Running PowerShell Server

Getting Started

The first time you run PowerShell Server, you should switch to the Server Certificate tab and select the X.509 Digital Certificate to be used by the server to protect the SSH connections. By default, the setup will install and configure the application to use the included test certificate, testcert.pfx. From the Security tab, you will also need to configure the Security Group to be used to control which users can connect to the service.

You can also go to the Connection tab and select the TCP port on which the server will listen for incoming connections.

Once you have configured these options, press the Save Changes button in the toolbar to save your changes.

At this point, you should be ready to start the server and listen for SSH connections on the selected TCP port (port 22 by default).

To control the listener, use the Start, Restart and Stop buttons in the toolbar.

If the Run as a Service option is not selected, then the SSH listener will be run in-process inside the PowerShell Server application running in your desktop. This means that to be able to connect remotely to your machine, you must be logged in and the PowerShell Server application must be running (and the listener started). This mode of operation can be very convenient for desktop use.

However, for servers, it is better to enable the Run as a Service option. In this mode of operation, the SSH listener (and any connected PowerShell sessions) are not run on the desktop. Instead, a Windows Service is configured, which can run all the time even if no users are logged on at the server console. When this option is enabled, the Start/Restart/Stop buttons in the PowerShell user interface actually control the Windows Service.

Command Line Parameters

You may start and stop the Windows Service from the command line by specifying the "servicestart" and "servicestop" command line parameters. For instance:

  • To start the service: PowerShellServer.exe /servicestart
  • To stop the service: PowerShellServer.exe /servicestop

When not running as a Windows Service the "start", "stop", "restart", and "exit" command line parameters may be used if the AdminServiceEnabled registry key is set to 1 (True).

  • To start PowerShell Server: PowerShellServer.exe /start
  • To stop PowerShell Server: PowerShellServer.exe /stop
  • To restart PowerShell Server: PowerShellServer.exe /restart
  • To close PowerShell Server: PowerShellServer.exe /exit

Additional command line parameters:

  • To retrieve the maximum number of connections: PowerShellServer.exe /GetMaxConnections

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PowerShell Server 2020 - Version 20.0 [Build 8165]