PowerShell Community Extensions (version 126.96.36.199)
Describes the Windows PowerShell Community Extensions (PSCX) module and
how to use the contained cmdlets and functions.
PowerShell Community Extensions is a PowerShell module that provides a
number of widely useful cmdlets. PSCX is not affiliated with Microsoft
or the Windows PowerShell team at Microsoft. We are a few (at the moment)
passionate PowerShell users who wanted more cmdlets than Microsoft was
able to deliver in v1 and v2. So we have taken it upon ourselves to
create some of those cmdlets and make them available to the community.
PSCX 3.2 is compiled against .NET 4.0 and consequently works only in
Windows PowerShell 3.0 and above. If you need Windows PowerShell 2.0
support, download PSCX 2.1. If you need Windows PowerShell 1.0 support,
download PSCX 1.2.
Previous versions of PSCX used global variables to store preference
information and variables created by PSCX functions. Those have been
moved to the PSCX settings provider. PSCX will no longer create any
variables in your global variable scope. All PSCX preference settings
are now specified using the Pscx.UserPreferencs.ps1 file. The file is
located in the root of the PSCX module folder. Its default values
indicate the defaults used if no preference file is specified during
import of the PSCX module. If you want to change any of the defaults,
then copy this file to your home dir, edit it and then import PSCX using
the -ArgumentList to specify the path to your updated
Pscx.UserPreferences.ps1 file e.g.:
Import-Module Pscx -arg ~\Pscx.UserPreferences.ps1
The preference variables and default values are:
ShowModuleLoadDetails = $false # Display module load details during
CD_GetChildItem = $false # Display the contents of new provider
# location after using cd (Set-LocationEx).
# Mutually exclusive with
CD_EchoNewLocation = $true # Display new provider location after using
# cd (Set-LocationEx).
# Mutually exclusive with CD_GetChildItem.
TextEditor = 'Notepad.exe' # Default text editor used by the Edit-File
PromptTheme = 'Modern' # Prompt string and window title updates.
# To enable, first set the ModulesToImport
# setting for Prompt below to $true.
# Then set this value to one of: 'Modern',
# 'WinXP' or 'Jachym'.
PageHelpUsingLess = $true # Pscx replaces PowerShell's More function.
# When this setting is set to $true,
# less.exe is used to page items piped to
# the More function. Less.exe is powerful
# paging app that allows advanced
# navigation and search. Press 'h' to
# access help inside less.exe and 'q' to
# exit less.exe. Set this setting to $false
# to use more.com for paging.
SmtpFrom = $null # These settings are used by the PSCX
# Send-SmtpMail cmdlet.
SmtpHost = $null # Specify a default SMTP server.
SmtpPort = $null # Specify a default port number. If not
# specified port 25 is used.
FileSizeInUnits = $false # Pscx can prepend format data for the
# display of file information. If this
# value is set to $true, file sizes are
# displayed in using KB,MG,GB and TB units.
EditFileBackingFileThreshold = 84000
# Edit-File will switch from an in-memory
# buffer to a temp file when editing a file
# that is larger than this value. This
# setting does not apply when the
# SingleString parameter is used.
To see what cmdlets are provided by PSCX, execute the command:
Get-Command -Module Pscx* -CommandType Cmdlet
The current PSCX cmdlets are listed below:
Search for objects in the Active Directory/Global Catalog.
Execute a SQL query against an ADO.NET datasource.
Create an ADO connection to any database supported by .NET on the current
machine. You can enumerate available ADO.NET Data Providers with the
Get-AdoDataProvider Cmdlet.Data connections to supported providers are
constructed using provider-agnostic common parameters like Server,
Username, Password etc.
List all registered ADO.NET Data Providers on the current machine.
Tests for the existence of the specified alternate data stream from an
Expands a compressed archive file, or ArchiveEntry object, to its
Enumerates compressed archives such as 7z or rar, emitting ArchiveEntry
objects representing records in the archive.Read-Archive is used to list
the contents of a compressed archive containing one or more compressed
file(s). The format of the file being read can be overriden with the
Format parameter, for example to enumerate the contents of a
self-extracting archive (EXE).Read-Archive is useful if you wish to
perform filtering using standard pipeline Where-Object and/or
ForEach-Object cmdlets before piping ArchiveEntry objects to
Tests whether or not the specified file is a .NET assembly.
Converts base64 encoded string to byte array.
Converts byte array or specified file contents to base64 string. By
default, this cmdlet inserts line breaks every 76 characters and outputs
the result in a single string. For very large files, you may run into
OutOfMemoryExceptions. In this case, use the -Stream parameter which will
generate multiple string outputs that, combined together, result in the
equivalent base 64 text.
