PowerShell DSC Blog Series, Part 5- Point in Time List of DSC Resources

Welcome to Part 5 of the Building Clouds blog series on Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration.  Here is a quick recap of what has been published before this post:

Part 1 – Information about DSC
Part 2 – Authoring DSC Resources when Cmdlets Already Exist
Part 3 – Testing DSC Resources
Part 4 – How-To use PowerShell DSC from your workstation to test PowerShell JEA, in Azure

What is a DSC Resource?

With any new technology there is a glossary of terms to learn.  DSC is pretty straightforward but “Resource” is key to this topic.

  • DSC Resource – a PowerShell module constructed in a specific way that provides Get, Set, and Test functions, and a schema file that helps DSC enumerate the properties that are available to be configured.  Resources can also be based on WMI or Python in the case of Linux.

Or to put it more simply, Resources are the instructions that tell DSC how to manage stuff, like settings and programs.  If you want DSC to copy a file you would use the File Resource.  If you want DSC to configure a registry setting you would use the Registry Resource.

For a deeper dive on Resources, I would recommend the DSC Resource documentation on TechNet and The DSC Book, as well as Bing since more information and articles are being published literally daily on this topic.


Point in Time List of DSC Resources

Have you ever heard this before?  “We will be looking at DSC when there are more resources available.”  This statement is looking for a Tipping Point.  If that’s the case but you don’t know where to look or you have been too busy, you might not have noticed the increasing number of resources available for DSC.

To assist your discovery, I am publishing a list of current DSC resources and what they do.  Just like the first article in this series this will be a moving target.  As soon as I hit publish I will be out of date and I won’t promise to curate this list.  The PowerShell team and the PowerShell community are publishing new resources aggressively.  The point is to emphasize that the list has grown considerably in a very short period of time.

If you haven’t looked in a while, you might want to take a glance because there is a good chance the resources you were waiting for have become available.  In fact, Wave 4 of the DSC Resource Kit was recently released.

If you take nothing else away from this post – remember where to look for DSC resources!

  • DSC Resources shipped with Windows
  • Resources available in the PowerShell DSC Resource Kit
  • Resources available from the community GitHub Repository

DSC Resources shipped with Windows

These resources ship with PowerShell DSC, either via WMF or inside Windows installations.

Archive Provides a mechanism to unpack archive (.zip) files at a specific path
Environment Provides a mechanism to manage system environment variables.
File Provides a mechanism to manage files and folders on the target node.
Group Provides a mechanism to manage local groups on the target node.
Log Provides a mechanism to write messages to the Microsoft-Windows-Desired State Configuration/Analytic event log.
Package Provides a mechanism to install or uninstall packages, such as Windows Installer and setup.exe packages, on a target node.
Registry Provides a mechanism to manage registry keys and values on a target node.
Script Provides a mechanism to run Windows PowerShell script blocks on target nodes.
Service Provides a mechanism to manage services on the target node.
User Provides a mechanism to manage local user accounts on the target node.
WindowsFeature Provides a mechanism to ensure that roles and features are added or removed on a target node.
WindowsProcess Provides a mechanism to configure processes on a target node.

Resources available in the PowerShell DSC Resource Kit

These resources are published to the online gallery.  Additional information about how to use them is available at the bottom of the following page – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/DSC-Resource-Kit-All-c449312d.


xADDomain Create new Active directory forest configuration or new Active directory domain configuration.
xADDomainController Install a Domain Controller in Active Directory.
xADUser Add or Remove an Active Directory user.
xWaitForADDomain Waits for a new domain to become available.
xADDomainTrust Create and configure Active Directory domain trusts.



xAzureAffinityGroup Creates and configures an Azure Affinity Group.
xAzureQuickVM Provision an Azure Virtual Machine with minimal input.
xAzureService Create and configure an Azure Cloud Service.
xAzureStorageAccount Create and configure an Azure Storage Account.
xAzureSubscription Register an Azure subscription from a .publishsettings file to the computer.
xAzureVM Create and configure an Azure virtual machine



xComputer Rename a computer and add it to a domain or workgroup.



xDatabase Handles creation/deletion of a database using a dacpac or sql connection string. 
xDBPackage Allows extraction of a dacpac or import of a bacpac from a database.



xDhcpServerScope Create and configure a DHCP Scope
xDhcpServerReservation Create and configure DHCP Reservations
xDhcpServerOption Create and configure DHCP Scope Options



xDnsServerSecondaryZone Create and configure a DNS Secondary Zone
xDnsServerZoneTransfer Configure DNS server Zone Transfer



xCluster Create and configurate a failover cluster.
xWaitForCluster Waits for a new failover cluster to become available.



