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About Session Configurations

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 11/17/2016
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2 Contributors

about_session_configurations

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Describes session configurations, which determine the users who can connect to the computer remotely and the commands they can run.

LONG DESCRIPTION

A session configuration, also known as an "endpoint" is a group of settings on the local computer that define the environment for the Windows PowerShell sessions that are created when remote or local users connect to Windows PowerShell on the local computer.

Administrators of the computer can use session configurations to protect the computer and to define custom environments for users who connect to the computer.

Administrators can also use session configurations to determine the permissions that are required to connect to the computer remotely. By default, only members of the Administrators group have permission to use the session configuration to connect remotely, but you can change the default settings to allow all users, or selected users, to connect remotely to your computer.

Beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, you can use a session configuration file to define the elements of a session configuration. This feature makes it easy to customize sessions without writing code and to discover the properties of a session configuration. To create a session configuration file, use the New-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For more information about session configuration files, see about_Session_Configuration_Files (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=236023.

Session configurations are a feature of Web Services for Management (WS-Management) based Windows PowerShell remoting. They are used only when you use the New-PSSession, Invoke-Command, or Enter-PSSession cmdlets to connect to a remote computer.

Note: To manage the session configurations, start Windows PowerShell with the "Run as administrator" option.

About Session Configurations

Every Windows PowerShell session uses a session configuration. This includes persistent sessions that you create by using the New-PSSession or Enter-PSSession cmdlets, and the temporary sessions that Windows PowerShell creates when you use the ComputerName parameter of a cmdlet that uses WS-Management-based remoting technology, such as Invoke-Command.

Administrators can use session configurations to protect the resources of the computer and to create custom environments for users who connect to the computer. For example, you can use a session configuration to limit the size of objects that the computer receives in the session, to define the language mode of the session, and to specify the cmdlets, providers, and functions that are available in the session.

By configuring the security descriptor of a session configuration, you determine who can use the session configuration to connect to the computer. Users must have Execute permission to a session configuration to use it in a session. If a user does not have the required permissions to use any of the session configurations on a computer, the user cannot connect to the computer remotely.

By default, only Administrators of the computer have permission to use the default session configurations. But, you can change the security descriptors to allow everyone, no one, or only selected users to use the session configurations on your computer.

Built-in Session Configurations

Windows PowerShell 3.0 includes built-in session configurations named Microsoft.PowerShell and Microsoft.PowerShell.Workflow. On computers running 64-bit versions of Windows, Windows PowerShell also provides Microsoft.PowerShell32, a 32-bit session configuration.

The Microsoft.PowerShell session configuration is used for sessions by default, that is, when a command to create a session does not include the ConfigurationName parameter of the New-PSSession, Enter-PSSession, or Invoke-Command cmdlet.

The security descriptors for the default session configurations allow only members of the Administrators group on the local computer to use them. As such, only members of the Administrators group can connect to the computer remotely unless you change the default settings.

You can change the default session configurations by using the $PSSessionConfigurationName preference variable. For more information, see about_Preference_Variables.

Viewing Session Configurations on the Local Computer

To get the session configurations on your local computer, use the Get-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet.

For example, type:

PS C:> Get-PSSessionConfiguration | Format-List -Property Name, Permission

Name : microsoft.powershell Permission : BUILTIN\Administrators AccessAllowed

Name : microsoft.powershell.workflow Permission : BUILTIN\Administrators AccessAllowed

Name : microsoft.powershell32 Permission : BUILTIN\Administrators AccessAllowed

The session configuration object is expanded in Windows PowerShell 3.0 to display the properties of the session configuration that are configured by using a session configuration file.

For example, to see all of the properties of a session configuration object, type:

PS C:> Get-PSSessionConfiguration | Format-List -Property *

You can also use the WSMan provider in Windows PowerShell to view session configurations. The WSMan provider creates a WSMAN: drive in your session.

In the WSMAN: drive, session configurations are in the Plugin node. (All session configurations are in the Plugin node, but there are items in the Plugin node that are not session configurations.)

For example, to view the session configurations on the local computer, type:

PS C:> dir wsman:\localhost\plugin\microsoft*

WSManConfig: Microsoft.WSMan.Management\WSMan::localhost\Plugin

Type Keys Name


Container {Name=microsoft.powershell} microsoft.powershell Container {Name=microsoft.powershell.workf... microsoft.powershell.workflow Container {Name=microsoft.powershell32} microsoft.powershell32

Viewing Session Configurations on a Remote Computer

To view the session configurations on a remote computer, use the Connect-WSMan cmdlet to add a note for the remote computer to the WSMAN: drive on your local computer, and then use the WSMAN: drive to view the session configurations.

For example, the following command adds a node for the Server01 remote computer to the WSMAN: drive on the local computer.

PS C:> Connect-WSMan server01.corp.fabrikam.com

When the command is complete, you can navigate to the node for the Server01 computer to view the session configurations.

