PowerShell for Windows Admins

Jan 9 2011   7:40AM GMT

PowerShell Books

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway


There are a lot of PowerShell books on the market. Whether you are just starting  with PowerShell, want to dig further into the subject or need some help with using PowerShell with a particular product it is often helpful to find a book on the subject instead of learning from scratch.

NOTE: This is my own personal view of the books. There are other books available. Some I have looked at and won’t recommend others I have not yet looked at. I am also restricting my list to English language books

These are the books I would recommend. I use many of these on a regular basis.

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches Don Jones Manning 978161790213
Windows PowerShell Scripting Guide Ed Wilson Microsoft Press 9780735622791
Windows PowerShell Cookbook
First Edition
Second Edition
Lee Holmes O’Reilly
Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices Ed Wilson Microsoft Press 9780735626461
PowerShell in Practice Richard Siddaway Manning 9781935182009
PowerShell and WMI Richard Siddaway Manning 9781617290114
Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell Jeffery Hicks Sapien Press 0977659798
Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell Hal Rottenberg Sapien Press 0982131402
PowerShell in Action
First Edition
Second Edition
Bruce Payette Manning


Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones. This is still being written at the time of posting. It is a beginners guide to PowerShell. If you haven’t used PowerShell before this is the place to start.

Windows PowerShell Scripting Guide by Ed Wilson.  This takes over where Don’s book stops. It supplies a good introduction to automating basic windows admin tasks with PowerShell

Windows PowerShell Cookbook by Lee Holmes. Now in its second edition it supplies a lot of scripts for using PowerShell. This book is PowerShell orientated and doesn’t cover using Exchange, AD etc. The techniques are useful for using with some of the more advanced or technology specific books.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices by Ed Wilson. Builds on his Scripting Guide and contains good information on designing and testing scripts. Even if you don’t agree with all of the ideas they are worth reading to make you think about how you want to perform these tasks in your organisation.

PowerShell in Practice I wrote as a “PowerShell for Administrators” book. Contains lots of examples for working with AD, WMI, DNS, IIS, Exchange, SQL Server and Hyper-V. I wrote it but I still refer to it for syntax & ideas.

PowerShell and WMI is still being written. WMI is a really powerful technology but the lack of documentation and the difficulty of using it in the past has meant admins have been reluctant to use it. This book is designed to shine a light on to WMI, make it accessible and provide many ready to use scripts

Managing AD with Windows PowerShell by Jeffery Hicks. A second edition is in preparation. This overlaps with PowerShell in Practice to some extent but if you just want to automate AD then start here.

Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell by Hal Rottenberg. If you are using VMware you need this. Admin becomes a lot easier.

PowerShell in Action by Bruce Payette. This is the book for the in depth details on the PowerShell language. If you want to know how and why PowerShell works the way it does this is the book for you. Be aware that it is an advanced text and is NOT recommended for PowerShell newcomers.

This is my view of the PowerShell book world. No doubt other people will have different views. If you think I’ve missed a book that should be one this list please let me know but I will only recommend books I have read.

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