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Microsoft IT Linux

Microsoft Releases PowerShell DSC For Linux 265

jones_supa writes: Microsoft is announcing that PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) for Linux is available for download in form of RPM and DEB packages. DSC is a new management platform that provides a set of PowerShell extensions that you can use to declaratively specify how you want your software environment to be configured. You can now use the DSC platform to manage the configuration of both Windows and Linux workloads with the PowerShell interface. Microsoft says that bringing DSC to Linux is another step in the company's "broader commitment to common management of heterogeneous assets in your datacenter or the public cloud." Adds reader benjymouse: DSC is in the same space as Chef and Puppet (and others); but unlike those, Microsofts attempts to build a platform/infrastructure based on industry standards like OMI to allow DSC to configure and control both Windows, Linux and other OSes as well as network equipment like switches, etc.
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Microsoft Releases PowerShell DSC For Linux

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  • "Open" Standard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoeRandomHacker ( 983775 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @07:49AM (#49636837)

    It is a lot easier to embrace an "open standard" when you developed it yourself, then donated it to a consortium.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]

    • It is a lot easier to embrace an "open standard" when you developed it yourself, then donated it to a consortium.

      WBEM [wikipedia.org] is a decades old open standard implemented by just about every major software and hardware manufacturer out there. It's shipped with just about every OS. The computer you are using right now probably has CIM implementation built in or at least available in the core OS.

      The standard is managed by the Distributed Management Task Force [dmtf.org] which includes most top software firms. Here is the Java

  • by Stonefish ( 210962 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @08:09AM (#49636999)

    Powershell is a shell written by programmers who have no understanding of what you want when administering a box. I remember when it surprised me the first time by being clever and inheriting the size of the console and automatically inserting a CR/LF into the lines of the files I was trying to process.... morons. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should, yes OO is a powerful construct but it just gets in the way of a simple scripting tool. Powershell is littered with little gems like this that make it absolutely useless. If you find yourself doing too much with a shell script rewrite it in a more powerful programming language like python, it should take you all of 30 minutes.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Instead of trying to unreliably and painfully get out the data you want with a chain of cut, sed, awk, tr on a untyped text string etc you can just get what you want from a object.

      All Unix shells are text-oriented. PowerShell is unique in that it is object-oriented and represents a big leap and innovation in shells.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        Unfortunately the leap is backwards.

        I don't think I've had to use cut sed awk or tr in more than a decade none of those are really for day to day sysadmin work. If I want well defined objects I use SNMP you know an extendable standard that has been around forever with a functional and extremely fine grained security model. Newer kit tends to some sort of rest API, XML is similar in structure to SNMP it's just it's overly verbose bastard child. Most of the stuff I used to use bits like awk for are log pro

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          This is another round of the same thing WMI is, a bad replacement for a standard method.

          Thank goodness there are other voices out there calling out WMI (and by extension CIM/WBEM) for the crapfest it is.

      • Powershell works that way because MS controlled the development of the vast majority of components that normal people interact with. It delivers a framework to let third parties do it 'the right way', but there's a lot of missing stuff and when you interact with the few CLI friendly executables that existed, you are right back there.

        Basically, you could use 'python' as a shell and have the same benefits, complete with the awkwardness of interacting with non-python executables. In MS world, this is less di

      • Except that you end up turning those objects into text anyways in a large majority of scripts, making the "object" innovation little more than an annoying gimmick.

    • Powershell is a shell written by programmers who have no understanding of what you want when administering a box.

      Argumentum ad systemd.

  • Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @08:27AM (#49637101) Homepage

    What the hell kind of sadist is going to manage their machines from a Linux machine running PowerShell?

    "Unsupported configuration" is the first hurdle that I'd foresee, followed by just being plain, unnecessarily painful.

    • This is for those shops that do everything in Visual Studio, host their stuff on Azure, and have that one or two pesky Linux box for a solution they just couldn't kluge together on Windows.

      Now they can manage those boxes with the rest of their environment.

      This isn't a solution for you or me, but in a Microsoft-centric shop, this might be exactly what they are looking for so that they don't have to throw out all their management in a wholesale replacement.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @08:31AM (#49637125) Journal
    I was forced to move to a windows box ages ago by the company policy. Have been using cygwin, cygwin-X server and bash scripts extensively. So much so many of my colleagues think I am using a linux desktop. So getting something that runs natively in Windows looks attractive. But if I am going to learn something new, what advantages this powershell has that python does not? Cygwin + bash is cross platform enough for me to switch between ssh windows in linux boxes and my windows desktop. The run test suites I got an intern to whip up a python script.

    What does powershell has that python or perl does not have?

    • by nazsco ( 695026 )

      one time an employer made me choose windows or Mac. Linux was verbotten.

      i got windows, installed putty... and that's about it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by benjymouse ( 756774 )

      But if I am going to learn something new, what advantages this powershell has that python does not? Cygwin + bash is cross platform enough for me to switch between ssh windows in linux boxes and my windows desktop.

