Check out multiple repositories in your pipeline
Azure Pipelines | Azure DevOps Server 2020
Pipelines often rely on multiple repositories that contain source, tools, scripts, or other items that you need to build your code. By using multiple
checkout steps in your pipeline, you can fetch and check out other repositories in addition to the one you use to store your YAML pipeline.
Specify multiple repositories
Repositories can be specified as a repository resource, or inline with the
The following repository types are supported.
Azure Repos Git (
- Azure DevOps Server 2020 (limited to repositories in the same organization)
- Azure DevOps Services
- Azure DevOps Services
- Azure DevOps Services
Bitbucket Cloud (
- Azure DevOps Services
Only Azure Repos Git (
git) repositories in the same organization as the pipeline are supported for multi-repo checkout in Azure DevOps Server 2020.
Azure Pipelines provides Limit job scope settings for Azure Repos Git repositories. To check out Azure Repos Git repositories hosted in another project, Limit job scope must be configured to allow access. For more information, see Limit job authorization scope.
The following combinations of
checkout steps are supported.
The default behavior is as if
checkout: self were the first step, and the current repository is checked out.
checkout: none step
No repositories are synced or checked out.
checkout: self step
The current repository is checked out.
checkout step that isn't
The designated repository is checked out instead of
Each designated repository is checked out to a folder named after the repository, unless a different
path is specified in the
checkout step. To check out
self as one of the repositories, use
checkout: self as one of the
When you check out Azure Repos Git repositories other than the one containing the pipeline, you may be prompted to authorize access to that resource before the pipeline runs for the first time. For more information, see Why am I am prompted to authorize resources the first time I try to check out a different repository? in the FAQ section.
Repository resource definition
You must use a repository resource if your repository type requires a service connection or other extended resources field. The following repository types require a service connection.
|Repository type||Service connection|
|Bitbucket Cloud||Bitbucket Cloud|
|GitHub Enterprise Server||GitHub Enterprise Server|
|Azure Repos Git repositories in a different organization than your pipeline||Azure Repos/Team Foundation Server|
You may use a repository resource even if your repository type doesn't require a service connection, for example if you have a repository resource defined already for templates in a different repository.
In the following example, three repositories are declared as repository resources. The Azure Repos Git repository in another organization, GitHub, and Bitbucket Cloud repository resources require service connections, which are specified as the
endpoint for those repository resources. This example has four
checkout steps, which checks out the three repositories declared as repository resources along with the current
self repository that contains the pipeline YAML.
resources: repositories: - repository: MyGitHubRepo # The name used to reference this repository in the checkout step type: github endpoint: MyGitHubServiceConnection name: MyGitHubOrgOrUser/MyGitHubRepo - repository: MyBitbucketRepo type: bitbucket endpoint: MyBitbucketServiceConnection name: MyBitbucketOrgOrUser/MyBitbucketRepo - repository: MyAzureReposGitRepository # In a different organization endpoint: MyAzureReposGitServiceConnection type: git name: OtherProject/MyAzureReposGitRepo trigger: - main pool: vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest' steps: - checkout: self - checkout: MyGitHubRepo - checkout: MyBitbucketRepo - checkout: MyAzureReposGitRepository - script: dir $(Build.SourcesDirectory)
self repository is named
script command produces the following output:
CurrentRepo MyAzureReposGitRepo MyBitbucketRepo MyGitHubRepo. In this example, the names of the repositories are used for the folders, because no
path is specified in the checkout step. For more information on repository folder names and locations, see the following Checkout path section.
Inline syntax checkout
If your repository doesn't require a service connection, you can declare it inline with your
Only Azure Repos Git repositories in the same organization can use the inline syntax. Azure Repos Git repositories in a different organization, and other supported repository types require a service connection and must be declared as a repository resource.
steps: - checkout: git://MyProject/MyRepo # Azure Repos Git repository in the same organization
In the previous example, the
self repository is not checked out. If you specify any
checkout steps, you must include
checkout: self in order for
self to be checked out.
path is specified in the
checkout step, source code is placed in a default directory. This directory is different depending on whether you are checking out a single repository or multiple repositories.
Single repository: If you have a single
checkoutstep in your job, or you have no checkout step which is equivalent to
checkout: self, your source code is checked out into a directory called
slocated as a subfolder of
C:\agent\_work\1, your code is checked out to
Multiple repositories: If you have multiple
checkoutsteps in your job, your source code is checked out into directories named after the repositories as a subfolder of
C:\agent\_work\1and your repositories are named
code, your code is checked out to
pathis specified in the
checkoutstep, the name of the repository is used for the folder, not the
repositoryvalue which is used to reference the repository in the
path is specified for a
checkout step, that path is used, relative to
If you are using default paths, adding a second repository
checkout step changes the default path of the code for the first repository. For example, the code for a repository named
tools would be checked out to
tools is the only repository, but if a second repository is added,
tools would then be checked out to
C:\agent\_work\1\s\tools. If you have any steps that depend on the source code being in the original location, those steps must be updated.
