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about_Remote_Output

Updated: May 8, 2014

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0, Windows PowerShell 4.0

TOPIC
    about_Remote_Output

SHORT DESCRIPTION
    Describes how to interpret and format the output of remote commands.

LONG DESCRIPTION
    The output of a command that was run on a remote computer might look
    like output of the same command run on a local computer, but there are
    some significant differences.

    This topic explains how to interpret, format, and display the output
    of commands that are run on remote computers.

                    
 DISPLAYING THE COMPUTER NAME

    When you use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run a command on a remote
    computer, the command returns an object that includes the name of
    the computer that generated the data. The remote computer name is
    stored in the PSComputerName property.

    For many commands, the PSComputerName is displayed by default. For
    example, the following command runs a Get-Culture command on two
    remote computers, Server01 and Server02. The output, which appears
    below, includes the names of the remote computers on which the command
    ran.

        C:\PS> invoke-command -script {get-culture} -comp Server01, Server02

        LCID  Name    DisplayName                PSComputerName
        ----  ----    -----------                --------------
        1033  en-US   English (United States)    Server01
        1033  es-AR   Spanish (Argentina)        Server02

    
    You can use the HideComputerName parameter of Invoke-Command to hide
    the PSComputerName property. This parameter is designed for commands
    that collect data from only one remote computer.

    The following command runs a Get-Culture command on the Server01
    remote computer. It uses the HideComputerName parameter to hide the
    PSComputerName property and related properties.


        C:\PS> invoke-command -scr {get-culture} -comp Server01 -HideComputerName

        LCID             Name             DisplayName
        ----             ----             -----------
        1033             en-US            English (United States)




     You can also display the PSComputerName property if it is not displayed
     by default. 

     For example, the following commands use the Format-Table cmdlet to add
     the PSComputerName property to the output of a remote Get-Date command.

        C:\PS> $dates = invoke-command -script {get-date} -computername Server01, Server02
        C:\PS> $dates | format-table DateTime, PSComputerName -auto

        DateTime                            PSComputerName
        --------                            --------------
        Monday, July 21, 2008 7:16:58 PM    Server01
        Monday, July 21, 2008 7:16:58 PM    Server02      



 DISPLAYING THE MACHINENAME PROPERTY

    Several cmdlets, including Get-Process, Get-Service, and Get-EventLog,
    have a ComputerName parameter that gets the objects on a remote computer.
    These cmdlets do not use Windows PowerShell remoting, so you can use them
    even on computers that are not configured for remoting in Windows 
    PowerShell.

    The objects that these cmdlets return store the name of the remote computer
    in the MachineName property. (These objects do not have a PSComputerName
    property.)

    For example, this command gets the PowerShell process on the Server01 and
    Server02 remote computers. The default display does not include the 
    MachineName property. 

        C:\PS> get-process PowerShell -computername server01, server02


        Handles  NPM(K)    PM(K)      WS(K) VM(M)   CPU(s)     Id ProcessName
        -------  ------    -----      ----- -----   ------     -- -----------
            920      38    97524     114504   575     9.66   2648 PowerShell
            194       6    24256      32384   142            3020 PowerShell
            352      27    63472      63520   577     3.84   4796 PowerShell


    You can use the Format-Table cmdlet to display the MachineName property
    of the process objects. 

    For example, the following command saves the processes in the $p variable
    and then uses a pipeline operator (|) to send the processes in $p to the
    Format-Table command. The command uses the Property parameter of 
    Format-Table to include the MachineName property in the display.


        C:\PS> $p = get-process PowerShell -comp Server01, Server02
        C:\PS> $P | format-table -property ID, ProcessName, MachineName -auto


        Id ProcessName MachineName
        -- ----------- -----------
        2648 PowerShell  Server02
        3020 PowerShell  Server01
        4796 PowerShell  Server02

    
    The following more complex command adds the MachineName property to the
    default process display. It uses hash tables to specify calculated 
    properties. Fortunately, you do not have to understand it to use it. 
   
    (Note that the backtick [`] is the continuation character.)

      
        C:\PS> $p = get-process PowerShell -comp Server01, Server02

        C:\PS> $p | format-table -property Handles, `
                    @{Label="NPM(K)";Expression={[int]($_.NPM/1024)}}, `
                    @{Label="PM(K)";Expression={[int]($_.PM/1024)}}, `
                    @{Label="WS(K)";Expression={[int]($_.WS/1024)}}, `
                    @{Label="VM(M)";Expression={[int]($_.VM/1MB)}}, `
                    @{Label="CPU(s)";Expression={if ($_.CPU -ne $()){ $_.CPU.ToString("N")}}}, `
                    Id, ProcessName, MachineName -auto
       

        Handles NPM(K) PM(K)  WS(K) VM(M) CPU(s)   Id ProcessName MachineName
        ------- ------ -----  ----- ----- ------   -- ----------- -----------
            920     38 97560 114532   576        2648 PowerShell  Server02     
            192      6 24132  32028   140        3020 PowerShell  Server01   
            438     26 48436  59132   565        4796 PowerShell  Server02   
         

 DESERIALIZED OBJECTS
    When you run remote commands that generate output, the command output is 
    transmitted across the network back to the local computer. 

    Because most live Microsoft .NET Framework objects (such as the objects 
    that Windows PowerShell cmdlets return) cannot be transmitted over the
    network, the live objects are "serialized". In other words, the live 
    objects are converted into XML representations of the object and its 
    properties. Then, the XML-based serialized object is transmitted across
    the network. 

    On the local computer, Windows PowerShell receives the XML-based serialized
    object and "deserializes" it by converting the XML-based object into a 
    standard .NET Framework object.

    However, the deserialized object is not a live object. It is a snapshot of 
    the object at the time that it was serialized, and it includes properties 
    but no methods. You can use and manage these objects in Windows PowerShell,
    including passing them in pipelines, displaying selected properties, and 
    formatting them.

    Most deserialized objects are automatically formatted for display by 
    entries in the Types.ps1xml or Format.ps1xml files. However, the local 
    computer might not have formatting files for all of the deserialized 
    objects that were generated on a remote computer. When objects are 
    not formatted, all of the properties of each object appear in the console
    in a streaming list. 

    When objects are not formatted automatically, you can use the formatting 
    cmdlets, such as Format-Table or Format-List, to format and display 
    selected properties. Or, you can use the Out-GridView cmdlet to display 
    the objects in a table.

    Also, if you run a command on a remote computer that uses cmdlets that you
    do not have on your local computer, the objects that the command returns 
    might not be formatted properly because you do not have the formatting 
    files for those objects on your computer. To get formatting data from 
    another computer, use the Get-FormatData and Export-FormatData cmdlets.  

    Some object types, such as DirectoryInfo objects and GUIDs, are converted
    back into live objects when they are received. These objects do not need
    any special handling or formatting.   



 ORDERING THE RESULTS
    The order of the computer names in the ComputerName parameter of cmdlets 
    determines the order in which Windows PowerShell connects to the remote
    computers. However, the results appear in the order in which the local
    computer receives them, which might be a different order.

    To change the order of the results, use the Sort-Object cmdlet. You can
    sort on the PSComputerName or MachineName property. You can also sort on
    another property of the object so that the results from different 
    computers are interspersed.



SEE ALSO
    about_Remote
    about_Remote_Variables
    Format-Table
    Get-EventLog
    Get-Process
    Get-Service
    Get-WmiObject
    Invoke-Command
    Out-GridView
    Select-Object



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