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What is Azure's Cloud Shell?

Harsh Jain

To work proficiently with Azure as an Azure Developer, Azure Administrator, or any other position related to Azure, you must be familiar with two tools: Azure CLI and Azure PowerShell.

Azure provides an alternative, where you don’t have to install Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell on your local machine, known as Azure Cloud Shell.

Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell is an extension that helps you run Azure CLI and Azure PowerShell commands from within your browser. You get the option to run the command-line as BashLinux command-line or PowerShell. You don’t need to install anything.

Additionally, the Cloud Shell automatically authenticates you with your Azure account. Below is a snapshot, where you can see where the Cloud Shell option is present in the Azure Portal.

The first option, which involves a greater than sign followed by an underscore, is the Azure Cloud Shell extension. It is located at the top right corner of the Azure Portal.

When you start the Azure Cloud Shell for the first time, you need to mount Azure storage to run the Cloud Shell. The shell reads the profile information from the storage account.

How to set up Azure Cloud Shell

Once you start Azure Cloud Shell for the first time, you will be asked to create a storage account, as shown in the snapshot below.

Create Storage Account for Azure Cloud Shell

If you want to know what’s created in detail, click on Show advanced settings. You will get something similar to the snapshot below.

Advanced Settings to create Storage account for Azure Cloud Shell

Once you have verified all the details, click on Create Storage. Then, wait for a few seconds and voila! You are now ready to use command-line toolsPowerShell and Bash.

Starting the Azure Cloud Shell

As you can see in the snapshot above, the Cloud Shell automatically logs in to the Azure account. We are then ready to run all the Azure commands from right within the browser. Below is a sample snapshot to list all the resources available.

List all the resources in your Azure subscription

Check out my course Build a REST API Using Python and Deploy it to Microsoft Azure for additional information on Microsoft Azure services.

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