Chapter 5. Working with providers

One of the more potentially confusing aspects of PowerShell is its use of providers. We warn you that some of this chapter might seem a bit remedial for you. We expect that you’re familiar with the Windows filesystem, for example, and you probably know all the commands you need to manage the filesystem from a command prompt. But bear with us: We’re going to point things out in a specific way so that we can use your existing familiarity with the filesystem to help make the concept of providers easier to understand. Also, keep in mind that PowerShell isn’t Cmd.exe. You may see some things in this chapter that look familiar, but we assure you that they’re doing something quite different from what you’re used to.

5.1. What are providers?

A PowerShell provider, or PSProvider, is an adapter. It’s designed to take some kind of data storage and make it look like a disk drive. You can see a list of installed PowerShell providers right within the shell:

5.2. Understanding how the filesystem is organized

5.3. Understanding how the filesystem is like other data stores

5.4. Navigating the filesystem

5.5. Using wildcards and literal paths

5.6. Working with other providers

5.7. Lab

5.8. Further exploration

5.9. Lab answers

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