Saturday, May 6, 2017

Run Login-AzureRmAccount to login


Honestly, I did not know. This error has created so much of the frustration in the developers; who wishes to use Azure PowerShell and Azure Automation. This blog post is dedicated to solving the error “Run Login-AzureRmAccount to login”.


Any Azure RM [a.k.a Azure Resource Manager] PowerShell command execution first requires authentication done against your Azure subscription. So if you fire any command without Login-AzureRMAccount; above sweet error comes.

Reproducing the error

Let’s first reproduce this error.

I am assuming you already Azure PowerShell module installed. If not refer here for installation steps. Now open PowerShell and run the command to retrieve all Azure VMs present in the Azure subscription –


Error appears – “Run Login-AzureRmAccount to login”.

Solution is simple, run the command “Login-AzureRmAccount” and it opens up a pop up. Enter the credentials. After this run the command of retriving VMs again and everything works.

So, locally it’s easy to get rid of this error. How do we solve the error in Azure Automation account? Let’s first reproduce the same in Azure Automation account. I already have one Azure Automation account created as per the earlier blog post here. Refer section “Provision Azure Automation Account” in the blog post.

Click on Runbooks -> Add a Runbook. Give the name of your choice, select the type as “PowerShell”, and provide description of your choice. Then click on Create. After runbook is created on the Azure Portal, Open it by clicking on Edit option. Type the command as “Get-AzureRmVM”. Then to test the command click on “Test Pane” as highlighted below –

Click on Start button in Test Pane window to start the execution. There you receive the error again – “Run Login-AzureAccount to login”. Now here is the catch. Automation account runbooks runs in the background hence they can’t throw a pop up wherein you can put up your credentials. So how do we resolve it?

Solution is – Use Azure AD Service Principal

Service principal means you are treating an application as a user and giving full access to it so that it can perform any action against your azure subscription. As Azure subscription is always present in the Azure Active Directory tenant; we must add the information of our application in Azure AD tenant and this is nothing but the service principal.

So how do we create a Service principal? Well you don’t have to create because it already exists if you have an Azure ARM automation account created.

Open Assets -> Connections -> AzureRunAsConection. This shows type as Azure service principal and there are many Ids present as highlighted below –

Application Id is the one by which your Automation account is identified as Service principal in Azure AD. Tenant id is nothing but Azure AD id under which your subscription exists. Subscription Id is the actual Azure subscription Id.

Let’s verify this exist in your Azure AD as well. For the same, on Azure portal open Azure Active Directory -> App Registrations. You will see an Application Id same as what we have observed under automation account connection.

This means AzureRunAsConection of automation account is acting as Service principal. Hence it can be used for authentication against the subscription and also to perform operations against our azure subscription. With this let’s write some PowerShell code to perform authentication using service principal.

Authenticating using Service principal

Code for authenticating Azure Automation account runbook using Automation connection as Service principal is shown below –

$connectionName = "AzureRunAsConnection"
    # Get the connection "AzureRunAsConnection "
    $servicePrincipalConnection = Get-AutomationConnection -Name $connectionName      
    "Logging in to Azure..."
    $account = Add-AzureRmAccount `
        -ServicePrincipal `
        -TenantId $servicePrincipalConnection.TenantId `
        -ApplicationId $servicePrincipalConnection.ApplicationId `
        -CertificateThumbprint $servicePrincipalConnection.CertificateThumbprint 
catch {
    if (!$servicePrincipalConnection)
        $ErrorMessage = "Connection $connectionName not found."
        throw $ErrorMessage
    } else{
        Write-Error -Message $_.Exception
        throw $_.Exception
Write-Output $account

Add above code segment in any runbook you wish to in Azure Automation account and you will never receive error of “Run Login-AzureRMAccount to login”.

I did the same in my sample runbook and VM list received. Below is the output –

That’s all folks.

Happy error handling!!


  1. Life Saver , that's what you are

  2. logins, but when doing :
    Find-AzureRmResource i get: Run Login-AzureRmAccount to login.

  3. this one blog post was more useful than dozens of official Microsoft docs. Thank you!

  4. Helped me out, thank you!

  5. Thank you, you set me into the right direction. I was leveraging your code block to do some stop/start azure database, and it seems I need to use Connect-AzAccount instead of AddAzureRMAccount. If interested, it is documented here:

  6. Sincere Regards. Searched for last 2 days, no clue. This was a life saver, indeed. Thanks a lot again.

  7. Hi, Thanks for the code snippet. When I run always I am getting Connection Name not found. How to get the value of connectionName