xVhd Create a virtual disk.
xVhdFileDirectory Copy contents in to a virtual disk.
xVMHyperV Create and set properties of a virtual machine.
xVMSwitch Create and configure a virtual switch.


xJEA (Just Enough Administration)

xJeaEndPoint Create and configure JEA Endpoints
xJeaToolkit Create and configure JEA Toolkits



xDnsServerAddress Configure the DNS settings of a network adapter.
xFirewall Configure host firewall rules.
xIPAddress Configure the IP Adrress, Gateway, and Subnet Mask of a network adapter.



xDscWebService Allows the configuration of an OData endpoint for DSC Service, so that a node can become a DSC Pull Server.
xPackage Allows .msi and .exe software installations.
xProcess Enhancement to the in box WindowsProcess resource and allows you to run a process under the context of a user
xPSEndPoint Allows you to create PowerShell session configuration. This resource allows you to specify RunAs account, startup script, SDDL to allow users to connect to this session configuration, as well as ability to restrict the remote access to it.
xArchive Allows you to create archive files as well as expand existing archive files.
xService Enhancement on the in box Service resource and allows you to create and delete a service.
xRemoteFile Allows you to download a file from HTTP or HTTPS locations to a local destination. It allows you to specify the user agent and headers when sending a web request.



xRDSessionDeployment Creates and configures a deployment in RDSH.
xRDSessionCollection Creates a RDSH collection.
xRDSessionCollectionConfiguration Allows configuration of a RDSH collection.
xRDRemoteApp Publish applications for your RDSH collection.



xSmbShare Setup and configure an SMB Share.



xSqlHAEndPoint Configure the given instance of SQL high availability service to listen port 5022 with given name, and assigning users that are allowed to communicate through the SQL endpoint.
xSqlHAGroup Configure a SQL High Availability Group
xSqlHAService Enable SQL High Availability (HA) service on a given SQL instance.
xSqlServerInstall Install SQL Enterprise on a target machine.
xWaitForSqlHAGroup Waits for SQL HA group to be ready by checking the state of the HA group of a given name in a given interval till either the HA group is discoverable or the number of retries reached its maximum.



xUAC Handles how and when the User Account Control Windows Prompt shows up or doesn’t show up.
xIEEsc Enables or disables IE Enhanced Security Configuration.



xWebsite Allows you to manage IIS Websites.
xWebAppPool Allows you to manage IIS App Pools.
xWebVirtualDirectory Allows you to manage IIS Web Virtual Directories.
xWebApplication Allows you to manage IIS Web Applications.
xWebConfigKeyValue Allows you to update key value pairs in the AppSettings section of Web.Config.



xWinEventLog Configure the Windows Event Log

Resources available from the community GitHub Repository

These resources are contributed by the community to a GitHub repo maintained by PowerShell.org, available at the following page – https://github.com/powershellorg/dsc

There is some overlap.  That is on purpose.  When the community would like to extend either a stock resource or one from the resource kit, the resource is renamed by pre-pending a “c” to signify “community” and someone contributes work to extend what is available.

GlobalAssemblyCache PSHOrg_cADDomain PSHOrg_cDNSServerAddress cScriptResource
StackExchange_CertificateStore PSHOrg_cADDomainController PSHOrg_cFirewall cSqlHAEndPoint
StackExchange_FirewallRule PSHOrg_cADUser PSHOrg_cIPAddress cSqlHAGroup
StackExchange_NetworkAdapter PSHOrg_cWaitForADDomain PSHOrg_cDSCWebService cSqlHAService
StackExchange_PageFile PSHOrg_cComputer PSHOrg_cSmbShare cSqlServerInstall
StackExchange_PowerPlan PSHOrg_cCluster PSHOrg_cSqlHAEndPoint cWaitForSqlHAGroup
StackExchange_ScheduledTask PSHOrg_cWaitForCluster PSHOrg_cSqlHAGroup ICG_SCOMAgentMgmtGroup
StackExchange_SetExecutionPolicy PSHOrg_cVHD PSHOrg_cSqlHAService ICG_SCOMBulkMP
StackExchange_Timezone PSHOrg_cVMHost PSHOrg_cSqlServerInstall ICG_SCOMImportMP
  PSHOrg_cVMHyperV PSHOrg_cWaitForSqlHAGroup HostsFile
  PSHOrg_cVMSwitch PSHOrg_cAppPool  
  PSHOrg_cVhdFileDirectory PSHOrg_cWebsite  


If you are looking for something and it is not available from these sources (and you can’t find it elsewhere using Bing), please comment a request on the PowerShell.org article below.

We Want Your DSC Resource Wish List!

Thank you and stay tuned to Building Clouds!