For example:

PS C:> cd wsman:

PS WSMan:> dir

ComputerName Type


localhost Container server01.corp.fabrikam.com Container

PS WSMan:> dir server01\plugin\

WSManConfig: Microsoft.WSMan.Management\WSMan::server01.corp.fabrikam.com\Plugin

Type Keys Name


Container {Name=microsoft.powershell} microsoft.powershell Container {Name=microsoft.powershell.workf... microsoft.powershell.workflow Container {Name=microsoft.powershell32} microsoft.powershell32

Changing the Security Descriptor of a Session Configuration

In Windows Server 2012 and newer releases of Windows Server, the built-in session configurations are enabled for remote users by default. In other supported versions of Windows, you must change the security descriptors of the session configurations to allow remote access.

To enable remote access to the session configurations on the computer, use the Enable-PSRemoting cmdlet.

Also, by default, only members of the Administrators group on the computer have Execute permission to the default session configurations, but you can change the security descriptors on the default session configurations and on any session configurations that you create.

To give other users permission to connect to the computer remotely, use the Set-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet to add "Execute" permissions for those users to the security descriptors of the Microsoft.PowerShell and Microsoft.PowerShell32 session configurations.

For example, the following command opens a property page that lets you change the security descriptor for the Microsoft.PowerShell default session configuration.

PS C:> Set-PSSessionConfiguration -name Microsoft.PowerShell -ShowSecurityDescriptorUI

To deny everyone permission to all the session configurations on the computer, use the Disable-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For example, the following command disables the default session configurations on the computer.

PS C:> Disable-PSSessionConfiguration -Name Microsoft.PowerShell

To prevent remote users from connecting to the computer, but allow local users to connect, use the Disable-PSRemoting cmdlet. Disable-PSRemoting adds a "Network_Deny_All" entry to all session configurations on the computer.

PS C:> Disable-PSRemoting

To allow remote users to use all session configurations on the computer, use the Enable-PSRemoting or Enable-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For example, the following command enables remote access to the built-in session configurations.

PS C:> Enable-PSSessionConfiguration -name Microsoft.Power*

To make other changes to the security descriptor of a session configuration, use the Set-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. Use the SecurityDescriptorSDDL parameter to submit an SDDL string value. Use the ShowSecurityDescriptorUI parameter to display a user interface property sheet that helps you to create a new SDDL.

For example:

PS C:> Set-PSSessionConfiguration -Name Microsoft.PowerShell -ShowSecurityDescriptorUI

Creating a New Session Configuration

To create a new session configuration on the local computer, use the Register-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. To define the new session configuration, you can use a C# assembly, a Windows PowerShell script, and the parameters of the Register-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet.

For example, the following command creates a session configuration that is identical the Microsoft.PowerShell session configuration, except that it limits the data received from a remote command to 20 megabytes (MB). (The default is 50 MB).

PS C:> Register-PSSessionConfiguration -Name NewConfig --MaximumReceivedDataSizePerCommandMB 20

When you create a session configuration, you can manage it by using the other session configuration cmdlets, and it appears in the WSMAN: drive.

For more information, see Register-PSSessionConfiguration.

Removing a Session Configuration

To remove a session configuration from the local computer, use the Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For example, the following command removes the NewConfig session configuration from the computer.

PS C:> Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration -Name NewConfig

For more information, see Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration.

Restoring a Session Configuration

To restore a default session configuration that was deleted (unregistered) accidentally, use the Enable-PSRemoting cmdlet.

The Enable-PSRemoting cmdlet recreates all default sessions configurations that do not exist on the computer. It does not overwrite or change the property values of existing session configurations.

To restore the original property values of a default session configuration, use the Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration to delete the session configuration and then use the Enable-PSRemoting cmdlet to recreate it.

Selecting a Session Configuration

To select a particular session configuration for a session, use the ConfigurationName parameter of New-PSSession, Enter-PSSession, or Invoke-Command.

For example, this command uses the New-PSSession cmdlet to start a PSSession on the Server01 computer. The command uses the ConfigurationName parameter to select the WithProfile configuration on the Server01 computer.

PS C:> New-PSSession -ComputerName Server01 -ConfigurationName WithProfile

This command will succeed only if the current user has permission to use the WithProfile session configuration or can supply the credentials of a user who has the required permissions.

You can also use the $PSSessionConfigurationName preference variable to change the default session configuration on the computer. For more information about the $PSSessionConfigurationName preference variable, see about_Preference_Variables.

KEYWORDS

about_Endpoints about_SessionConfigurations

SEE ALSO

about_Preference_Variables about_PSSession about_Remote about_Session_Configuration_Files New-PSSession Disable-PSSessionConfiguration Enable-PSSessionConfiguration Get-PSSessionConfiguration New-PSSessionConfigurationFile Register-PSSessionConfiguration Set-PSSessionConfiguration Test-PSSessionConfigurationFile Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration Windows Server Resources

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