Microsoft builds a full cloud-based Bash shell into its Azure Portal

At its Build developer conference, Microsoft today announced a new feature for the Azure Portal, its central dashboard for managing applications that run on Azure. The new Azure Cloud Shell brings a full Bash shell to the Portal, with support for Microsoft’s own PowerShell coming later. Access to this shell is also available in the Azure mobile apps.

Your Cloud Shell sessions are aren’t persistent but your data will be stored between sessions. The Azure command-line tools are, of course, already pre-installed. Sessions are automatically synced to a $Home directory that now allows you to save files and scripts for reuse. This also means that you can now use VI right from the Azure Portal for example. But you could also use the Docker command-line tools to start up containers, for example.

Update: we mistakenly reported that Cloud Shell sessions are persistent. They are actually not. While your data is saved between sessions, your actual environment will be recycled after you log out.

“This gives you a fantastic way to manage all of your Azure resources,” Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie noted and added that the company believes that this feature will help developers to become more productive.

The company first provided a sneak peek at the new Cloud Shell last December.

This feature is now available to all Azure users.