Enabling C#, F# & PowerShell .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

By default the AzureML environment provides the Python and R kernels. The reason you’re here though will be because, like me you want PowerShell. This post details the steps to enable the .NET Interactive (C#, F# & PowerShell) kernels in AzureML.

Enabling .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Installation Process

The process is very similar to what I detailed in my Docker PowerShell Jupyter Notebook Environments post earlier this year. Essentially install PowerShell, .NET Core SDK and .NET Interactive and register the kernels.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites naturally are an AzureML environment with an attached compute instance. If you don’t already have one, navigate to the Azure Machine Learning Studio Portal and create a workspace and provision an AzureML compute instance.

Open AzureML Terminal

From your AzureML Workspace with Compute attached, open a terminal.

AzureML Compute Environment

Check the version of the AzureML Compute host. The AzureML Compute instance I just created is Ubuntu 16.04 as verified using uname -a

Add Microsoft Source for Ubuntu

Now that we know the version of the underlying operating system of the AzureML compute environment we can add the associated Microsoft source. Update the following URL if your environment isn’t Ubuntu 16.04 for the version you have.

wget -q https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/16.04/packages-microsoft-prod.deb
sudo dpkg -i packages-microsoft-prod.deb

With the Microsoft package source added we can update the package list so that we can install our Microsoft dependencies.

sudo apt-get update

Install PowerShell

Now, we can install PowerShell onto our compute host using the following command.

sudo apt-get install -y powershell
Install PowerShell for .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Install the .NET Core SDK

As of writing the version of .NET Core SDK supported on Ubuntu 16.04 for .NET Interactive is 3.1. We can install that using the following command.
Note: In my environment, the .NET Core 3.1 SDK was already present. I’ll leave this here just in case it’s not always there by default.

sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https && sudo apt-get install -y dotnet-sdk-3.1 
Install .NET Core SDK for .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Install .NET Interactive

As of writing the latest version of .dotnet-interactive is 1.0.155302. It can be installed using the following command.

dotnet tool install -g Microsoft.dotnet-interactive --version 1.0.155302 --add-source "https://dotnet.myget.org/F/dotnet-try/api/v3/index.json"

Install .NET Interactive Kernels for Jupyter

With .NET Interactive installed we can now register the additional kernels.

dotnet interactive jupyter install 
Install .NET Interactive for .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

We can then verify our new .NET Interactive kernels are present.

jupyter kernelspec list
Install .NET Interactive for Jupyter for .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Update the Environment Path

We need to add the path to .dotnet/tools to the environment path. We can view our paths in /etc/environment using

cat /etc/environment

Edit the environment configuration file using Nano.

sudo nano /etc/environment

Add the following path to the end of the PATH line then use Cntrl + X to exit accepting Y to overwrite the file.

/home/azureuser/.dotnet/tools
Configure .NET Interactive path for .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Restart Jupyter

Finally we can restart Jupyter to get our new kernels to be loaded and visible in AzureML Studio.

sudo service jupyter restart

New PowerShell AzureML Jupyter Notebook

We can now create ourselves a new PowerShell Jupyter Notebook in AzureML.

New PowerShell Jupyter Notebook with .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Switch the kernel to PowerShell, for our new Jupyter Notebook.

Switch to PowerShell .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Finally, we can now test our PowerShell Jupyter Notebook environment out.

PowerShell Notebook using .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML

Summary

Enabling .NET Interactive Kernels in AzureML is very similar to any other Ubuntu environment. Hopefully in the near future it will be there by default.