The new edition of PowerShell

v6.0, is out and generally available. Along with that, PowerShell is now cross-platform. This means if you write PowerShell scripts you can expand your client base, your reputation and your bank account.

There’s No Free Rides

With great power, comes great responsibility. Consider this, you’re currently writing a cool PowerShell script or module, and you’ve developed it on and for PowerShell v5.1. Now, you want to try it on PowerShell v6 on Windows. If you use Get-WmiObject you’ll need to change that to Get-CimInstance so it works v6.

How do you try this out? One option, load up v6 on your Windows machine, type pwshand run through your scripts. Now, when you make a modification, you’ve got double the work to test things out. Sounds like a lot of effort and a ton of room to miss many things.

Let’s toss this into the mix, there are Linux and macOS folks who could benefit from your scripts (and you could benefit from them) big problem, Get-WmiObject and Get-CimInstance don’t work on those systems. How do you test your scripts on a Linux and macOS? Buy more hardware? Use virtualization software? Containers? Once that’s in place, you change to the script, how do you manage running your script(s)/module on several systems?

Automate the Automation

Let’s talk about three free services that make this happen (so long as you scripts are public, otherwise you’ll need to consider the pricing options). These services GitHub, Appveyor and Travis-CI let you use version control for your scripts, run Windows PowerShell v5.1, Windows PowerShell v6, Linux PowerShell v6 and macOS v6. Check out my GitHub repo PSMatcher and you’ll see two files which direct the Appveyor (appveyor.yml) and Travis-CI (.travis.yml) services to spin up the operating systems, run the correct versions of PowerShell then run Pester tests.

One cool part is, Pester tests are written PowerShell, this reduces the learning curve nicely.

Getting Started

Visit these websites and sign up. Is fast and free.

Once signed up and check in your scripts and yaml files. Next, connect the repo to Appveyor and Travis-CI. Now when you check in a change, GitHub will notify both services. These services will checkout your code, spin up the operating systems you requested and run the Pester tests in the version of PowerShell you specifed.


Both services provide the badges below, giving at a glance indication if your build failed. Click on the images, they are links to my builds for the PSMatcher PowerShell module (also on the PowerShell Gallery PSMatcher)

  • Appveyor build Build status

  • Travis-ci build Build Status


The difference between a good PowerShell scripter and a great PowerShell scripter is the number of tests they write and their CI/CD pipeline. With these in place, you’ll be able confidently fix your scirpts, enhance them and even deliever experimental versions with less pain and less drama.

Fork my repo and then connect your version to Appveyor and/or Travis-CI to see how it works. Next, tweak the tests and finally, build your own repo using the yml here.