What Are the Best Texts to Learn PowerShell ?

Hello All,

I am completely new to this forum and this is my very first post. So if this post is a faux paux here then I apologize.

I am learning PowerShell. Some inside help is needed.

Assume I am a complete n00b with how PowerShell works on Windows.

I know a single text is not sufficient; it will take a group of texts. My greatest frustration with texts is that one will read a single sentence and instead of explaining something it will raise 10 additional questions in the reader’s mind.

Of particular importance to me is a text that will explain the nitty gritty details of tokens, syntax, deciphering errors, objects, etc. Without learning those underlying details, I am not really learning anything. I am not interested in learning only cmdlets and scripts. I need to learn what is happening underneath inside Windows as well as the cmdlets and scripts.

Would more experienced forum members please recommend some texts to learn PowerShell cmdlets\scripting as well as details of tokens, syntax, deciphering errors, object oriented, etc ?

Understanding tokens, ACLs, permissions, script obfuscation, as they pertain to PowerShell security is important to me.

It’s alright if I have to build a library. I expected that I would have to do just that. I am open to suggestions.

Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches.

See donjones.com/powershell for complete list.

There are lots of solid references available. What are the best is a matter of opinion. This is why rankings on books, say on Amazon and other sites that allow user ratings vary can vary wildly. You too will have your take on the topics when you read them. My suggestion is first do some - free - live video beginner training via Microsoft virtual academy, and even on Youtube. Be sure to follow the authors blogs mentioned in the references below as well.



After reviewing a few of these, video sessions. It will help shed a clearer light on the materials in books and articles you’ll read later. Use what you gain from there as a lead in to what follow-up reference(s), free and paid.

Free —

Educate Yourself!

We’re extremely fortunate to be able to offer a set of free e-books related to key PowerShell topics. Authored by community experts and curated by members of the community, these are updated pretty regularly - so it’s worth checking back for new editions every few months.


'powertheshell.com/cookbooks' 'blogs.technet.microsoft.com/pstips/2014/05/26/free-powershell-ebooks' 'rkeithhill.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/effective-windows-powershell-the-free-ebook' 'veeam.com/wp-powershell-newbies-start-powershell.html'

Normally the ones you’ll see most recommend:

Paid —

Beginning ---

Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches 3rd Edition
Donald W. Jones (Author),‎ Jeffrey Hicks (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1617294167
ISBN-10: 1617294160

Internediate —

Windows PowerShell Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Scripting Microsoft’s Command Shell 3rd Edition
Lee Holmes (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1449320683
ISBN-10: 1449320686

Advanced —

Windows PowerShell in Action 3rd Edition
by Bruce Payette (Author),‎ Richard Siddaway (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1633430297
ISBN-10: 1633430294

See also, this guidance.

Windows PowerShell Survival Guide

Purpose of this Document
The purpose of this document is to help you to learn more about PowerShell and to be successful in applying it. This document seeks to point to the best content on the web to enable you to reach that goal.

Scope of this Document
This page contains links to help you learn more about Microsoft Windows PowerShell. This includes PowerShell fundamentals as well as how PowerShell is used in Windows applications and services. As long as it’s PowerShell related, we’ll try to point to it! The document is also version agnostic, and contains information about current and future versions of PowerShell.


Lastly, thoroughly read / re-read and understand built-in the help files and review all the scripts on your machine.

    # Get parameters, examples, full and Online help for a cmdlet or function

    (Get-Command -Name Get-Content).Parameters
    Get-help -Name Get-Content -Examples
    Get-help -Name Get-Content -Full
    Get-help -Name Get-Content -Online

    Get-Help about_*
    Get-Help about_Functions

    # Find all cmdlets / functions with a target parameter
    Get-Help * -Parameter Append

    # All Help topics locations
    explorer "$pshome\$($Host.CurrentCulture.Name)"

Learn by doing, not just reading. Use PowerShell every day. If you find yourself jumping to cmd.exe, stop, and switch to PowerShell. Don’t make up scenarios, follow some of the forums and try to see if you can resolve the questions being asked.

Has anyone used the Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition Manning LiveBook ?

I see a note from Manning that their LiveBooks are not working for all programming languages. Is it working for PowerShell ? Perhaps it doesn’t even matter for that particular text. That bundle option really appeals to me.

Jeffrey Snover videos are fun. And the Iron Scripter Prequel here.

Powershell with a Purpose blog http://www.itprotoday.com/powershell-purpose-blog