Exports a bitmap object to a specified file format.
Loads bitmap files.
Sets the size of the specified bitmap.
Turns numbers into nicely formatted byte count, using the highest
Create BZIP2 format archive files from pipline or parameter input.
Gets data from the clipboard.
Formats text via Out-String before placing in clipboard. Can also place
string in clipboard as a file.
Puts the specified object into the system clipboard.
Writes objects to the clipboard using their string representation,
bypassing the default PowerShell formatting.
Gets a list of authorized DHCP servers.
Gets all domain controllers at the specified scope.
Gets disk usage information on the system's disk drives. Get-EnvironmentBlock Lists the environment blocks stored on the environment block stack. Pop-EnvironmentBlock Pops the environment block and restores the state of all environment variables to the values stored in the environment block. Push-EnvironmentBlock Stores the state of all environment variables into an environment block and pushes that onto the environment block stack. Edit-File The Edit-File cmdlet modifies the specified files using a search pattern and replacement text. The search pattern is specified by the Pattern parameter and can be either "simple match" text or a regular expression. The replacement text is specified by the Replacement parameter. The Edit-File cmdlet can also be used to edit files interactively. By default, notepad.exe is used to interactively edit the specified file. You can specify an alternate interactive text editor using $Pscx:Preferences['TextEditor] = 'notepad2.exe'. By default the regex is
applied to the file line by line. You can use the SingleString parameter
to load the entire file into memory as a single string. With
SingleString, the regex is applied to the entire file at once. This
enables you to specify a regular expression such as
'(?s)(<PostBuildEvent>).*?(</PostBuildEvent>)' that spans multiple lines.
The regular expression mode modifier '(?s)' enables Singleline mode which
causes the '.' metacharacter to match every character including newline
characters. One consequence of processing the file using the SingleString
parameter is that your regex may have to handle carriage return (\r)
characters. The regex metacharacter $ matches only newline (\n) and NOT
carriage return (\r) characters. You need to be aware of this when using
the metacharacter $ in Multiline mode to replace the entire contents of a
line. If you're not careful you can eliminate \r from the newline sequence. To avoid this, use an end of line regex positve look-ahead pattern like '(?=\r$)'.
This implentation efficiently tails the cotents of a file by reading
lines from the end rather then processing the entire file. This behavior
is crucial for efficiently tailing large log files and large log files
over a network. You can also specify the Wait parameter to have the
cmdlet wait and display new content as it is written to the file. Use
Ctrl+C to break out of the wait loop. Note that if an encoding is not
specified, the cmdlet will attempt to auto-detect the encoding by reading
the first character from the file. If no character haven't been written
to the file yet, the cmdlet will default to using Unicode encoding. You
can override this behavior by explicitly specifying the encoding via the
Sets a file or folder's created and last accessed/write times. Get-FileVersionInfo Attempts to get the FileVersionInfo object for the specified path. Usually only executable files include file version information. Get-ForegroundWindow Returns the hWnd or handle of the window in the foreground on the current desktop. See also Set-ForegroundWindow. Set-ForegroundWindow Given an hWnd or window handle, brings that window to the foreground. Useful for restoring a window to uppermost after an application which seizes the foreground is invoked. See also Get-ForegroundWindow Write-GZip Create GNU ZIP (GZIP) format files from pipeline or parameter input. New-Hardlink Creates filesystem hard links. The hardlink and the target must reside on the same NTFS volume. Get-Hash Gets the hash value for the specified file or byte array via the pipeline. The default hash algorithm is MD5, although you can specify other algorithms using the -Algorithm parameter (MD5, SHA1, SHA256, SHA384, SHA512 and RIPEMD160). This cmdlet emits a HashInfo object that has properties for Path, Algorithm, HashString and Hash. Format-Hex The Format-Hex command displays the contents of the specified files in hex format. This cmdlet will also accept pipeline input in the form of a byte stream. The output can be controlled via various parameters to indicate the number of columns that should be displayed or alternatively you can specify the width of the output. The header, address and ASCII portions of the display can also be turned off individually. The offset and count can also be specified via parameters to control where in the input to start displaying and how much to display. Ping-Host Sends ICMP echo requests to network hosts. Resolve-Host Resolves host names to IP addresses. Get-HttpResource Gets an HTTP resource or optionally the headers associated with the resource. New-Junction Creates NTFS directory junctions. Get-LoremIpsum ConvertTo-MacOs9LineEnding Converts the line endings in the specified file to Mac OS9 and earlier style line endings "\r". You can convert a single file to a new file name. Or you can convert multiple files and specify a destination directory. By default, this cmdlet will overwrite existing files unless you specify -NoClobber. If you want to force the overwrite of read only files use the -Force option. ConvertTo-Metric Get-MountPoint Returns all mount points defined for a specific root path. Remove-MountPoint Removes a mount point, dismounting the current media if any. If