Overview of Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell is an interactive, authenticated, browser-accessible shell for managing Azure resources. It provides the flexibility of choosing the shell experience that best suits the way you work, either Bash or PowerShell.

Try from shell.azure.com by clicking below.

Embed launch

Try from Azure portal using the Cloud Shell icon.

Portal launch


Browser-based shell experience

Cloud Shell enables access to a browser-based command-line experience built with Azure management tasks in mind. Leverage Cloud Shell to work untethered from a local machine in a way only the cloud can provide.

Choice of preferred shell experience

Users can choose between Bash or PowerShell from the shell dropdown.

Bash in Cloud Shell

PowerShell in Cloud Shell

Authenticated and configured Azure workstation

Cloud Shell is managed by Microsoft so it comes with popular command-line tools and language support. Cloud Shell also securely authenticates automatically for instant access to your resources through the Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell cmdlets.

View the full list of tools installed in Cloud Shell.

Integrated Cloud Shell editor

Cloud Shell offers an integrated graphical text editor based on the open-source Monaco Editor. Simply create and edit configuration files by running code . for seamless deployment through Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell.

Learn more about the Cloud Shell editor.

Integrated with docs.microsoft.com

You can use Cloud Shell directly from documentation hosted on docs.microsoft.com. It is integrated in Microsoft Learn, Azure PowerShell and Azure CLI documentation - click on the "Try It" button in a code snippet to open the immersive shell experience.

Multiple access points

Cloud Shell is a flexible tool that can be used from:

Connect your Microsoft Azure Files storage

Cloud Shell machines are temporary, but your files are persisted in two ways: through a disk image, and through a mounted file share named clouddrive. On first launch, Cloud Shell prompts to create a resource group, storage account, and Azure Files share on your behalf. This is a one-time step and will be automatically attached for all sessions. A single file share can be mapped and will be used by both Bash and PowerShell in Cloud Shell.

Read more to learn how to mount a new or existing storage account or to learn about the persistence mechanisms used in Cloud Shell.


  • Cloud Shell runs on a temporary host provided on a per-session, per-user basis
  • Cloud Shell times out after 20 minutes without interactive activity
  • Cloud Shell requires an Azure file share to be mounted
  • Cloud Shell uses the same Azure file share for both Bash and PowerShell
  • Cloud Shell is assigned one machine per user account
  • Cloud Shell persists $HOME using a 5-GB image held in your file share
  • Permissions are set as a regular Linux user in Bash

Learn more about features in Bash in Cloud Shell and PowerShell in Cloud Shell.


The machine hosting Cloud Shell is free, with a pre-requisite of a mounted Azure Files share. Regular storage costs apply.

Next steps

Bash in Cloud Shell quickstart
PowerShell in Cloud Shell quickstart