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Last pushed: 3 days ago
Short Description
Official images for the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) agent.
Full Description

Visual Studio Team Services agent

This repository contains images for the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) agent that runs tasks as part of a build or release.

Supported tags and Dockerfile links

VSTS agent images are tagged according to the base OS, an optional Team Foundation Server (TFS) version, and tools that are installed:

Ubuntu 16.04 is the currently supported OS with plans for CentOS 7.2 and Windows support.

When used with VSTS, the agent version is automatically determined and downloaded at container startup based on the account to which the agent is connecting. When used with TFS, an image that matches the installed TFS version should be chosen.

Derived images that are based on the standalone agent images provide a variety of capabilities that enable it to support specific VSTS build and release tasks.

The latest tag always points at a standard image based on the best supported OS that targets VSTS and includes capabilities enabling many of the built-in VSTS build and release tasks.

How to use these images

VSTS agents must be started with account connection information, which is provided through two environment variables:

  • VSTS_ACCOUNT: the name of the Visual Studio account
  • VSTS_TOKEN: a personal access token (PAT) for the Visual Studio account that has been given at least the Agent Pools (read, manage) scope.

To run the default VSTS agent image for a specific Visual Studio account:

docker run \
  -e VSTS_ACCOUNT=<name> \
  -e VSTS_TOKEN=<pat> \
  -it microsoft/vsts-agent

When using an image that targets a specific TFS version, the connection information is instead supplied through one of the following environment variables:

  • TFS_HOST: the hostname of the Team Foundation Server
  • TFS_URL: the full URL of the Team Foundation Server
  • VSTS_TOKEN: a personal access token (PAT) for the Team Foundation Server account that has been given at least the Agent Pools (read, manage) scope.

If TFS_HOST is provided, the TFS URL is set to http://$TFS_HOST:8080/tfs. If TFS_URL is provided, any TFS_HOST environment variable is ignored.

To run a VSTS agent image for TFS 2017 that identifies the server at http://mytfs:8080/tfs:

docker run \
  -e TFS_HOST=mytfs \
  -e VSTS_TOKEN=<pat> \
  -it microsoft/vsts-agent:ubuntu-16.04-tfs-2017

Whether targeting VSTS or TFS, agents can be further configured with additional environment variables:

  • VSTS_AGENT: the name of the agent (default: "$(hostname)")
  • VSTS_POOL: the name of the agent pool (default: "Default")
  • VSTS_WORK: the agent work folder (default: "_work")

The VSTS_AGENT and VSTS_WORK values are evaluated inside the container as an expression so they can use shell expansions. The VSTS_AGENT value is evaluated first, so the VSTS_WORK value may reference the expanded VSTS_AGENT value.

To run a VSTS agent on Ubuntu 16.04 for a specific account with a custom agent name, pool and a volume mapped agent work folder:

docker run \
  -e VSTS_ACCOUNT=<name> \
  -e VSTS_TOKEN=<pat> \
  -e VSTS_AGENT='$(hostname)-agent'
  -e VSTS_POOL=mypool \
  -e VSTS_WORK='/var/vsts/$VSTS_AGENT' \
  -v /var/vsts:/var/vsts \
  -it microsoft/vsts-agent:ubuntu-16.04

Derived Images

standard images

These derived images include a set of standard capabilities that enable many of the built-in VSTS build and release tasks. For instance, the Ubuntu-based standard images include:

  • Basic command-line utilities (curl, ftp, etc.)
  • Essential build tools (gcc, make, cmake, etc.)
  • Open JDK 8
  • Java tools (ant, gradle, maven)
  • Python and Python 3
  • Node.js (latest stable version)
  • .NET Core SDK

The standard images are updated periodically with newer versions of the above tools. If you want to lock down to specific versions, you can reference a specific build of a standard image.

For more details on the Ubuntu-based standard images, see this page.

docker images

These derived images include a version of the Docker CLI and a compatible version of the Docker Compose CLI. This image cannot run most of the built-in VSTS build or release tasks but it can run tasks that invoke arbitrary Docker workloads.

These images do not run "Docker in Docker", but rather re-use the host instance of Docker. To ensure this works correctly, volume map the host's Docker socket into the container:

docker run \
  -e VSTS_ACCOUNT=<name> \
  -e VSTS_TOKEN=<pat> \
  -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
  -it microsoft/vsts-agent:ubuntu-16.04-docker-1.11.2

docker-standard images

These derived images bring together a docker image and a standard image.

Docker Pull Command

Comments (4)
6 months ago

The container at runs fine in a Windows Container, but it can't run docker commands to build containers, etc. until Windows supports running docker in docker. See for a work around if you need to build windows containers

6 months ago

hi, anyone know if this agent can compile .NET core 1.1.0 ?

6 months ago

Seems there's already a branch for a Windows container based agent.

7 months ago

Windows container based build agent coming any time soon? Would be super fantastic.