How to create a PowerShell / PowerCLI profile & add Functions for later use

 

Ever wondered how to set yourself up a PowerShell or PowerCLI profile? Or how to go about saving useful Functions that you have created or picked up elsewhere to your profile for use in new sessions? Here I’ll detail the basics of PowerShell or PowerCLI session profiles and show you how to set one up, as well as how to save your first Function to this profile for use in future sessions.

 

Creating a PowerShell (or PowerCLI) profile is a great idea if you are considering spending any decent amount of time in the shell or executing scripts.  They allow you to customise your PowerShell / PowerCLI environment and apply useful functions or elements to every new PowerShell / PowerCLI session you start, without the need to reload these items yourself each time. A few examples of what you can add to your profile are functions, variables, cmdlets and snap-ins. This makes life so much easier when scripting or working on your latest bit of automation.

 

To begin with, you can see the currently set profile path in your session by typing $profile in the shell. If you would then like to edit your profile, try issuing the command “notepad $profile”. This will (if it exists) open your profile in notepad to edit. If it doesn’t exist, you’ll get an error when notepad tries to load indicating so. If this is the case, or you would like to create a new PowerShell profile for use in PowerShell or PowerCLI, use the last bit of script listed in the next section to create a profile and get started with customising your environment.

 

Show your profile path or open it up for editing in notepad:

$profile
notepad $profile

 

Create a new PowerShell profile for the current user if one does not already exist, then open it up for editing in notepad:

if (!(test-path $profile)) 
           {new-item -type file -path $profile -force}
notepad $profile

 

Once you have your profile created and ready for editing, try add a few useful Functions or variable declarations to get yourself going, then launch a new PowerShell or PowerCLI session to try them out. Here is a quick example of a function you can create to test your profile out in PowerCLI:

 

function VMInfo {
	param(
	[parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
    	[string[]]$VMName)
	Get-VM $VMName
}

 

Save your profile with the above function added, then start a new session of PowerCLI. Connect to your vCenter server using Connect-VIServer and then try type in “VMInfo aVMname” (where aVMname = the name of an actual VM in your environment). As you may have noticed, this function is just doing the same job that the Get-VM cmdlet already does for you, and will simply return the info about a VM specified. Here is a quick run down of the function above. The function is declared first of all (Name of the function). Then we open curly brackets to start the code. The param section then defines whether a parameter is mandatory (needed) or not, and what type of variable that parameter is (in our case we used a string), as well as giving the parameter a variable name ($VMName). The last bit does the actual work to run the Get-VM cmdlet on the parameter ($VMName) passed to the function. Here’s the output when running the new function against a VM called “SEAN-DC01” in my PowerCLI session:

 

 

You should now be able to see how useful this can become – you can quickly add new functions, variables, etc to your PowerShell profile for future use in new sessions. Try think of a few useful ones for cmdlets that you use often on a day to day basis and add these into your profile. You won’t regret it in the long run!

Powershell – Check Free Memory script

 

Here’s a quick script I did using Powershell to check your free memory and report back the amount in MB and GB.

 

$freemem = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_OperatingSystem

# Display free memory on PC/Server
"---------FREE MEMORY CHECK----------"
""
"System Name     : {0}" -f $freemem.csname
"Free Memory (MB): {0}" -f ([math]::round($freemem.FreePhysicalMemory / 1024, 2))
"Free Memory (GB): {0}" -f ([math]::round(($freemem.FreePhysicalMemory / 1024 / 1024), 2))
""
"------------------------------------"

Download the script here

 

The figure is determined and held in the $freemem variable. After that we simply output two lines to show the amount in MB and GB. We use a simple function to divide the figure by 1024 and round it off, displaying the result with two decimal places. The figure needs to be divided by 1024 as the variable holds the amount in Kilobytes (KB), therefore to determine Megabytes (MB), we divide by 1024. The second figure for GB requires one more division.