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Start Command (Team Foundation Build)

Use the start command to run a configured Team Foundation Build build type.

Required Permissions

To use the start command, you must have the Team Foundation Server Start a build security permission set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

TFSBuild start Teamfoundationserver TeamProject BuildType [/machine:buildmachine] [/directory:builddirectory]


Argument Description


The Team Foundation server URL where the solutions being built are checked in.


The team project name which has the solutions to be built.


The build type that you want to use for the build.


Used with the /machine option. Team Foundation Build server name.


Used with the /directory option. The path to the directory where the build occurs.

Option Description


Optional. The computer where the solutions are built. Can be abbreviated as /m. By default the build computer provided in the Build Type is used.


Optional. The directory where the build process occurs. Can be abbreviated as /d. By default the build directory specified in the Build Type is used.


  When selecting the build directory, make sure there is sufficient space to build, insufficient space will lead to aborted builds.

You can use the Team Foundation command-line command TFSBuild start with the Windows Task Scheduler service to perform recurring or nightly builds. Recurring or scheduled build services are not available in the Team Foundation user interface in Visual Studio For more information, see How to: Configure a Scheduled Build (Command Line).

Continuous build integration functionality is not included with Team Foundation; however, the TFSBuild start command can be invoked whenever a check in is made into Team Foundation source control.

If building more than one solution, consider one solution having dependencies on another when determining the order in which they are built. For example, set Solution1 to be built before Solution2 in the case where Solution2 has a dependency on Solution1.

By default, the drop directory is not automatically created as a share and therefore is not available for publishing builds and tests results. You must manually establish a share and add write permissions to the Windows directory and share permissions for both the account used to run the Team Foundation Build service for dropping builds and for the tester's account for publishing test results.

The following example builds the Nightlies build type which is in the AdventureWorks team project on server01. The resulting build is located on Machine1 in the BuildDrop directory.

>TFSBuild start http://server01:8080 AdventureWorks Nightlies /m:Machine1 /d:"C:\BuildDrop"