used against the root of a fixed drive, removes the drive letter assignment. Clear-MSMQueue Purges all messages from a queue Get-MSMQueue Returns a list of all queues matching the filter parameters New-MSMQueue Creates a new queue object with the defined properties Receive-MSMQueue Receives the first message available in the queue. This call is synchronous, and blocks the current thread of execution and waits until either a message is available in the queue, or the time-out expires. Send-MSMQueue Wraps an object in a Message, and places it onto the defined queue. Test-MSMQueue Skip-Object Skips the specified number of objects at the beginning of a sequence and/or the end of a sequence. Get-OpticalDriveInfo Get information on optical drive capabilities on the local machine. Add-PathVariable Adds the specified paths to the end of the named, path-oriented environment variable by taking the paths specified by the Value parameter and concatenating them into a semi-colon separated string. The paths can be prepended to the environment variable by using the -Prepend switch parameter. Get-PathVariable Gets the specified path-oriented environment variable and outputs an array of strings. One string for each path. The environment variable string is split a semi-colon and you can option specify that empty paths be removed and unnecessary quotes be removed from each path. Set-PathVariable Sets the specified path-oriented environment variable by taking the paths specified by the Value parameter and concatenating them into a semi-colon separated string. Get-PEHeader The PE header for Windows executables includes various useful bits of information including the image base address, subsystem, linker version, etc. Get-Privilege Lists privileges held by the session and their current status. Set-Privilege Adjusts privileges associated with a user (identity). Get-PSSnapinHelp Generates a XML file containing all documentation data. Get-ReparsePoint Gets NTFS reparse point data. Remove-ReparsePoint Removes NTFS reparse junctions and symbolic links. Get-RunningObject Test-Script Determines whether a PowerShell script has any syntax errors using the PowerShell script tokenizer. New-Shortcut Creates shell shortcuts. Get-ShortPath Gets the short, 8.3 name for the given path. This cmdlet emits a ShortPathInfo object that contains a ShortPath property as well as a Path property which contains the original long path. Send-SmtpMail Sends email via specified SMTP server to specified recipients. This cmdlet checks for existence of several preference that if set can make this cmdlet much easier to use. Those preference variables are: * $PscxSmtpHostPreference="smtp.example.net" * $PscxSmtpPortPreference=587 * $PscxSmtpFromPreference="firstname.lastname@example.org" Join-String Joins an array of strings into a single string. Split-String Splits a single string into an array of strings. New-Symlink Creates filesystem symbolic links. Requires Microsoft Windows Vista or later. Write-Tar Create Tape Archive (TAR) format files from pipeline or parameter input. Disconnect-TerminalSession Disconnects a specific remote desktop session on a system running Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Get-TerminalSession Gets information on terminal services sessions. Stop-TerminalSession Logs off a specific remote desktop session on a system running Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Get-TypeName Get-TypeName displays the typename of the input object. Normally you would use Get-Member to determine this but if you are only interested in the type name this filter produces much less output. Also, since Get-Member accumulates multiple instances of the same type into a single output record for that type, you don't get any sense of how many objects
of that type are traversing the pipeline. With Get-TypeName, you will see
the type name of *every* object passed into it. NOTE: If you specify any
arguments then all pipeline input is ignored. This is due to the fact
that PowerShell executes the Process function even if there isn't any input so it is impossible to distinguish between $null pipeline input and no pipeline input. NOTE: the type name is displayed directly to the host so that it doesn't interfere with pipeline operations. If you want the
original object to pass thru, use the PassThru parameter.
Converts the line endings in the specified file to Unix line endings
"\n". You can convert a single file to a new file name. Or you can
convert multiple files and specify a destination directory. By default,
this cmdlet will overwrite existing files unless you specify -NoClobber.
If you want to force the overwrite of read only files use the -Force
Gets the operating system's uptime and last bootup time. Test-UserGroupMembership Tests whether or not a user (current user by default) is a member of the specified group name. This can be used to test whether a user is admin or elevated to admin. Set-VolumeLabel Modifies the label shown in Windows Explorer for a particular disk volume. ConvertTo-WindowsLineEnding Converts the line endings in the specified file to Windows line endings "\r\n". You can convert a single file to a new file name. Or you can convert multiple files and specify a destination directory. By default, this cmdlet will overwrite existing files unless you specify -NoClobber. If you want to force the overwrite of read only files use the -Force option. Convert-Xml Performs XSLT transforms on the specified XML file or XmlDocument. Use the EnableScript parameter to enable script embedded in the XSLT file. Format-Xml Pretty print for XML files and XmlDocument objects. Test-Xml Tests for well formedness and optionally validates against XML Schema. It doesn't handle specifying the targetNamespace. To see validation error
messages, specify the -Verbose flag.
