PowerShell primers

Getting started with PowerShell: The basics

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Are you a Windows administrator? Did you make a new year's resolution to learn PowerShell this year? If so, you have come to the right place.

In this piece, I will get you started by orienting you to the world of PowerShell, helping you get your bearings and showing you how to perform simple tasks with the language so that you have a solid foundation on which to add skills for your particular job. Let's get started.


PowerShell uses a consistent syntax for all of its commands -- in fact, PowerShell commands are actually called cmdlets, because they’re much more than simple DOS-style actions. All cmdlets use the following syntax:


You can easily remember it as "do something to" "this thing." For example, here are three actual cmdlets:

  • Set-ExecutionPolicy
  • Get-Service
  • Show-Command

All cmdlets will always follow this format. Using these three, you will set an execution policy, show a command or list of commands and get some information about a service and what it can do.

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