Out-GridView in a PSRemoting Session

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We can’t use the Out-GridView cmdlet in a remote session. How do we know this? Well for one, the documentation says so (search for ‘You cannot use a remote command’ on that webpage), and two, because if you try, you’ll get a straight forward error message on the topic: “Out-GridView does not work in a remote session.” Okay, but why?

Out-GridView produces a Graphic User Interface (GUI) — something we don’t use in PSRemoting sessions. In fact, everything about a PSRemoting session is text only. This isn’t just about Out-GridView, though. Other graphical elements in Windows PowerShell aren’t going to work either. This includes Get-Help’s -ShowWindow parameter, and the Show-Command cmdlet. It just wasn’t designed to work this way.

Other GUI elements don’t work either. While you won’t get a helpful message, like you do with the PowerShell cmdlets and parameters, launching notepad.exe and calc.exe isn’t going to work like it does on a local computer. Those programs work a little differently though, as they will actually launch on the remote computer. It just won’t be in any useable fashion from your remote session. Bonus: They may lock up your remote session until they are closed.

Note: If you were to try this, one way to rectify the situation would be to open a second PowerShell console and run the following, assuming you launched calc.exe: Invoke-Command -ComputerName computername -ScriptBlock {Get-Process -Name calc.exe | Stop-Process}. This would end the process on the remote computer, and give you back your prompt on the console where you were running your PSRemoting session.

Everything until now, assumed we were talking about an interactive PSRemoting session (using the Enter-PSSession cmdlet). Well, what about Invoke-Command? Invoke-Command is used to run commands on remote systems and return the results to the local computer. As you can see in the examples below, we can run a command on a remote computer and then display the results on our local computer, inside Out-GridView.

Note: Although I didn’t have any problems with the small handful of cmdlets I tried, the same webpage linked above indicates that data returned from a remote computer may not be formatted correctly for use with Out-GridView.

PS C:\> $Services = Invoke-Command -ComputerName dc01 -ScriptBlock {Get-Service}
PS C:\> $Services | Out-GridView
PS C:\> $PSWARules = Invoke-Command -ComputerName PSWAServer01 -ScriptBlock {Get-PSWAAuthorizationRule}
PS C:\> $PSWARules | Out-GridView

Thanks for the inspiration to write a little about this topic, Tim.

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