The public preview of Serial Console access for both Linux and Windows VMs has been launched. Managing and running virtual machines can be hard. But now, extensive tools are there to manage and secure the VMs, including patching management, configuration management, agent-based scripting, automation, SSH/RDP connectivity, and support for DevOps tooling like Ansible, Chef, and Puppet. However, sometimes this isn’t enough to diagnose and fix issues.

Maybe a change that has been made resulted in an fstab error on Linux and you cannot connect to fix it. Maybe a bcdedit change that has been made pushed Windows into a weird boot state.

Now, it is possible to debug both with direct serial-based access and fix these issues with the tiniest of effort. It’s like having a keyboard plugged into the server in our datacenter but in the comfort of our office or home.

Serial Console for Virtual Machines is available in all global regions.

It can be accessed by going to the Azure portal and visiting the Support + Troubleshooting section.

Support for Serial Console comes naturally to Linux VMs. This capability requires no changes to existing images and will just start working. However, Windows VMs require a few additional steps to enable. It can also be easily configured on our own Windows VMs and images, outlined in the Serial Console documentation. From the SAC, the Special Administration Console, which is exposed via the Serial Console. It can be easily get to a command shell and interact with the system via the serial console.

You can learn more here in this Serial Console documentation that explains how to configure this on Windows.