Create ZIP format archive files from pipline or parameter input.
PSCX Provider: Provides access to the .NET Global Assembly Cache and the
assemblies it contains. The assemblies are exposed as AssemblyName
PSCX Provider: Provides access to LDAP servers like Active Directory or
AD Lightweight Directory Services.
PSCX Provider: Provides access to the Internet Explorer 7 RSS feed store.
To see what functions are provided by PSCX, execute the command:
Get-Command -Module Pscx* -CommandType Function
The current PSCX functions are listed below:
Calculates the sizes of the specified directory and adds that size as a
"Length" NoteProperty to the input DirectoryInfo object.
Adds the file or directory's short path as a "ShortPath" NoteProperty to each input object. Dismount-VHD Dismounts a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) file. Edit-HostProfile (ehp) Opens the current user's profile for the current host in a text editor.
Opens the current user's "all hosts" profile in a text editor. Enable-OpenPowerShellHere Creates the registry entries required to create Windows Explorer context menu "Open PowerShell Here" for both Directories and Drives Get-ExecutionTime Gets the execution time for the specified Id of a command in the current session history. Get-Help Displays information about Windows PowerShell commands and concepts. Get-Parameter (gpar) Enumerates the parameters of one or more commands. Get-ScreenCss Generate CSS header for HTML "screen shot" of the host buffer. Get-ScreenHtml Functions to generate HTML "screen shot" of the host buffer. Get-ViewDefinition Gets the possible alternate views for the specified object. Import-VisualStudioVars Imports environment variables for the specified version of Visual Studio. Invoke-BatchFile Invokes the specified batch file and retains any environment variable changes it makes. Invoke-Elevated (su) Runs the specified command in an elevated context. Invoke-GC (igc) Invokes the .NET garbage collector to clean up garbage objects. Invoke-Method (call) Function to call a single method on an incoming stream of piped objects. Invoke-NullCoalescing (??) Similar to the C# ?? operator e.g. name = value ?? String.Empty Invoke-Ternary (?:) Similar to the C# ? : operator e.g. name = (value != null) ? String.Empty : value less Less provides better paging of output from cmdlets. Mount-VHD Mounts a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) file. Out-Speech Outputs text as spoken words. QuoteList (ql) Convenience function for creating an array of strings without requiring quotes or commas. QuoteString (qs) Creates a string from each parameter by concatenating each item using $OFS as the separator. Resolve-ErrorRecord (rver) Resolves the PowerShell error code to a textual description of the error. Resolve-HResult (rvhr) Resolves the hresult error code to a textual description of the error. Resolve-WindowsError (rvwer) Resolves a Windows error number a textual description of the error. Set-LocationEx (cd) CD function that tracks location history allowing easy navigation to previous locations. Set-ReadOnly (sro) Sets a file's read only status to true making it read only.
Sets a file's read only status to false making it writable. Show-Tree Shows the specified path as a tree. Start-PowerShell Starts a new Windows PowerShell process. Stop-RemoteProcess Stops a process on a remote machine. PSCX ALIASES To see what aliases get created by PSCX, execute the command: Get-Command -Module Pscx* -CommandType Alias The current PSCX defined aliases are listed below: ?: : alias for Invoke-Ternary function ?? : alias for Invoke-NullCoalescing function call : alias for Invoke-Method function cvxml : alias for Convert-Xml cmdlet e : alias for Edit-File cmdlet ehp : alias for Edit-HostProfile function ep : alias for Edit-Profile function fhex : alias for Format-Hex cmdlet fxml : alias for Format-Xml cmdlet gcb : alias for Get-Clipboard cmdlet gpar : alias for Get-Parameter function gtn : alias for Get-TypeName cmdlet igc : alias for Invoke-GC function ln : alias for New-HardLink cmdlet lorem : alias for Get-LoremIpsum cmdlet nho : alias for New-HashObject filter ocb : alias for Out-Clipboard cmdlet ql : alias for QuoteList function qs : alias for QuoteString function Resize-Bitmap : alias for Set-BitmapSize cmdlet rver : alias for Resolve-ErrorRecord function rvhr : alias for Resolve-HResult function rvwer : alias for Resolve-WindowsError function skip : alias for Skip-Object cmdlet sro : alias for Set-ReadOnly function su : alias for Invoke-Elevated function swr : alias for Set-Writable function tail : alias for Get-FileTail cmdlet touch : alias for Set-FileTime cmdlet UTILITY APPLICATIONS Less-394 Less-394 is a paging utility that PSCX installs. PSCX further provides a replacement "help" function that can uses the installed less.exe to page help output. If you use either the "man" alias (an alias to help) or the help function, the output will be paged using the PSCX "less" function which uses less.exe. By default, PSCX's "less" function will
use Less.exe to page its input. If you want to temporarily avoid
using Less for paging when viewing help topics, you can use Get-Help
PS> Get-Help Get-PSDrive -Full
The primary commands you need to know in order to use less.exe are:
Press 'q' to exit less.exe. Press '/<some_term>[enter] to search the
help topic for a specific term. Press 'h' to get more help on how to use less.exe. If you want to permanently suppress the usage of Less and revert back to PowerShell's default pager (more.com) set the 'PageHelpUsingLess'
preference variable to $false in your Pscx.UserPreferences.ps1 file.
