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PowerShell Module Directory

Introduction to PowerShell Modules

PowerShell modules are like mini-apps, they have instructions to deliver useful gismos.  Configuring the path for the Import-Module cmdlet requires moderately complex preparation, and the purpose of this page is just get readers started.

PowerShell Modules Topics

Creating the Special PowerShell Module Folder

You need a known path where your .psm1 modules are stored.  I would start by finding $Profile.  Then try PSProfilePath.

# PowerShell profile
Clear-Host
$Profile
$PSProfilePath

Import-Module

We need to start with the trickiest member of the module family 'Import'.  There are two factors to ensure success of my experiment:
a) Creating a simple test module containing PowerShell commands and with a .psm1 extension. 
b) Making a note of the path to your saved .psm1 file.

Create a Test Module
Here is our test module, it has two functions 'Grow' and 'Shrink'.

I suggest we call the file: Balance.psm1

Now for the key part, the path; I suggest saving this file to:
C:\Users\YourName\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules

function Grow {
if(!(Test-Path variable:script:count)) { $script:count = 0 }
$script:count++
"This is where Guy adds one {0}!" -f $script:count
}
function Shrink {
if(!(Test-Path variable:script:count)) { $script:count = 0 }
$script:count--
"Now Eddie takes one away {0}!" -f $script:count
}

Import and Test

Once the PowerShell module directory is ready then you can import the code.

Clear-Host
$Location="C:\Users\YourName\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules"
Import-Module $Location\Balance.psm1

When the module loads sucessfully, two functions are available; to tes them type: 'Grow', or 'Shrink'.

Note 1:  I introduced the $Location variable merely to highlight that you need to amend this value to suit your profile, e.g. YourName is not the correct folder.  Incidentally, it seems to me that Import-Module needs the full path.

Note 2:  Just to emphasise, you do need to create a file called 'Balance' with a modules extension (.psm1) for this to work.

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Get-Module

This displays the added, loaded, or to use the correct verb, imported modules; in this example you should see:

ModuleType Name ExportedCommands
---------- ---- ----------------
Script     Balance  {Grow, Shrink}

Note 3: If this 'Balance' module has loaded then you will be able to use the functions 'Grow' and 'Shrink'.

Reminder of The Recommended PowerShell Module Directory

<Documents folder Path>\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\<Module Folder>\<Files>

The module manager should honour scripts marked with the appropriate Zone Identifier, as a result the modules conform the PowerShell script execution policy.

Loading Modules Automatically Through Profile

Individual user's profiles, and programs such as 'Word' each have a 'Startup' folder; in the case of PowerShell, we can access it via the $Profile variable.  Actually, there are two profile files, one for PowerShell's ISE and another for the plain command-line PowerShell.  Fortunately, you can launch notepad and edit either of them.

The Plan
Open Microsoft.PowerShell_profile with notepad
Append an Import-Module command
See details of how to modify a PowerShell Profile.

See All Members of the Modules Family

Clear-Host
Get-Command -Noun module

Results:

  • Get-Module
  • New-Module
  • Import-Module
  • Remove-Module

See more examples of Import-Module »

Summary of PowerShell Modules Directory

The Import-Module cmdlet works nicely when it has the correct path configured. The secret is to research the location of $Profile and $PSProfilePath. As for the big picture, PowerShell modules are like apps.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends

 


See more Microsoft PowerShell tutorials

PowerShell Tutorials  • Methods  • Cmdlets  • PS Snapin  • Profile.ps1  • Exchange 2007

Command & Expression Mode  • PowerShell pipeline (|)  • PowerShell 'where'  • PowerShell 'Sort'

Windows PowerShell Modules  • Import-Module  • PowerShell Module Directory 

If you see an error of any kind, do let me know.  Please report any factual mistakes, grammatical errors or broken links.

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