If your build and release definitions are in VSTS, then you've got a convenient option to build and deploy using a hosted agent. When you use a hosted agent, we take care of the maintenance and upgrades. So for many teams this is the simplest way to build and deploy. You can try it first and see if it works for your build or deployment. If not, you can set up a private agent.
You can try a hosted agent for no charge. If your build or release doesn't succeed, the issues will be reported in the logs.
Use a hosted agent
We provide hosted agents to you in our hosted pools. To use a hosted agent, while editing your build definition, on the Options or General tab or Process step, for the Agent queue, select either:
Hosted VS2017 if your team uses Visual Studio 2017.
Hosted Linux if your team uses development tools on Ubuntu.
Hosted macOS Preview if your team uses development tools on macOS.
This option affects where your data is stored. Learn more
For manual selection of tool versions on this hosted agent, see Q & A below.
Hosted if your team uses Visual Studio 2013 or Visual Studio 2015.
We update the software on the hosted agents once every month.
- Inventory of software currently installed on the Hosted VS2017 agent.
- Inventory of software currently installed on the Hosted Linux agent.
- Inventory of software currently installed on the Hosted macOS Preview agent.
- Inventory of software currently installed on the Hosted agent.
Capabilities and limitations
Run as a service.
Provide 10 GB of storage.
Hosted agents do not offer:
The ability to log on.
The ability to drop artifacts to a UNC file share.
The ability to run XAML builds.
Potential performance advantages that you might get by using private agents which might start and process builds faster. Learn more
If our hosted agents don't meet your needs, then you can deploy your own private agents.
Avoid hard coded references
When you use a hosted agent, you should always use variables to construct any references to resources used by your build. We recommend that you avoid making hard-coded presumptions about resources provided by the hosted agent (for example, the drive letter or folder that contains the repository).
Q & A
I can't select a hosted agent and I can't queue my build or deployment. How do I fix this?
By default, all project contributors in an account have access to the hosted agents. But, your account administrator may limit the access of hosted agents to select users or projects. Ask the owner of your VSTS account to grant you permission to use a hosted agent. See agent queue security.
I need more agents. What can I do?
A: All VSTS accounts are provided with a single agent and a limited number of free minutes each month. If you need more minutes, or need to run more than one build or release job concurrently, then you can buy concurrent pipelines.
I'm looking for the hosted XAML build controller. Where did it go?
How can I manually select versions of tools on the Hosted macOS Preview agent?
To manually select a Xamarin SDK version to use on the Hosted macOS Preview agent, before your Xamarin build step, execute this command line as part of your build, replacing the Mono version number 5.4.1 as needed (also replacing '.' characters with underscores: '_'). Choose the Mono version that is associated with the Xamarin SDK version that you need.
/bin/bash -c "sudo $AGENT_HOMEDIRECTORY/scripts/select-xamarin-sdk.sh 5_4_1"
Mono versions associated with Xamarin SDK versions on the Hosted macOS Preview agent can be found here.
Note that this command does not select the Mono version beyond the Xamarin SDK. To manually select a Mono version, see instructions below.
If you use the Xcode task included with VSTS and TFS, you can select a version of Xcode in that task's properties. Otherwise, to manually set the Xcode version to use on the Hosted macOS Preview agent, before your
xcodebuildbuild step, execute this command line as part of your build, replacing the Xcode version number 8.3.3 as needed:
/bin/bash -c "sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode_8.3.3.app/Contents/Developer"
Xcode versions on the Hosted macOS Preview agent can be found here.
To manually select a Mono version to use on the Hosted macOS Preview agent, before your Mono build step, execute this script as part of your build, replacing the Mono version number 5.4.1 as needed:
SYMLINK=5_4_1 MONOPREFIX=/Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/$SYMLINK echo "##vso[task.setvariable variable=DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH;]$MONOPREFIX/lib:/lib:/usr/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_FALLBACK_PATH" echo "##vso[task.setvariable variable=PKG_CONFIG_PATH;]$MONOPREFIX/lib/pkgconfig:$MONOPREFIX/share/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH" echo "##vso[task.setvariable variable=PATH;]$MONOPREFIX/bin:$PATH"
We recommend that you migrate your XAML builds to new builds.