Install and configure TFS

TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

You have several choices in how to deploy TFS, from putting everything on a single server all the way to using multiple application tiers, multiple SQL instances, and a SharePoint farm. See our hardware recommendations for more detailed help in determining the right type of deployment for your team.

  • Single server
    A single server deployment is the easiest way to deploy TFS, with the application tier and data tier on the same machine.

  • Dual server
    A dual server deployment, with separate application and data tiers, can provide better performance for larger teams or teams with heavier usage.

  • Multiple server configuration
    Multiple server deployments, which can involve multiple application and/or data tiers, can provide better performance for larger teams or teams with heavier usage. Using multiple servers can also improve high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.

For evaluation or personal use

If you're setting up TFS for personal use or to evaluate the core features (version control, build and work item tracking), use TFS Express. It's free, it's simple to set up, and it can be installed on both client and server operating systems. In TFS 2015 Update 2 and later, it supports all of the same features as TFS. TFS Express licensing limits it to five active users, however.

You might also want to consider using a free Azure DevOps Services account for personal use. Because it's in the cloud, you won't have to install SQL Server and TFS on your own hardware, and you won't need to do things like manage your own backups.

The installation process

No matter how you plan to deploy TFS, the process always involves three steps - preparation, installation, and configuration.

Preparation is the process of getting one or more servers prepared for TFS by reviewing and following the system requirements. If in doubt, don't worry - the configuration process runs a series of readiness checks to ensure your system meets the TFS requirements.

Installation is the process of getting TFS bits on your server, and involves running an installer obtained from, MSDN Subscriber Downloads, the Volume Licensing Service Center, or physical media purchased through retail channels.

When installation completes, it will launch the Team Foundation Server Configuration Center. Configuration is the process of going through the appropriate wizard to actually get TFS up and running. In TFS 2017, a unified wizard is used for all TFS configurations - new installations, upgrades, and application-tier only scenarios. Prior to TFS 2017, you would pick the appropriate wizard for your scenario. Other wizards are available to configure proxies, SharePoint extensions, and so forth.


If you need to close the configuration center for any reason, you can always get back to it by launching the installed Team Foundation Server Administration Console and clicking the Configure Installed Features link from the Application Tier node.


When you run a configuration wizard, it will run a series of readiness checks to ensure that your system meets the TFS requirements and that your setting selections look like they are going to work. If there are issues, you will be presented with one or more warnings or errors. When all the errors have been resolved, you can run your configuration to set up your TFS deployment.