June 5, 2015 weblog
Microsoft PowerShell team keen on added SSH support
Microsoft PowerShell is to benefit from adding OpenSSH support. Numerous tech sites ran news of the announcement from Microsoft this week. Technology Personalized told how Microsoft will now work toward better Windows SSH Support with tighter integration to control Linux machines. "With this move, Microsoft is further showing its support for open source, and this is definitely going to be appreciated by programmers and supporters of free software." The news source was the Windows Power Shell Blog, in the form of a posting by Angel Calvo, group software engineering manager, PowerShell Team. Calvo on Wednesday said that "A popular request the PowerShell team has received is to use Secure Shell protocol and Shell session (aka SSH) to interoperate between Windows and Linux – both Linux connecting to and managing Windows via SSH and, vice versa, Windows connecting to and managing Linux via SSH."
(Windows PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language, designed especially for system administration. The description adds that Windows PowerShell helps IT professionals and "power users" to control and automate the administration of the Windows operating system and apps that run on Windows.)
The team is to work with the community to deliver the PowerShell and Windows SSH solution. But when? This is the "early planning phase," and the team blog and they will provide details "in the near future" on availability dates.
SSH is a network protocol, a set of rules, that tells your computer how to send data from one place to the other.
Calvo pointed out that SSH solutions were available today by a number of vendors and communities, especially in the Linux world. However, there were limited implementations customers can deploy in Windows production environments. The posting said the combination of PowerShell and SSH can mean a robust, secure solution to automate and remotely manage Linux and Windows systems.
Peter Bright of Ars Technica commented: "SSH, or secure shell, is the mainstay of remote access and administration in the Linux world, and the lack of any straightforward equivalent has always been an awkward feature of the Windows world."
Radu Tyrsina, managing editor of Technology Personalized, said with the move, "users will be able to remote-control Linux PCs much easier than before."
The blog said the team will be "working closely with subject matter experts across the planet to build it." Calvo said, "I'm pleased to announce that the PowerShell team will support and contribute to the OpenSSH community."
The move to support the SSH encryption protocol for remote access resonates with an overall acknowledgment of the impact of open source and Linux since Satya Nadella took over the corporate reins. Analyzing the move, Maria Deutscher of SiliconANGLE said, "Microsoft has previously released the code for its popular .NET development framework with a pledge to port the project onto Linux and later introduced a command-line client for managing Docker containers, which can currently only run natively on the free operating system. The change to PowerShell is in many ways a continuation of that move that extends support down the stack."
ZDNet commented that "The gap between Windows and Linux system administrators is shrinking with Microsoft's support for OpenSSH."
Said Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: in ZDNet: "This is no longer Bill Gates' or Steve Ballmer's Microsoft. This Microsoft values what open-source and Linux can bring it. I have every expectation that Windows system administrators will soon be able to manage Linux servers using a native PowerShell SSH client."
The SSH library used by Windows will be OpenSSH, said Tyrsina.
The OpenSSH community states that "We feel that the world would be better if routers, network appliances, operating systems, and all other network devices had ssh integrated into them."
Interestingly, as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in ZDNet brought out, "OpenSSH is not a Linux project. It's an OpenBSD program, which has been widely adopted by almost all the Unix family operating systems. Thus, while this move is meant to help administrators working with both Linux and Windows servers, it will also help those using the BSD operating systems." The OpenSSH site itself states that "OpenSSH is developed by the OpenBSD Project. The software is developed in countries that permit cryptography export and is freely useable and re-useable by everyone under a BSD license."
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