PowerShell Powershell Remoting Run commands on a Remote Computer


Once Powershell remoting is enabled (Enable-PSRemoting) You can run commands on the remote computer like this:

Invoke-Command -ComputerName "RemoteComputerName" -ScriptBlock {
    Write host "Remote Computer Name: $ENV:ComputerName"

The above method creates a temporary session and closes it right after the command or scriptblock ends.

To leave the session open and run other command in it later, you need to create a remote session first:

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "RemoteComputerName"

Then you can use this session each time you invoke commands on the remote computer:

Invoke-Command -Session $Session -ScriptBlock {
    Write host "Remote Computer Name: $ENV:ComputerName"

Invoke-Command -Session $Session -ScriptBlock {

If you need to use different Credentials, you can add them with the -Credential Parameter:

$Cred = Get-Credential
Invoke-Command -Session $Session -Credential $Cred -ScriptBlock {...}

Remoting serialization warning


It is important to know that remoting serializes PowerShell objects on the remote system and deserializes them on your end of the remoting session, i.e. they are converted to XML during transport and lose all of their methods.

$output = Invoke-Command -Session $Session -ScriptBlock {
    Get-WmiObject -Class win32_printer

$output | Get-Member -MemberType Method

  TypeName: Deserialized.System.Management.ManagementObject#root\cimv2\Win32_Printer

Name     MemberType Definition
----     ---------- ----------
GetType  Method     type GetType()
ToString Method     string ToString(), string ToString(string format, System.IFormatProvi...

Whereas you have the methods on the regular PS object:

Get-WmiObject -Class win32_printer | Get-Member -MemberType Method

 TypeName: System.Management.ManagementObject#root\cimv2\Win32_Printer

Name                  MemberType Definition                                                                                                                          
----                  ---------- ----------                                                                                                                          
CancelAllJobs         Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject CancelAllJobs()                                                                              
GetSecurityDescriptor Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject GetSecurityDescriptor()                                                                      
Pause                 Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject Pause()                                                                                      
PrintTestPage         Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject PrintTestPage()                                                                              
RenamePrinter         Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject RenamePrinter(System.String NewPrinterName)                                                  
Reset                 Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject Reset()                                                                                      
Resume                Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject Resume()                                                                                     
SetDefaultPrinter     Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject SetDefaultPrinter()                                                                          
SetPowerState         Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject SetPowerState(System.UInt16 PowerState, System.String Time)                                  
SetSecurityDescriptor Method     System.Management.ManagementBaseObject SetSecurityDescriptor(System.Management.ManagementObject#Win32_SecurityDescriptor Descriptor)

Argument Usage

To use arguments as parameters for the remote scripting block, one might either use the ArgumentList parameter of Invoke-Command, or use the $Using: syntax.

Using ArgumentList with unnamed parameters (i.e. in the order they are passed to the scriptblock):

$servicesToShow = "service1"
$fileName = "C:\temp\servicestatus.csv"
Invoke-Command -Session $session -ArgumentList $servicesToShow,$fileName -ScriptBlock {
    Write-Host "Calling script block remotely with $($Args.Count)"
    Get-Service -Name $args[0]
    Remove-Item -Path $args[1] -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Force

Using ArgumentList with named parameters:

$servicesToShow = "service1"
$fileName = "C:\temp\servicestatus.csv"
Invoke-Command -Session $session -ArgumentList $servicesToShow,$fileName -ScriptBlock {

    Write-Host "Calling script block remotely with $($Args.Count)"
    Get-Service -Name $serviceToShowInRemoteSession
    Remove-Item -Path $fileToDelete -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Force

Using $Using: syntax:

$servicesToShow = "service1"
$fileName = "C:\temp\servicestatus.csv"
Invoke-Command -Session $session -ScriptBlock {
    Get-Service $Using:servicesToShow
    Remove-Item -Path $fileName -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Force