See the PREFERENCES VARIABLES section above for more information on
Using Less to browse help topics is significantly nicer than the
default paging in PowerShell. PSCX does not however redefine
PowerShell's "more" function to use Less because the way PowerShell interops with legacy applications causes all output to be rendered to text before it is sent to a legacy application. That makes commands like the following take too much time to generate any output: PS> gci $env:windir -rec | less EchoArgs This is a simple legacy console application that can be very useful when you are troubleshooting the invocation of a legacy application with complex parameters. The typical problem is that you may think the parameters are being passed literally to the legacy application when in fact PowerShell is parsing the parameters via its standard parameter parsing and then passing the result to the legacy application e.g.: PS> echoargs a /b -c -d:user /e:foo.cs;405 Arg 0 is <a> Arg 1 is </b> Arg 2 is <-c> Arg 3 is <-d:user> Arg 4 is </e:foo.cs> Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\PowerShell Community Extensions\Pscx3\Pscx\ Apps\EchoArgs.exe" a /b -c -d:user /e:foo.cs 405 Notice that ';' is the statement separator in PowerShell so the '405' part of the parameter '/e:foo.cs;405' is not even considered a parameter to the legacy application. These sort of problems are typically solved by quoting the arguments to legacy applications e.g.: 5> echoargs a /b -c -d:user '/e:foo.cs;405' Arg 0 is <a> Arg 1 is </b> Arg 2 is <-c> Arg 3 is <-d:user> Arg 4 is </e:foo.cs;405> Command line: "C:\Program Files (x86)\PowerShell Community Extensions\Pscx3\Pscx\ Apps\EchoArgs.exe" a /b -c -d:user /e:foo.cs;405 MISCELLANOUS FEATURES If you want to add an "Open PowerShell Prompt" context menu item to Windows Explorer for folders and drives, execute: PS> Enable-OpenPowerShellHere FEEDBACK Please submit any feedback, including defects and enhancement requests, to either the discussions forums at: http://pscx.codeplex.com/Thread/List.aspx or via the Issue Tracker at: http://pscx.codeplex.com/WorkItem/List.aspx We are also interested in suggestions you may have for cmdlets. Over time, we hope to be able to add some custom providers but that greatly depends on recruiting some more developers for the PSCX project. CONTRIBUTING TO PSCX If you are: A) A software developer with experience programming in C# B) Passionate about Windows PowerShell C) Interested in contributing your coding talents to the project, please drop me an email at: email@example.com. CREDITS This is a list of people and/or groups who have directly or indirectly helped by offering significant suggestions, code, certs or linkable binaries without which PSCX would be a lesser product. In alphabetical order: DigiCert for donating code signing certificates. http://www.digicert.com Eugene Sichkar / 7z Wrapper http://www.nomad-net.info/ Igor Pavlov / 7-Zip http://www.7-zip.org/ Mike Krueger/John Reilly #ZipLib http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SharpZipLib/ Richard Deeming / Trinet.Core.IO.Ntfs http://www.codeproject.com/KB/cs/ntfsstreams.aspx SevenZipSharp Team http://SevenZipSharp.codeplex.com The nUnit Team http://www.nunit.org/ Wintellect for PowerCollections.dll http://www.wintellect.com/ SEE ALSO For more information, most of the cmdlets have help associated with them e.g.: PS> help Get-Clipboard The definitive information on a cmdlet's parameters can be obtained
PS> Get-Command Get-Clipboard -syntax
or more tersely:
PS> gcm get-clipboard -syn