, the Enter-PSSession commands fails.
  • Unlike Invoke-Command, which parses and interprets the commands before it sends them to the remote computer, Enter-PSSession sends the commands directly to the remote computer without interpretation.
  • If the session that you want to enter is busy processing a command, there might be a delay before Windows PowerShell responds to the Enter-PSSession command. You will be connected as soon as the session is available. To cancel the Enter-PSSession command, press CTRL+C.
  • The HostName parameter set was included starting with PowerShell 6.0. It was added to provide PowerShell remoting based on Secure Shell (SSH). Both SSH and PowerShell are supported on multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS) and PowerShell remoting will work over these platforms where PowerShell and SSH are installed and configured. This is separate from the previous Windows only remoting that is based on WinRM and much of the WinRM specific features and limitations do not apply. For example WinRM based quotas, session options, custom endpoint configuration, and disconnect/reconnect features are currently not supported. For more information about how to set up PowerShell SSH remoting, see PowerShell Remoting Over SSH.