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about_Session_Configurations

Updated: August 19, 2009

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0

TOPIC
    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 is a group of settings on the local computer
    that define the environment for the Windows PowerShell sessions that are
    created when remote users connect to 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.

    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 on a computer that is running
          Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or a later version of Windows, 
          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.


 
  Default Session Configurations

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

      These session configurations are 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:

        C:\PS> get-pssessionconfiguration | format-list -property name, permission

        Name       : microsoft.powershell
        Permission : BUILTIN\Administrators AccessAllowed

        Name       : microsoft.powershell32
        Permission : BUILTIN\Administrators AccessAllowed


      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:

         C:\PS> dir wsman:\localhost\plugin\microsoft*
      
                    WSManConfig: Microsoft.WSMan.Management\WSMan::localhost\Plugin

         Name                      Type                 Keys
         ----                      ----                 ----
         microsoft.powershell      Container            {Name=microsoft.powershell}
         microsoft.powershell32    Container            {Name=microsoft.powershell}


  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.

        C:\PS> 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:

        C:\PS> 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

        Name                      Type            Keys
        ----                      ----            ----
        microsoft.powershell      Container       {Name=microsoft.powershell}
        microsoft.powershell32    Container       {Name=microsoft.powershell32}


  Changing the Security Descriptor of a Session Configuration

      By default, 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.

        C:\PS> set-pssessionConfiguration -name Microsoft.PowerShell -showSecurityDescriptorUI

      To deny everyone permission to all the session configurations on the
      computer, use the Disable-PSRemoting function or the
      Disable-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For example, the following
      command adds a "Deny All" entry to all the session configurations on the
      computer.

        C:\PS> disable-psremoting


      To add a "Deny All" entry to a particular session configuration, use
      the Disable-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For example, the following
      command adds a "Deny All" entry to the Microsoft.PowerShell session
      configuration.

        C:\PS> disable-pssessionConfiguration -name Microsoft.PowerShell
    

      To remove the "Deny All" entry from all the session configurations, use
      the Enable-PSRemoting or Enable-PSSessionConfiguration cmdlet. For 
      example, the following command removes the "Deny All" entry from the
      default session configurations.

        C:\PS> 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:
      
        C:\PS> 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 Window 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).

        c:\PS> 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.

        c:\PS> unregister-psSessionConfiguration -name NewConfig

      For more information, see Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration.



  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.

        C:\PS> 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.


SEE ALSO
    about_Preference_Variables
    about_PSSession
    about_Remote
    New-PSSession
    Disable-PSSessionConfiguration
    Enable-PSSessionConfiguration
    Get-PSSessionConfiguration
    Register-PSSessionConfiguration
    Set-PSSessionConfiguration
    Unregister-PSSessionConfiguration
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