Setting a static IP, default gateway, and nameservers via PowerShell

I needed to set up a number of Windows server VMs (Windows 2012R2) as a test bed for a vulnerability scanning suite. This would have been fast & easy using AWS EC2 instances (or Azure!), but I decided to use my internal VMWare infrastructure instead.

For CentOS VMs I would typically use one of three things to configure the static IP, gateway, and default nameservers:

  • nmtui (a text user interface to the network manager)
  • the interactive installer
  • a custom kickstart file

How to accomplish the same thing on Windows 2012R2? In particular, I was looking for Powershell commands, since I would be connecting over a web-based console.
Continue reading Setting a static IP, default gateway, and nameservers via PowerShell

Pipe array to Powershell script

I created a Powershell script to set a few mailbox properties. I wanted to pipe in an array of mailbox objects, i.e. the results of a Get-Mailbox command, like so:

$Mailboxes | C:\Set-MailboxProperties.ps1

However, Set-MailboxProperties.ps1 only processed the first item in the array.

Via Google I found this helpful StackOverflow post, How to pass an array as a parameter to another script? Although the answers did not include an example exactly like mine, their solution works just the same:

(,$Mailboxes) | C:\Set-MailboxProperties.ps1

PowerShell Ellipsis (dot dot dot)

Sometimes when you retrieve an object via PowerShell, some of the properties are truncated, denoted by an ellipsis (“…”).

For example:
Get-Mailbox chris | Select AddressListMembership

{\Staff Global Address List, \Staff, \IT Staff, \Exchange Admins...}

How do you see the full list? There are a couple ways:

Select -ExpandProperty
Get-Mailbox chris | Select -ExpandProperty AddressListMembership

$FormatEnumerationLimit =-1
This is a per-session variable in PowerShell. By default the value is 4, but if you change it to -1 it will enumerate all items. This will affect every property of every object, so it may be more than you need.

Free/Busy Time Segmentation in Exchange Online

By default, all users in the same Exchange Online environment can view each other’s free/busy time. Using the Organization–Sharing settings you can share more information, but not less.

Exchange Online Sharing Rule
Unchecking the ‘Share your calendar folder’ box does not turn off calendar sharing. Counterintuitive!

Individuals can adjust their own free/busy time sharing in Outlook or Outlook Web App (OWA). But what if you have less-privileged users who should not be able to view another user’s free/busy time, for example, temporary employees or contract workers? Can they be restricted from viewing calendar information for other users?

It can be done, but it’s not simple.

My 3-part approach, summarized:

  1. Change each user’s sharing settings for the Default user to None via PowerShell
  2. Create a mail-enabled universal security group containing all privileged users. (Fortunately, this group already existed within my organization.)
  3. Change each user’s sharing settings for the security group created above to AvailabilityOnly via PowerShell (to allow just Free/Busy visibility)

I found Add Calendar Permissions in Office 365 via Powershell, which was a tremendous help in discovering the format of the calendar folder. For example, to adjust the Default user’s access to’s calendar to None, use the following PowerShell command:
Set-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity\calendar -user Default -AccessRights None

Then I tried to add permissions for the security group:
$mycal = '\calendar'
Set-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $mycal -User -AccessRights AvailabilityOnly

There is no existing permission entry found for user: privileged-users-security-group.
+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Set-MailboxFolderPermission], UserNotFoundInPermissionEntryException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : [Server=BLUPR0101MB1603,RequestId=d057882d-5663-417d-a614-ce73e5ab0565,TimeStamp=3/15/20
16 3:41:20 PM] [FailureCategory=Cmdlet-UserNotFoundInPermissionEntryException] B65CA2A0,Microsoft.Exchange.Managem
+ PSComputerName :

Thanks to Setup secretary permissions to manage Calendar in Office 365, I discovered that the above error occurred because the security group had no current settings for the specified calendar. In that case, the Add-MailboxFolderPermission is the appropriate command:

Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $mycal -User -AccessRights AvailabilityOnly

Before running this across all of our users, I wanted to find out which users had customized their free/busy sharing settings. If they had customized them, I wanted to preserve their settings. For example, I decided to get the Default user sharing settings for the sales department users’ calendars:

$DeptMailboxes = Get-Mailbox -Filter {CustomAttribute2 -eq 'sales'}
ForEach ($Mailbox In $DeptMailboxes) { $Calendar = $Mailbox.UserPrincipalName + ":\calendar"; Get-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User Default}

