Today I am starting to explore Microsoft Azure, starting with the Azure Portal (equivalent of the AWS Console)…

Keyboard Shortcuts

Click the “?” icon, then Keyboard Shortcuts to see a list. Some useful ones are:

  • G+/ (hold G and press /) – Focus the search bar
  • G+N (New) – Go to the “Create a resource” page (Note: Search for the image, e.g. “Ubuntu 20.04”, rather than for “VM” or “Virtual Machine”)

Cloud Shell

Like Google Cloud Platform (but unlike AWS), Azure has a built-in web-based console.

To open it, click the “Cloud Shell” icon in the top bar. (The shortest keyboard shortcut I could find is G+/, Esc to close the popup, Tab, Enter.) It can also be accessed directly at – which is useful because it’s full screen and can be bookmarked.

On the first launch, choose Bash or PowerShell. I chose Bash because I use it a lot more than PowerShell. It will then ask to create a new storage account. I did so under my default “Pay-As-You-Go” subscription.

Note: Under the advanced settings, it defaulted to North Europe (Dublin, Ireland) region, and I stayed with that because it is slightly cheaper than UK South (London) or UK West (Cardiff, Wales).

Cloud Shell (currently) runs Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS, which is several years old now – I had to make several changes to my dotfiles to support it.

To open the web-based Monoco Editor, type code [filename]. (Vim is also available.)

The downside compared to GCP is there’s no SSH agent available (and a lot of things don’t work well in the browser – e.g. Ctrl+W closes the tab rather than deleting the previous word) – so I don’t plan to use it regularly.