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Describes usage of documentation within PSRule.


PSRule includes a built-in documentation system that provide culture specific help and metadata for resources. Documentation is composed of markdown files that can be optionally shipped with a module.

When markdown documentation is defined, this content will be used instead of inline synopsis comments. Markdown documentation is supported for rules and suppression groups.

Getting documentation#

To get documentation for a rule use the Get-PSRuleHelp cmdlet.

For example:

Get-PSRuleHelp <rule-name>

Each rule can include the following documentation:

  • Annotations - Additional metadata included in results.
  • Synopsis - A brief description on the intended purpose of the rule.
  • Description - A detailed description on the intended purpose of the rule.
  • Recommendation - A detailed explanation of the requirements to pass the rule.
  • Notes - Any additional information or configuration options.
  • Links - Any links to external references.

See cmdlet help for detailed information on the Get-PSRuleHelp cmdlet.

Online help#

Rule documentation may optionally include a link to an online version. When included, the -Online parameter can be used to open the online version in the default web browser.

For example:

Get-PSRuleHelp <rule-name> -Online

Creating documentation for rules#

Rule documentation is composed of markdown files, one per rule. When creating rules for more then one culture, a separate markdown file is created per rule per culture.

The markdown files for each rule is automatically discovered based on naming convention.

Markdown is saved in a file with the same filename as the rule name with the .md extension. The file name should match the same case exactly, with a lower case extension.

As an example, the markdown file would be created.

# Synopsis: Configure storage accounts to only accept encrypted traffic i.e. HTTPS/SMB
Rule 'storageAccounts.UseHttps' -If { ResourceType 'Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts' } {
    Recommend 'Storage accounts should only allow secure traffic'


The markdown of each file uses following structure.

{{ Annotations }}

# {{ Name of rule }}

{{ A brief summary of the rule }}

## Description

{{ A detailed description of the rule }}

## Recommendation

{{ A detailed explanation of the steps required to pass the rule }}

## Notes

{{ Additional information or configuration options }}

## Links

{{ Links to external references }}

Optionally, one or more annotations formatted as YAML key value pairs can be included. i.e. severity: Critical

Additional sections such as EXAMPLES can be included although are not exposed with Get-PSRuleHelp.

Creating documentation for suppression groups#

Suppression groups support documentation similar to rules that allows a synopsis to be defined. Other sections can be added to the markdown content, but are ignored. Set the synopsis in markdown to allow a culture specific message to be displayed.

The markdown of each file uses following structure.

{{ Annotations }}

# {{ Name of suppression group }}

{{ A brief summary of the suppression group }}

Storing markdown files#

The location PSRule uses to find markdown documentation depends on how the rules/ resources are packaged. In each case, documentation will be in a culture /<culture>/specific subdirectory. Resources can be either shipped as part of a module, or standalone.

  • When resources are standalone, the culture subdirectory is relative to the *.Rule.* file.
  • When packaged in a module, the culture subdirectory is relative to the module manifest .psd1 file.

The <culture> subdirectory will be the current culture that PowerShell is executed under. To determine the current culture use (Get-Culture).Name. Alternatively, the culture can set by using the -Culture parameter of PSRule cmdlets.