Tim Elhajj

Off the Microsoft stack!


Team Foundation 2012 Build Service installation and configuration

If you want to automate builds of your software projects, you can install Team Foundation Build Service from the Team Foundation Server product DVD and create a build machine. Once you have the build machine set up, you’ll want to create a build definition in Visual Studio with instructions about which code projects to compile and many other configurations. But first, you must set up the build machine.

Where to Install It?

The most important thing to concern yourself with during installation is selecting the right hardware to get the best performance (recommendations are linked below). If your team is building Windows apps, you’ll need to install the build service on Windows 8. See this topic on the Microsoft website: Build and Test a Windows Store App Using Team Foundation Build. All of the settings you choose during the initial configuration of Team Foundation Build Service can be changed after installation, so don’t worry too much about making a wrong choice. For a comprehensive explanation of Team Foundation Build Service architecture and all possible topologies, see this topic on the Microsoft website: Scale Out Your Build System.

Although you can install Team Foundation Build Service on the same computer as Team Foundation Server, you probably shouldn’t. You don’t want to hurt the performance of Team Foundation Server or increase its attack surface when builds are running.

System Requirements

The operating system requirements for Team Build match the requirements for TFS, and the hardware requirements match those of the operating system on which you install it. That said, you can optimize the performance of your build machine by installing Team Foundation Build Service on hardware adequate for the way your team intends to automate builds. See Hardware Recommendations on this MSDN topic.

Required permissions

You must be a member of both the Windows Administrators security group on the server on which you are configuring Team Foundation Build Service and the Project Collection Administrators group on TFS.

TIP: If you installed TFS, you’re already a member of Project Collection Administrators.

To run the Team Foundation Server installer

TIP: The build service is installed with TFS. If you want to set up the build service on the same server as where you installed TFS, you can skip this procedure, open the TFS Administration Console, select Build Configuration, and then choose Configure Installed Features.

1) Insert the Team Foundation Server DVD in the drive and launch the tfs_server.exe.

2) On the license terms dialog box, accept the license terms and then choose Install Now.

If you want to install Team Foundation Server to a specific location in the file system, choose the browse button (…) next to the default install location.

To configure Team Foundation Build Service

1) Choose Configure Team Foundation Build Service, and then choose Start Wizard. The Build Service Configuration wizard appears.

2) Read the Welcome screen, and then choose Next.

3) If you’re configuring the build service on the server running TFS, the default collection is selected automatically. Choose Next.

Otherwise, choose Browse, and then choose the team project collection to which you want this build controller to connect.

4) Choose Use the default setting, and specify the number of build agents. If you installed Team Foundation Build Service on the same server as Team Foundation Server, the default setting for Number of build agents to run on this build machine is 1 (recommended). Choose Next.

If you’re not installing build service on a server that’s running TFS or don’t want to use the default settings, perform one of the following steps:

* Choose Scale out build services to run concurrent builds across multiple machines. If you choose this option, you have to specify the number of build agents for this machine and then add them to a new or existing build controller. If you installed Team Foundation Build Service on its own server, the default setting for Number of build agents to run on this build machine is equal to the number of processor cores on this server.

* Choose Replace an existing build machine, and then specify the build machine to replace. This option copies the existing configuration to the new build server.

* Choose Configure later to skip setting up any build controllers or agents on this instance of Team Foundation Build Service. If you choose this option, you must manually connect the build controller to Team Foundation Server before you can use this build machine.

5) Under Run Team Foundation Build Service as, Choose Use a system account, and then choose NT Authority\Network Service. Choose Next.

Otherwise, choose Use a user account to use a domain or local account, and then enter the account name and password. To test the user account and password, choose Test.

6) Review the information and then choose Next.

The wizard validates your configuration. If you run into a problem, you can use the detailed results to identify the issue. If you can fix it, click the link to run the checks again.

7) Choose Configure. The wizard applies configuration settings.

8) At the success screen, choose Next.

9) Review the results of the success screen, including any recommendations. Choose Close


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Installing TFS 11 Build Server from the BUILD Conference in Anaheim

I am posting walkthroughs of the the various TFS 11 install wizards from the upcoming version of TFS previewed at the BUILD Conference in Anaheim last week. Installation of TFS 11 is very similar to installation of TFS 2010. You can use the install guide for TFS 2010 to review the current (TFS 2010) guidelines for install. And you can find the late breaking information about this version of TFS install (TFS 11) on the TFS setup forums.

This post covers the build wizard.

First, get the preview and launch it. If you’ve already installed, skip down two screens to the Wizard and select Configure Team Foundation Build Service.


Accept the license agreement and click Continue.


We recommend you enable updates. Click Install Now.


Select Configure Team Foundation Build Service, and then click Start Wizard. 


Click Next. Ignore the the “Click here” link on this page. If you opted into the updates earlier, you’ll automatically get the latest updates during install.


If, like me, you install Build on the same server as TFS 11, the wizard automatically points itself to the default collection on the local machine. Click Next. (If you have TFS 11 on a different server, point to that server by click the Browse button).


You can adjust the number of build agents or cancel. I’m going to use the default settings. Click Next.


You have to select the identity and the network port to run build services. I’m going to use the default settings: Network Service and port 9191. Click Next.


Review your selections and click Next.


After the readiness checks run, click Configure.


Once configuration completes, click Next.


You’ve succeeded! Click Close.


Click Close again to get back to the TFS 11 administration console.


This is what Build Service looks like in the console (pictured left). If you look at the callout on the right, I’m picturing the same screen, but you can more easily see the UI that shows the number of controllers and agents configured for this machine.