Checking out a specific ref
The default branch is checked out unless you designate a specific ref.
If you are using inline syntax, designate the ref by appending
@<ref>. For example:
- checkout: git://MyProject/MyRepo@features/tools # checks out the features/tools branch - checkout: git://MyProject/MyRepo@refs/heads/features/tools # also checks out the features/tools branch - checkout: git://MyProject/MyRepo@refs/tags/MyTag # checks out the commit referenced by MyTag.
When using a repository resource, specify the ref using the
ref property. The following example checks out the
features/tools/ branch of the designated repository.
resources: repositories: - repository: MyGitHubRepo type: github endpoint: MyGitHubServiceConnection name: MyGitHubOrgOrUser/MyGitHubRepo ref: features/tools steps: - checkout: MyGitHubRepo
You can trigger a pipeline when an update is pushed to the
self repository or to any of the repositories declared as resources. This is useful, for instance, in the following scenarios:
- You consume a tool or a library from a different repository. You want to run tests for your application whenever the tool or library is updated.
- You keep your YAML file in a separate repository from the application code. You want to trigger the pipeline every time an update is pushed to the application repository.
Repository resource triggers only work for Azure Repos Git repositories in the same organization at present. They do not work for GitHub or Bitbucket repository resources.
If you do not specify a
trigger section in a repository resource, then the pipeline won't be triggered by changes to that repository. If you specify a
trigger section, then the behavior for triggering is similar to how CI triggers work for the self repository.
If you specify a
trigger section for multiple repository resources, then a change to any of them will start a new run.
The trigger for
self repository can be defined in a
trigger section at the root of the YAML file, or in a repository resource for
self. For example, the following two are equivalent.
trigger: - main steps: ...
resources: repositories: - repository: self type: git name: MyProject/MyGitRepo trigger: - main steps: ...
It is an error to define the trigger for
self repository twice. Do not define it both at the root of the YAML file and in the
When a pipeline is triggered, Azure Pipelines has to determine the version of the YAML file that should be used and a version for each repository that should be checked out. If a change to the
self repository triggers a pipeline, then the commit that triggered the pipeline is used to determine the version of the YAML file. If a change to any other repository resource triggers the pipeline, then the latest version of YAML from the default branch of
self repository is used.
When an update to one of the repositories triggers a pipeline, then the following variables are set based on triggering repository:
For the triggering repository, the commit that triggered the pipeline determines the version of the code that is checked out. For other repositories, the
ref defined in the YAML for that repository resource determines the default version that is checked out.
Consider the following example, where the
self repository contains the YAML file and repositories
B contain additional source code.
trigger: - main - feature resources: repositories: - repository: A type: git name: MyProject/A ref: main trigger: - main - repository: B type: git name: MyProject/B ref: release trigger: - main - release
The following table shows which versions are checked out for each repository by a pipeline using the above YAML file, unless you explicitly override the behavior during
|Change made to||Pipeline triggered||Version of YAML||Version of
You can also trigger the pipeline when you create or update a pull request in any of the repositories. To do this, declare the repository resources in the YAML files as in the examples above, and configure a branch policy in the repository (Azure Repos only).
When you check out multiple repositories, some details about the
self repository are available as variables.
When you use multi-repo triggers, some of those variables have information about the triggering repository instead.
Details about all of the repositories consumed by the job are available as a template context object called
For example, to get the ref of a non-
self repository, you could write a pipeline like this:
resources: repositories: - repository: other type: git name: MyProject/OtherTools variables: tools.ref: $[ resources.repositories['other'].ref ] steps: - checkout: self - checkout: other - bash: | echo "Tools version: $TOOLS_REF"
- Why can't I check out a repository from another project? It used to work.
- Why am I am prompted to authorize resources the first time I try to check out a different repository?
Why can't I check out a repository from another project? It used to work.
Azure Pipelines provides a Limit job authorization scope to current project setting, that when enabled, doesn't permit the pipeline to access resources outside of the project that contains the pipeline. This setting can be set at either the organization or project level. If this setting is enabled, you won't be able to check out a repository in another project unless you explicitly grant access. For more information, see Job authorization scope.
Why am I am prompted to authorize resources the first time I try to check out a different repository?
When you check out Azure Repos Git repositories other than the one containing the pipeline, you may be prompted to authorize access to that resource before the pipeline runs for the first time. These prompts are displayed on the pipeline run summary page.
Choose View or Authorize resources, and follow the prompts to authorize the resources.
For more information, see Troubleshooting authorization for a YAML pipeline.