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Microsoft’s XPlat Azure CLI lets users manage Azure Cloud resources from non-Windows machines. Support on Mac has been fairly good, but Linux users suffer from lack of support for popular command-line tools.

Following customer feedback, Microsoft has rolled out Azure CLI Preview 2.0, which improves this experience. However, the update goes further than that, bringing several other improvements. It also adapts CLI to better suit growth in Azure Resource Manager.

Azure Command-Line Interface 2.0 Changes

This short gif does a great job of showing visually a lot of the changes in CLI 2.0:

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azure-commandline-interface-2-0

However, it doesn’t go into detail, so here’s a full list of changes:

  • “Your tools should always be easy to access and install, whether you work in operations or development. Soon, Azure CLI 2.0 Preview will be available on all popular platform package services.
  • Command-line tools are the most productive when they work together well. The Azure CLI 2.0 Preview provides clean and pipe-able outputs for interacting with popular command-line tools, such as grep, cut, and jq.
  • Getting started in the cloud can feel overwhelming, given all the tools and options available, but the Azure CLI 2.0 Preview can help you on your journey, guiding you with examples and educational content for common commands.  We’ve completely redesigned our help system with improved in-tool help.
  • We offer ‘tab completion’ for commands and parameter names. This makes it easy to find the right command or parameter without interrupting your flow. For parameters that include known choices, as well as resource groups and resource names, you can use tab completion to look-up appropriate values.”

For existing users of XPlat CLI, it looks like Microsoft has everything covered. XPlat will continue to function normally, and Microsoft will still be rolling out updates and features. If you do want to switch, there’s a conversation table to help port your scripts over.

In addition, both CLIs can be run side-by-side. You can test the preview and won’t have to change anything about your Azure XPlat CLI install. The only thing Microsoft has left out is an ASM/Classic mode. The preview is based on ARM primitives, though you can still use the mode in XPlat CLI.

You can get hold of the new Azure Command-line Interface 2.0 Preview on GitHub, where you can also find more detail about the changes.

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