Windows Remote Management (WinRM) for Ruby

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This is a SOAP library that uses the functionality in Windows Remote Management(WinRM) to call native object in Windows. This includes, but is not limitted to, running batch scripts, powershell scripts and fetching WMI variables. For more information on WinRM, please visit Microsoft's WinRM site:

Supported WinRM Versions

WinRM 1.1 is supported, however 2.0 and higher is recommended. See MSDN.aspx) for information about WinRM versions and supported operating systems.


gem install -r winrm then on the server winrm quickconfig as admin


require 'winrm'
endpoint = 'http://mywinrmhost:5985/wsman'
krb5_realm = 'EXAMPLE.COM'
winrm =, :kerberos, :realm => krb5_realm)
winrm.create_executor do |executor|
  executor.run_cmd('ipconfig /all') do |stdout, stderr|
    STDOUT.print stdout
    STDERR.print stderr

There are various connection types you can specify upon initialization:

It is recommended that you :disable_sspi => true if you are using the plaintext or ssl transport.

Deprecated methods

As of version 1.5.0 WinRM::WinRMWebService methods cmd, run_cmd, powershell, and run_powershell_script have been deprecated and will be removed from the next major version of the WinRM gem.

Use the run_cmd and run_powershell_script of the WinRM::CommandExecutor class instead. The CommandExecutor allows multiple commands to be run from the same WinRM shell providing a significant performance improvement when issuing multiple calls.


winrm =, :negotiate, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass)


Note: It is strongly recommended that you use :negotiate instead of :plaintext. As the name infers, the :plaintext transport includes authentication credentials in plain text., :plaintext, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :disable_sspi => true)

## Same but force basic authentication:, :plaintext, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :basic_auth_only => true)

SSL, :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :disable_sspi => true)

# Specifying CA path, :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :ca_trust_path => '/etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem', :basic_auth_only => true)

# Same but force basic authentication:, :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :basic_auth_only => true)

# Basic auth over SSL w/self signed cert
# Enabling no_ssl_peer_verification is not recommended. HTTPS connections are still encrypted,
# but the WinRM gem is not able to detect forged replies or man in the middle attacks., :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :basic_auth_only => true, :no_ssl_peer_verification => true)

# Verify against a known fingerprint, :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :basic_auth_only => true, :ssl_peer_fingerprint => '6C04B1A997BA19454B0CD31C65D7020A6FC2669D')

# Specifying a Client Cert, key and (optional) key password for password-less authentication, :ssl, :client_cert => '/path/to/cert.pem', :client_key => '/path/to/key.key', :key_pass => 'password', :no_ssl_peer_verification => true)

# Specifying a Client Cert object, key object and (optional) key password for password-less authentication, :ssl, :client_cert => <X509::Certificate object>, :client_key => <PKey::Pkey object>, :key_pass => 'password', :no_ssl_peer_verification => true)  
Create a self signed cert for WinRM

You may want to create a self signed certificate for servicing https WinRM connections. You can use the following PowerShell script to create a cert and enable the WinRM HTTPS listener. Unless you are running windows server 2012 R2 or later, you must install makecert.exe from the Windows SDK, otherwise use New-SelfSignedCertificate.

$hostname = $Env:ComputerName

C:\"Program Files"\"Microsoft SDKs"\Windows\v7.1\Bin\makecert.exe -r -pe -n "CN=$hostname,O=vagrant" -eku -ss my -sr localMachine -sky exchange -sp "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider" -sy 12 "$hostname.cer"

$thumbprint = (& ls cert:LocalMachine/my).Thumbprint

# Windows 2012R2 and above can use New-SelfSignedCertificate
$thumbprint = (New-SelfSignedCertificate -DnsName $hostname -CertStoreLocation cert:\LocalMachine\my).Thumbprint

$cmd = "winrm create winrm/config/Listener?Address=*+Transport=HTTPS '@{Hostname=`"$hostname`";CertificateThumbprint=`"$thumbprint`"}'"
iex $cmd
Setting up Certificate based authentication

Perform the following steps to authenticate with a certificate instead of a username and password:

  1. Generate a certificate with an Extended Key Usage of Client Authentication and a Subject Alternative Name with the UPN of the user. See this powershell function as an example of using openssl to create a self signed user certificate in .pem and .pfx formats along with the private key file.

