How to Reference Azure Storage Files from Cloud Shell

Recently I used Azure Cloud Shell for the first time. This is a quick post to show how I referenced the file share in Azure Storage to communicate with Cloud Shell.

What is Cloud Shell?

Cloud Shell is a lightweight way to run scripts using either Bash or PowerShell. You can run scripts in a browser using the Azure portal or, with the Azure mobile app, or using the VS Code Azure Account extension. If you have seen the "Try it now" links in Azure documentation pages, that will direct you to use Cloud Shell.


The rest of this post focuses on using PowerShell with Cloud Shell.

Finding the File Service Info to Use with Cloud Shell

When you create a Cloud Shell account, you are prompted to also create an Azure Storage account. This gives you a mounted file share in the Azure Files service which is available for all of your Cloud Shell sessions.

You can use Get-CloudDrive to find the information related to the drive for your Cloud Shell account:


Example of Exporting a File to Azure Files Using Cloud Shell

Using the mount point information we got from Get-CloudDrive shown above, we now have what we need for how to reference the Azure file share that is associated to my Cloud Shell account. For an example, I’m going to export a PBIX file from the Power BI Service (discussed in my previous blog post).

First we need to log in to the Power BI Service. In Cloud Shell, authentication to another service like Power BI is a little different than how we see it within a local client tool - it utilizes a login page with a code provided by Cloud Shell:


Now that we are authenticated, we can execute our Export-PowerBIReport cmdlet:


Note in the above PowerShell cmdlet, I referenced the mount point for the Azure file share associated with my Cloud Shell account as:


Notice in the above example I used a folder called ‘PowerBIExportFiles’ — note that any folder(s) need to already exist before you can export a file to it. It won’t auto-create for you; if the folder doesn’t exist you’ll get an error that says “Could not find a part of the path.” Using a folder is optional though.

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