Unfortunately, the above did not return all of the properties needed to identify the calendars in question:
Calendar Default {AvailabilityOnly}
Calendar Default {LimitedDetails}
Calendar Default {AvailabilityOnly}
Calendar Default {AvailabilityOnly}

I specified a list of properties that was more useful:
ForEach ($Mailbox In $DeptMailboxes) { $Calendar = $Mailbox.UserPrincipalName + ":\calendar"; Get-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User Default | Select Identity,FolderName,User,AccessRights }

Fortunately, only a handful of the users in my organization had customized their sharing settings, so I simply noted their settings and re-applied them after running these settings across all users in the organization:

$AllMailboxes = Get-Mailbox
ForEach ($Mailbox In $AllMailboxes) { $Calendar = $Mailbox.UserPrincipalName + ":\calendar"; Set-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User Default -AccessRights None; Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User -AccessRights AvailabilityOnly }

This achieved the desired free/busy time segmentation. However, there’s one snag: what happens when new users are added? They will have the default sharing settings. That means that every time a new user is added, these steps will need to be run for that new user. I created the following PowerShell script — I can pipe the results of Get-Mailbox to this script to apply the customizations described above:


Process {
    $Calendar = $Mailbox.UserPrincipalName + ":\calendar"
    Set-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User Default -AccessRights None
    Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity $Calendar -User '' -AccessRights AvailabilityOnly

To run the script (assuming it is named Set-CustomFreeBusySharing.ps1):
Get-Mailbox -Identity | ./Set-CustomFreeBusySharing.ps1

Fully integrating that into my account creation process is a job for another day.

One other thing to note: users can still choose to modify their free/busy sharing with the Default user, in case they do want/need to share their availability with all users in the organization.

Other sites that had useful information while I researched this issue:

Set-MsolUserLicense : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name ‘UsageLocation’

I wanted to apply an Office 365 (O365) license to a user via PowerShell:

PowerShell Command
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName "" -AddLicenses "exampletenant:EXCHANGESTANDARD_ALUMNI"

Set-MsolUserLicense : You must provide a required property: Parameter name: UsageLocation

Fine. What is this UsageLocation parameter? See Assign licenses to user accounts with Office 365 PowerShell:

You can assign licenses only to user accounts that have the UsageLocation property set to a valid ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code. For example, US for the United States, and FR for France.

OK, so US for United States.

PowerShell Command
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName "" -AddLicenses "exampletenant:EXCHANGESTANDARD_ALUMNI" -UsageLocation US

Set-MsolUserLicense : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'UsageLocation'.

Really, Microsoft? Is it a required parameter or is it not a parameter? Make up your minds!

Turns out, it’s a parameter of the Set-MsolUser cmdlet:

PowerShell Commands
Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName "" -UsageLocation US
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName "" -AddLicenses "exampletenant:EXCHANGESTANDARD_ALUMNI"

The license was applied successfully.

Querying an Oracle database from Powershell

I needed to query Oracle for information to use in a Powershell script. I found the following comprehensive blog post with details on how to do so using ODP.NET: Use Oracle ODP.NET and PowerShell to Simplify Data Access

The article is extremely long and goes into a lot of depth. The following is a short summary of the first steps, with just enough to get started:

  1. Download Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET). (If that link doesn’t work just search for “Oracle ODP.NET”.)
    • Select “Download the latest ODP.NET production release.”
    • Select “64-bit ODAC Downloads”
    • Select “”
  2. Extract the ZIP file to C:\, which creates C:\ODP.NET_Managed_ODAC12cR4.
  3. Run cmd as administrator, navigate to C:\ODP.NET_Managed_ODAC12cR4, and run:
    install_odpm.bat C:\oracle\instantclient_10_2 both

In Powershell, add the DLL and set up a database connection and a query:

Add-Type -Path "C:\Users\chris\ODP.NET_Managed_ODAC12cR4\\managed\common\Oracle.ManagedDataAccess.dll"
$username = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter database username"
$password = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter database password"
$datasource = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter database TNS name"
$query = "SELECT first_name, last_name FROM users.user WHERE first_name = 'Chris' ORDER BY last_name"
$connectionString = 'User Id=' + $username + ';Password=' + $password + ';Data Source=' + $datasource
$connection = New-Object Oracle.ManagedDataAccess.Client.OracleConnection($connectionString)
while ($reader.Read()) {
$reader.GetString(1) + ', ' + $reader.GetString(0)

Output of the above:

Brown, Chris
Carter, Chris
Jones, Chris
Smith, Chris

SharePoint 2010 Cross-Site Lookup using PowerShell

A common SharePoint request is to create a lookup field from a list in another site. This is possible so long as the sites are within the same site collection, but it does require some customization.

