Bash in Azure Cloud Shell Now Commercially Available
Azure Cloud Shell now supports the Linux-based Bash command-line interface (CLI), Microsoft announced this week.
The Bash CLI addition to Azure Cloud Shell reached "general availability" status this week, meaning that the product is deemed ready for commercial use. It was at the preview stage back in May. Bash in Azure Cloud Shell gives users a "secure and authenticated workstation to manage and deploy resources from a native Linux environment held in Azure," according to Microsoft. The Bash CLI can be used "from virtually anywhere."
Bash in Azure Cloud Shell comes with various Linux and Azure tools, along with text editors (vim, nano and emacs). It has support for containers (Docker, Kubectl, Helm and DC/OS) and databases (MySQL, PostgreSql, sqlcmd and mssql-scripter). Language support includes Go 1.7, Java 1.8, .NET 2.0, Node.js 6.9.4, PowerShell 6.0 beta and Python 2.7 and 3.5.
Microsoft is aiming with Azure Cloud Shell to support various shells for executing commands. Bash in Azure Cloud Shell is currently ready for production use, but PowerShell is also supported. PowerShell in Azure Cloud is still at the preview stage right now, though.
The Azure Cloud Shell interface gets accessed using a Web browser, but it can be activated from various Web applications. For instance, users of the Azure Portal can access the Azure Cloud Shell via a ">_" icon within the portal. Azure Cloud Shell also can be invoked from Azure CLI 2.0, the "Azure mobile app" and an extension in the Visual Studio Code development environment, according to Microsoft's Azure Cloud Shell "Overview" article.
Microsoft requires the use of an Azure Files account to persist data across Azure Cloud Shell sessions. Using Bash on Azure Cloud Shell automatically adds a 5-GB image in the storage account, Microsoft's "Quickstart" guide explained.
Azure Cloud Shell with Bash is free to use except for the requirement of having to use an Azure Files storage account, which incurs costs, along with outbound data transfer costs, according to Microsoft's Cloud Shell pricing page. Azure Files storage currently is priced at a monthly basis at $0.06 per GB or $0.10 per GB, depending on the redundant storage option selected, per Microsoft's Azure Files pricing page.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.