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Cmdlets verb-noun names to reduce command memorization

When it comes to running commands on Windows, PowerShell has become somewhat of an ace in the hole. For years enthusiasts were limited to the confines of the Windows command line but in 2006, PowerShell emerged as a powerful alternative. In this article, we break down what PowerShell is, and provide you a definitive cheat sheet to use as a quick reference to get you started and running your own commands.

What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is an interactive Command-Line Interface (CLI) and automation engine designed by Microsoft to help design system configurations and automate administrative tasks. This tool has its own command-line with a unique programming language similar to Perl. Initially, PowerShell was designed to manage objects on users’ computers.

Today PowerShell offers users an extensive environment where they can execute and automate system management tasks. The user can access resources from Active Directory to Exchange Server through one program. At its core, PowerShell allows the user to access:

  • Command Prompt
  • PowerShell Commands
  • .NET Framework API
  • Windows Management Instrumentation
  • Windows Component Object Model

As PowerShell has become an open source application, Linux and Unix-based users can now access this versatile platform. PowerShell’s is mainly used to help users automate administrative jobs. Rather than performing tedious and repetitive tasks, the user can simply create scripts and issue commands, and PowerShell will complete them automatically. The user can customize hundreds of commands, called cmdlets.

Here is our PDF version of the PowerShell Cheat Sheet. Click on the image below to open the PDF in a separate browser tab that you can save and use as a quick reference.

PowerShell cheat sheet (PDF)