  2. Import the pfx file into the TrustedPeople directory of the LocalMachine certificate store on the windows endpoint.

  3. Import the issuing certificate authority certificate in the endpoint's Root certificates. If your client certificate is self signed, this will be the client certificate.

  4. Enable certificate authentication on the endpoint: Set-Item -Path WSMan:\localhost\Service\Auth\Certificate -Value $true

  5. Add a winrm user mapping for the issuing certificate: New-Item -Path WSMan:\localhost\ClientCertificate -Subject <user UPN> -URI * -Issuer <issuing certificate thumbprint> -Credential (Get-Credential) -Force

See this post for more details on certificate authentication.

Kerberos, :kerberos, :realm => 'MYREALM.COM')

Retries and opening a shell

Especially if provisioning a new machine, it's possible the winrm service is not yet running when first attempting to connect. The WinRMWebService accepts the options :retry_limit and :retry_delay to specify the maximum number of attempts to make and how long to wait in between. These default to 3 attempts and a 10 second delay., :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass, :retry_limit => 30, :retry_delay => 10)


The WinRMWebService exposes a logger attribute and uses the logging gem to manage logging behavior. By default this appends to STDOUT and has a level of :warn, but one can adjust the level or add additional appenders.

winrm =, :ssl, :user => myuser, :pass => mypass)

# suppress warnings
winrm.logger.level = :error

# Log to a file

If a consuming application uses its own logger that complies to the logging API, you can simply swap it in:

winrm.logger = my_logger


You may have some errors like WinRM::WinRMAuthorizationError. You can run the following commands on the server to try to solve the problem:

winrm set winrm/config/client/auth 

You can read more about that on issue #29

Also see this post for more general tips related to winrm connection and authentication issues.

Current features

  1. GSSAPI support: This is the default way that Windows authenticates and secures WinRM messages. In order for this to work the computer you are connecting to must be a part of an Active Directory domain and you must have local credentials via kinit. GSSAPI support is dependent on the gssapi gem which only supports the MIT Kerberos libraries at this time.

    If you are using this method there is no longer a need to change the WinRM service authentication settings. You can simply do a 'winrm quickconfig' on your server or enable WinRM via group policy and everything should be working.

  2. Multi-Instance support: Moving away from Handsoap allows multiple instances to be created because the SOAP backend is no longer a Singleton type class.

  3. 100% Ruby: Nokogiri while faster can present additional frustration for users above and beyond what is already required to get WinRM working. The goal of this gem is make using WinRM easy. In V2 we plan on making the parser swappable in case you really do need the performance.


  1. Fork it.
  2. Create a branch (git checkout -b my_feature_branch)
  3. Run the unit and integration tests (bundle exec rake integration)
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am "Added a sweet feature")
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my_feature_branch)
  6. Create a pull requst from your branch into master (Please be sure to provide enough detail for us to cipher what this change is doing)

Running the tests

We use Bundler to manage dependencies during development.

$ bundle install

Once you have the dependencies, you can run the unit tests with rake:

$ bundle exec rake spec

To run the integration tests you will need a Windows box with the WinRM service properly configured. Its easiest to use a Vagrant Windows box (mwrock/Windows2012R2 is public on atlas with an evaluation version of Windows 2012 R2).

  1. Create a Windows VM with WinRM configured (see above).
  2. Copy the config-example.yml to config.yml - edit this file with your WinRM connection details.
  3. Ensure that the box you are running the test against has a default shell profile (check ~\Documents\WindowsPowerShell). If any of your shell profiles generate stdout or stderr output, the test validators may get thrown off.
  4. Run bundle exec rake integration

WinRM Author