Wednesday, March 22, 2017

One shell to rule them all

One shell to rule them all
One shell to find them
One shell to bring them all 
and in the darkness bind them.

Sit back and close your eyes. Imagine being a system administrator in a time where you only need to learn one shell to manage any operating system. A time where you can login via SSH to a Windows or Linux server and have the exact same shell experience. Now open your eyes. We are on the cusp of this dream.


With the eventual production release of PowerShell on Linux (and Mac), sysadmins will finally have a shell and phenomenal automation language on both Windows and Linux. While the alpha release works on Linux, it probably isn't quite safe to be writing production code just yet.

Will it replace Bash for all? No, but I see no reason it can't be an alternative for someone who wants it to be. The vast majority of current Bash users will likely never migrate, but that is OK. Admins are free to use the tools they desire, but for PowerShell users it is an easy choice. We already know how easy it is to use. although I do believe there will be some open-minded Bash users who after learning a bit of PS will quickly fall in love with what it does well, and what Bash does not, handling structured data. Whether that be JSON, XML, CSV etc., PowerShell is an undeniably a beautiful tool for just that.

These are such interesting times to be in in the field of IT. 


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