Since I am dealing with a single-server farm, I was able to do this fairly quickly in PowerShell:

# Set the site collection in which the source and destination webs exist
$site = Get-SPSite("https://mysite/path/")

# Set the source web to the web where the source list exists
$sourceweb = $site.OpenWeb("sourcepath")

# Set the destination web to the web where you wish to add the lookup
$destinationweb = $site.OpenWeb("destinationpath")

# Set the source list to the list in which the field exists
$sourcelist = $sourceweb.Lists["List Name"]

# Set the source field to the field you wish to perform lookups on
$sourcefield = $sourcelist.Fields["Field Name"]

# Get the collection of all fields in the destination list
$destinationfields = $destinationweb.Lists["List Name"].Fields

# Add a lookup field to the fields collection
# See the SPFieldCollection AddLookup(String,Guid,Guid,Boolean) method
# For details:
$lookupname = $destinationfields.AddLookup($sourcefield.Title,$sourcelist.ID,$sourceweb.ID,false)
# The above produces an error: Missing expression after ','. At line:1, char:83
# Right--in Powershell, $false is False.
$lookupname = $destinationfields.AddLookup($sourcefield.Title,$sourcelist.ID,$sourceweb.ID,$false)

# Get the newly-added lookup field
$lookup = $destinationfields.GetFieldByInternalName($lookupname)

# Set the lookup field to the internal name of the source field
$lookup.LookupField = $sourcefield.InternalName

# Update the lookup -- without this the previous changes won't be saved

# Dispose of the SPWeb and SPSite objects

Using a list or array as a PowerShell script input parameter

One of my colleagues created a PowerShell script that we use to migrate SharePoint 2010 sites from the SharePoint 2007 interface (UI 3) to the SharePoint 2010 interface (UI 4). The script works rather well for updating one or two sites at a time:

Set-UserInterface2010.ps1 -url ""

Today I received a request to update a list of 32 sites. After updating one, I thought–this is going to be tedious. We can improve this.

First, I updated the parameter to accept an array of strings instead of a single string.

param([string]$url = $(throw "Please specify a Site URL to convert to the SP2010 look and feel"))

param([string[]]$url = $(throw "Please specify a Site URL to convert to the SP2010 look and feel"))

Next, I wrapped the call to the main function in a ForEach loop:
ForEach ( $siteurl in $url ) {
# Throw in a line break to separate output
Write-Host ("`n`n")

The script can still take a single site as input (the string is treated as a string array with a single element), but now I can also pass it a list:

Set-UserInterface2010.ps1 -url "","",""

Here’s hoping that taking a couple minutes to update the script and running it once saved me more time than running it 32 times!

Updating a SharePoint page’s Page Layout using PowerShell

Earlier today I tried to update the page layout on a SharePoint 2010 site via the browser, which produced an error. I looked up the error’s correlation ID in the ULS logs and found this:
GetFileFromUrl: ArgumentException when attempting get file Url https://oldsitename/webname/_catalogs/masterpage/Block.aspx Value does not fall within the expected range.

I couldn’t change the page layout via the browser. I couldn’t change the page layout via SharePoint Designer.

Fortunately, I found Patrick Lamber’s helpful post, How to programmatically change the page template in Moss 2007, which basically described the same error and described applying a new page layout via the object model.

For whatever reason, I thought I could do it just as easily via PowerShell. I started following Jason Grimme’s post, Update SharePoint List Item(s) with Powershell, but I was unable to check-out/check-in the page or access the PublishingPageLayout property.

Liam Cleary’s reply on a TechNet post (Using PowerShell to Checkout and Checkin a file) tipped me off that I needed to use SPFile (rather than SPListItem) in order to perform the necessary operations. Here are the commands I ended up using:

$spWeb = Get-SPWeb("http://currentsitename/webname")
$spFile = $spWeb.GetFile("http://currentsitename/webname/Pages/Test-Page.aspx")
$spFile.Properties["PublishingPageLayout"] = "/_catalogs/masterpage/Block.aspx, Block"
$spFile.CheckIn("Update page layout via PowerShell",[Microsoft.SharePoint.SPCheckinType]::MajorCheckIn)

I visited the page and…another error! This one telling me there wasn’t a valid page layout. Funny, it worked in development.

It turns out, when I compared it to the PublishingPageLayout property of a working page, I had missed the space character after the comma.

Doesn’t work:

"/_catalogs/masterpage/Block.aspx, Block"

Once I applied the proper path, I was also able to change the page layout via the browser again.