Publish from the command line

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2017

You can use the Cross-platform CLI for Azure DevOps (tfx-cli) to publish your extension to the Visual Studio Marketplace.

For more information, see the overview of publish, install, and share.


Get the TFX CLI from Node Package Manager and generate a personal access token (PAT). Also, if you haven't already, set up a Publisher in the Gallery.

Acquire the Cross-platform CLI for Azure DevOps

  1. If you don't have it, download and install NodeJS. During set up, ensure that you leave Add to PATH chosen.

  2. Open a Command Prompt and enter npm i -g tfx-cli.

If you already have the TFX CLI installed, you can update to the latest release by running npm up -g tfx-cli.

Acquire a PAT

  1. Sign in to your organization ({organization}).

  2. From your home page, open the user settings icon, and then select Profile.

    Select Profile after selecting the user settings icon

  3. Under Security, select Personal access tokens, and then select New Token.

    Create your new personal access token

  4. Complete the form:

    • Name your token
    • Select All accessible organizations, which is the only value that works when publishing via CLI. If you select only one organization, it results in an error, even if the PAT is valid
    • Select an expiration time frame for your token. This is required because the Visual Studio Marketplace publishing APIs work outside of the context of an organization
    • Set the scope of access associated with this token. Be sure to select the Marketplace (publish) scope. This scope limits the token to only being able to publish extensions to the Marketplace.
    • Select Create


  5. Copy your generated personal access token. Make sure to keep it secret.

    Copy your token and keep it a secret

Create a publisher

If you haven't already created a publisher, you can do so using the command line tool.

To create a publisher using the Cross-platform CLI for Azure DevOps, run the following command, replacing each argument with the necessary value.

tfx extension publisher create


The Publisher name must match the publisher property in your extension manifest.


C:\tfs-cli>tfx extension publisher create 
Copyright Microsoft Corporation
> Publisher name: Fabrikam
> Display name: Fabrikam, Inc.
> Description: Fabrikam's main publisher

=== Completed operation: create publisher ===
 - Name: Fabrikam
 - Display Name: Fabrikam, Inc.
 - Description: Fabrikam's main publisher

Publish from the command line

Once TFX CLI is installed and you have your PAT, you can use the tool to package and publish your extension.

  1. Open a command prompt to the root directory of your extension.
  2. Run the tfx extension publish command passing in any necessary parameters. Run tfx extension publish --help to see all available options.

You may receive the following error when publishing if your extension has already been published:

Failed Request: Internal Server Error(500) - Version number must increase each time an extension is published. Extension:  Current version: 0.1.9  Updated version: 0.1.9

You can add the --rev-version command line option to automatically increment the patch version of your extension. This also saves the new version to your manifest.


C:\vso-team-calendar>tfx extension publish --share-with fabrikam --rev-version
Copyright Microsoft Corporation
> Personal access token:
Checking if this extension is already published
It is, update the extension
Waiting for server to validate extension package...
Sharing extension with fabrikam.

=== Completed operation: publish extension ===
 - Packaging: C:\vso-team-calendar\
 - Publishing: success
 - Sharing: shared with fabrikam