New Features in Cloud Shell in the Azure Portal

One of the things that was really painful in the early days of Azure, especially for those of us who are consultants with many customers, was the process of switching tenants and logged in sessions. To Microsoft’s credit, they have made this process much better, it’s a single click to switch between logins and/or subscriptions. However, when I working with Azure programmatically as I often do, logging in from my laptop is a little bit more painful.

The workaround for this has been to use cloud shell within the Azure Portal. You can even do this on a mobile device, which can be really handy, if something bad happens and you don’t have a laptop handy. However, the one problem I had with Cloud shell was that it was hard to debug in. I would develop a script “offline” and then paste it into the shell, and sometimes miss obvious variables or cut and paste errors. Also, if you were using the PowerShell version of cloud shell, saving scripts was not intuitive.

However, when I logged in this morning in an effort to run some PowerShell code against a customer’s tenant. I was greeted by a message that I didn’t get a screen shot of and can no longer recreate that said vim, nano, emacs, and code (VS Code) were available as text editors in cloud shell. Let’s try it out.

Note, that is how you exit vi like a boss (escape+:x!). So I created a trivial file, big deal.

I can also see my file. That’s also pretty nifty. But check this out:

By typing code followed by my file name, I get a limited version of Visual Studio Code (btw, I checked and dark mode seems to be the only choice). You can’t highlight code and execute it using F8, but you do get really nice editing functionality in the portal. And you can save a file and it stays in your home drive in cloud shell.

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