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Configure a Build Machine

Updated: May 2011

To use Team Foundation Build, your team must have at least one build machine. For any medium or large software effort, you will probably require multiple build machines.

A build machine is a computer on which you have installed and configured Team Foundation Build Service. The machine can be a physical computer (for example, a personal computer that is sitting under your desk or a workstation in a lab). You can also take advantage of the flexibility of a virtual machine to serve as a build machine.

TipTip

You can set up an ad-hoc build machine on any computer that is available to you. For example, an individual developer who has an extra computer available could set it up as a build machine to use Team Foundation Build Service capabilities.

Each build machine serves a single team project collection. In fact, although you configure, modify, and manage a build machine directly on the computer where Team Foundation Build Service is running, the configuration data itself is stored in the team project collection.

On a build machine, you can run the following components of a build system:

  • A single build controller

  • One or more build agents

  • A single build controller and one or more build agents

  • For more information about build machines and how they are used in a build system, see Understanding a Team Foundation Build System.

In this topic

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the build machine and your Manage build resources permission must be set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

For information about how to configure a build machine for the first time, see Scenario: Installing Team Foundation Build Service.

After a build machine has been configured for the first time, you can create a build controller, create a build agent, and take other actions to configure the build machine.

To configure an existing build machine

  1. Log on to the build machine that you want to configure.

  2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010, and then click Team Foundation Administration Console.

    The Team Foundation Administration Console appears.

  3. In the tree pane, expand the name of the server.

  4. Click the Team Foundation Build node.

    Information about the build machine appears in the content pane. If the message Build Service is configured… does not appear, see Configure a Build Machine for the First Time earlier in this topic.

When you click the Build Configuration node, information about the build machine appears in the content pane, which includes the name of its endpoint and the account under which Team Foundation Build Service is running. You can use the Team Foundation Build node to configure your build machine, in addition to any build controller and any build agents that are running on it. The following table lists and explains some of the actions that you can take:

If you want to…

Then click…

More information

create a build controller

New Controller

A build controller pools and manages the services of one or more build agents. You can stage only one build controller on a build machine.

For more information, see Create and Work with a Build Controller.

create a build agent

New Agent

A build agent does the processor-intensive work of your build, which includes getting files from version control, provisioning the workspace, compiling the code, and running tests. You can stage one or more build agents on a build machine.

For more information, see Create and Work with Build Agents.

show and modify how the build machine is configured

Properties link that appears near the words Build Service

The Build Service Properties dialog box appears. If you want to change any of the values in this dialog box, click Stop to make changes.

specify whether the build machine runs as a service or a process

Properties link that appears near the words Build Service

The Build Service Properties dialog box appears.

For most purposes, you should run your build machine as a Windows service, which is the default configuration.

However, a few tasks (for example, running coded UI tests) can be performed only on a build machine that is running as an interactive process. To configure your build machine to perform such tasks, click Interactive Process.

temporarily or permanently decommission the build machine

Unregister

Click Unregister if you want to take this build machine out of your build system.

When you click Unregister, you are asked whether you want to delete any build controllers and build agents that are running on the build machine.

  • Click No if you want to temporarily decommission this build machine. You can later click Register and restore the build controller and build agents.

  • Click Yes if you want to delete all configuration settings for this build machine from the team project collection. All information about any build controller and any build agents is deleted.

re-commission the build machine

Register

If the message Build Service is not registered appears, you can click Register to re-commission the build machine and enable it to host build controllers and build agents.

restart the Team Foundation Build Service

Restart

If the build machine is failing to respond (for example, a running build has stopped responding), you might be able to resolve the problem by restarting Team Foundation Build Service.

stop the Team Foundation Build Service

Stop

You can stop Team Foundation Build Service if you want to take the build controller and build agents offline.

For information about how to manage a build machine, see Manage Your Build System.

Date

History

Reason

May 2011

Added information on how to specify whether the build machine runs as a service or a process.

Information enhancement.

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