Emulate ternary operator in PowerShell

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Written By Jan Reilink

Windows Server systems administrator & enthusiast.

Quickly and dirty determine if a condition is true or false in PowerShell 5.1 by emulating the ternary operator. For example when determinering if the server you are servicing is a Windows Server Desktop Experience version or not (and thus Server Core):

$condition = (Get-CimInstance Win32_OptionalFeature | Where-Object Name -eq 'Server-Gui-Mgmt').InstallState ({true}, {false})[!$condition]
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

This returns true for a GUI enabled Windows Server instance and false for Windows Server Core.

Source: Stack Overflow “Ternary operator in PowerShell” comment by Roman Kuzmin.

And yes, PowerShell Core 7 (pwsh) supports it natively:

(Get-CimInstance Win32_OptionalFeature | Where-Object Name -eq 'Server-Gui-Mgmt').InstallState ? "true" : "false" false
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

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