      Desired State Configuration (DSC) that FTFA was about, is definitely one such thing that PowerShell has that python has not. DSC is a *declarative* description of the configuration you want for a target system. You should think more in line of Chef or Puppet than Python. PowerShell DSC for Linux actually *uses* Python.

      The idea is that you use PowerShell to define a data structure (much like a Ruby hash) that describes the configuration of the node. DSC will itself resolve dependencies. If you require a feat

  • by advantis ( 622471 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @08:48AM (#49637281)

    At this rate, we'll see MS commit stuff to Wine not long before Christmas.

    I'll start a collection for all the tormented souls in Hell, as they'll need lots and lots of warm clothing as the ice age dawns upon them.

  • Does Microsoft think there are not enough vulnerabilities in Linux?
  • by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @09:24AM (#49637553) Homepage Journal

    I only see this causing issues.

    1) Windows Admins writing power shell scripts to do stuff on linux boxes
          a) setting permissions to 777 because they got in the way.
          b) why will it not write the file to c:\?
          c) A power shell script developed and tested on Windows, then pushed out to all the servers and crashing the Linux boxes.
          c) Do you really believe that a Linux admin would allow a windows Admin to run a Power Shell script as root?
    2) Linux Admins being asked to manage windows servers because "You know Power Shell" (If they can get the Linux admin to manage the 300 windows servers on top of the existing 500 Linux servers he manages, it saves them headcount and $$$)

    Personally I see it going the way all the other Microsoft products have gone when they release a Linux version. It gets adopted by a few windows admins that are forced to work on linux. However the Linux admins and the bulk of Linux systems will never see it or use it. It will eventually get dropped because of the bugs, memory leaks, and issues that are found in it. Those that are never fixed because they concentrate on the Windows version and ignore the Linux version.

    Judging from history it is another Embrace, Extend, Extinguish attempt. Microsoft is just pulling from it's old bag of tricks.

    • Microsoft is running up against 40+ years of Bourne shell and its descendants. I doubt even Microsoft could really hope to defeat that kind of legacy.

    • Other organizations have tried and failed to do this sort of thing, simply because they are superimposing their own stuff on top of the stuff that really does the work. So you either have the code complexity of code managing the tooling that is really doing the work, or the code managing the work, doing the work, and some middleware that doesn't add meaningful value, but does add complexity. Having translation layers rarely does nice things for maintenance and stability, regardless of who is doing it and

    • More likely this is a feature that people want so that they can easily/automatically spin up Linux VMs in Hyper-V environments, without having to make use of a bunch of different scripts in a bunch of different languages.
    • by halivar ( 535827 )

      Your #1 scenario hinges on the Windows admins in question being illiterate morons, having just sat at a computer for the first time that morning.
      Your #2 scenario hinges on the Linux admin being too stupid to pick up cross-pollinated skills.

      I find both of these scenarios unlikely.

      Judging from history it is another Embrace, Extend, Extinguish attempt. Microsoft is just pulling from it's old bag of tricks.

      Extinguish what? Their own Powershell? Wouldn't deleting the source repository be faster and cheaper?

  • This is pretty misleading. OMI is Microsoft's pet 'standard'. They know the politics of DMTF to get things the 'standard' rubber stamp, but it has no bearing on actual applicability to the general environment. Basically going OMI means a pretty crappy set of flaky abstraction/instrumentation has to be put on the target that doesn't actually provide any more value than the open source competitors. CIM/WBEM has long languished for lack of anyone wanting to do it, and MS is trying to force the issue by doi

  • I hate and mistrust Microsoft as much as the next guy, but let me say this:

    * Mathematics is powerful because you take two numbers and an operator and as a result you get something that you can re-use in the same fashion

    * Unix is powerful because you take text files and an operator and as a result you get something that you can re-use in the same fashion

    * Relational DBMSs are powerful because you take two relations and an operator and as a result you get something that you can re-use in the same fashion

    * Mon

  • First : Office on a Linux Variant (Android)
    Second : Code Text Editor
    Third : PowerShell tools
    (...)
    [last step] Abandon the costly development of the unsecure and buggy Windows OS and use only some new library à la Wine and a Windows-like graphics shell on a Linux Base OS
    (more profit less cost)

  • by mordred99 ( 895063 ) on Thursday May 07, 2015 @01:16PM (#49640085)

    Part of SCCM is the DSC for Windows servers. What this allows is to validate (ie. scan) for changes to the default build for servers, desktops, and provides integrated reporting. While there are many tools to do this, it is free from MS (minus the OS and SQL DB). If adding Linux to this is a possibility, having your compliance and reporting in one tool, which can leave you from having to run tripwire enterprise or the like due to compliance requirements, might be a win.

    I am not saying it is the best thing on the planet, but if it does what the theory states, that would be a huge deal to have 1 less tool to manage to provide compliance reports.

  • Henry Spencer said (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nikademus ( 631739 ) * <renaudNO@SPAMallard.it> on Thursday May 07, 2015 @06:23PM (#49642865) Homepage

    "Those who don't understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it, poorly."

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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