Adjust the Screen Resolution of an Ubuntu Hyper-V Virtual Machine

I use Ubuntu for a lot of the courses I teach, due to its popularity. While I have some computers running it “bare metal” as they say, in order to test different scenarios, as well as record my Pluralsight courses, I also setup virtual machines within Hyper-V.

It’s a bit annoying though, as it doesn’t seem to allow the guest extensions to easily resize the VM. (I create my VMs from the downloaded ISOs as opposed to using the pre-built images in the Hyper-V store). But it can be done! All you need is a few quick edits to the grub file.

Start by opening up a terminal window. Then you can use your favorite editor to open the grub file. I’m using VIM in this example, but you could substitute nano or another text editor of your choice. (I’ll assume you know how to use your editor to edit and save changes.)

sudo vim /etc/default/grub

Now scroll down and find the line that begins with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. To the end of it, append the following string:

video=hyperv_fb:1280x720

Or use 1920×1080, 2560×1440, or whatever resolution you prefer. The line should look something like the following, all on one line without any wrapping.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=hyperv_fb:1280x720"

Looking good, but you’re not quite done yet. You’ll need to append the same to the next line so it looks similar to the following, again all on one line with no wrapping.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="quiet splash video=hyperv_fb:1280x720"

Of course, you’ll want to make sure the resolution you select matches on both lines, 1920×1080, etc.

Now save the contents and exit your editor.

Next, and this is an important step, you have to update grub using the following command:

sudo update-grub

If you skip this step, you won’t see your resolution updated.

Finally, you’ll need to reboot. I’ve not had great success with doing a reboot of Ubuntu running in Hyper-V, it frequently hangs, so I suggest doing a power off, then start Ubuntu again in Hyper-V.

When it does reboot, you should be running at your new resolution.

Fixing the Failed To Acquire Token Error When Logging Into Azure from PowerShell

When I haven’t used Azure from PowerShell in some time, I’ll get an error “failed to acquire token” when using cmdlets such as Get-AzSubscription or Get-AzContext.

To add to the confusion, sometimes Connect-AzAccount appears to work and log me in, but I’ll still get the error.

Under the hood, the Azure cmdlets are caching some connection tokens. Fixing this issue is pretty simple, although not intuitive or easy to find the solution. All you have to do is issue the following cmdlet:

Clear-AzContext

This will remove old tokens from your system.

After issuing the clear command, just end your current PowerShell session, then login again using Connect-AzAccount and you should be good to go.

SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services Cookbook On Sale Until Jan 13, 2021

My last book, SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services Cookbook, is on sale until January 13th, 2021.

You can get the E-Book version for just $5 (US) when ordering direct from my publisher.

Now you may be thinking, “2016? That’s oooooold!” But in fact little has changed in Reporting Services since the 2016 release. All of the topics and techniques are still just as valid in SQL Server 2019.

To order your copy of the book, just jump on over to SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services Cookbook | Packt (packtpub.com)

Hurry though, offer is only good until January 13, 2021

Iterate Over A Hashtable in PowerShell

Iterating over an array in PowerShell using a foreach loop is pretty simple. You might think you can do the same thing with a hash table using the same syntax, but if you do you’ll get nothing back.

It is possible to loop over a hash table though, using one of two methods.

First, let’s create a simple hashtable.

$hash = @{
'About Arcane Code' = 'http://arcanecode.me'
'ArcaneCode Blog' = 'https://arcanecode.com'
'ArcaneCode RedGate Articles' = 'http://arcanecode.red'
'ArcaneCode Github Repository' = 'http://arcanerepo.com'
}

In the first method, the one that I prefer, you can use the GetEnumerator method of the hash table object.

foreach ($h in $hash.GetEnumerator() )
{
  Write-Host "$($h.Name) : $($h.Value)"
}

Within the loop, you can use the Name property to get the key part of the hash, and the Value property to retrieve the value. Here is the output:

ArcaneCode Blog : https://arcanecode.com 
ArcaneCode Github Repository : http://arcanerepo.com 
About Arcane Code : http://arcanecode.me 
ArcaneCode RedGate Articles : http://arcanecode.red

In the second method, instead of iterating over the hash table itself, we loop over the Keys of the hash table.

foreach ($h in $hash.Keys) 
{
  Write-Host "$h: $($hash.Item($h))"
}

For each key, we retrieve it’s value from the hash table using the key to indicate the item we want. We could have shortened this slightly, but skipping the Item and just referencing the value by the key, using this syntax:

foreach ($h in $hash.Keys) 
{
  Write-Host "$h: $($hash.$h)"
}

Both of these methods produce the same output as our original version.

ArcaneCode Blog : https://arcanecode.com 
ArcaneCode Github Repository : http://arcanerepo.com 
About Arcane Code : http://arcanecode.me 
ArcaneCode RedGate Articles : http://arcanecode.red

There you go, two simple ways in which you can iterate over a hash table in PowerShell. As I indicated, I prefer GetEnumerator because I have access to both the key and the value in a single variable within my loop. But feel free to use the method that works best for your situation.

Two New PowerShell Courses for Developers on Pluralsight

I’m proud to announce I have not one but two, yes TWO new PowerShell courses available on Pluralsight, targeted for developers. These two courses are designed to work in harmony, to show developers how they can leverage PowerShell to automate and assist in their daily work.

The first is “PowerShell 7 Quick Start for Developers on Linux, macOS, and Windows”. It leverages your knowledge as a developer to bring you up to speed on the PowerShell language. It doesn’t waste time explaining concepts you already know, like variables and loops. It simply shows you how to do things in PowerShell.

The second course is “Everyday PowerShell for Developers on Linux, macOS, and Windows”. It begins showing how to combine PowerShell with Docker to create a PHP container and test a simple website. It then proceeds to create an Azure SQL database and load data in it.

In the second you are taught how to code your own classes and modules by creating a simple module that leverages a USPS website API to lookup a zip code and return the city and state it belongs to.

In the final part of the course you are shown how to use the new DataFabricator module to generate realistic looking, but fake data for use in testing your applications.

While originally developed with PowerShell 7.0.3, all code in the course was tested and videoed using PowerShell 7.1.0.

Additionally, the code was tested on a variety of platforms, including Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10, Windows 10, H1 and H2, macOS Catalina and even macOS Big Sur.

If you don’t have a Pluralsight subscription, just go to the Pluralsight page and click the Try for Free link to get a free 10 day trial.