Specify mandatory artifacts for DevTest Labs VMs

This article describes how to specify mandatory artifacts in Azure DevTest Labs to install on every lab virtual machine (VM). Artifacts are tools and applications to add to VMs. Installing mandatory artifacts ensures all lab VMs have standardized, up-to-date artifacts. Lab users don't have to spend time and effort to add needed artifacts individually.

Mandatory artifacts can include any software that every VM in your lab must have. If you create a custom image from a VM that has mandatory artifacts applied to it, and create new VMs from that image, those VMs also have the mandatory artifacts. Even if the custom image is old, VM creation applies the most updated versions of the mandatory artifacts.

Only artifacts that have no parameters can be mandatory artifacts. Lab users don't have to enter extra parameter values, making the VM creation process simple.

During VM creation, mandatory artifacts install before any artifacts the user chooses to install on the machine.

Specify mandatory artifacts

You can select mandatory artifacts for Windows and Linux lab machines separately.

  1. On your lab's home page, under Settings in the left navigation, select Configuration and policies.

  2. On the Configuration and policies screen, under External resources in the left navigation, select Mandatory artifacts.

  3. For Windows VMs, select Windows, and then select Edit Windows artifacts. For Linux VMs, select Linux, and then select Edit Linux artifacts.

    Screenshot that shows the Edit Windows artifacts button.

  4. On the Mandatory artifacts page, select the arrow next to each artifact you want to add to the VM.

  5. On each Add artifact pane, select OK. The artifact appears under Selected artifacts, and the number of configured artifacts updates.

    Screenshot that shows adding mandatory artifacts on the Mandatory artifacts screen.

  6. By default, artifacts install in the order you add them. To rearrange the order, select the ellipsis ... next to the artifact in the Selected artifacts list, and select Move up, Move down, Move to top, or Move to bottom. To delete the artifact from the list, select Delete.

  7. When you're done adding and arranging artifacts, select Save.

Delete or rearrange mandatory artifacts

After you add mandatory artifacts, the lists of selected artifacts appear on the Configuration and policies | Mandatory artifacts screen under Windows and Linux. You can rearrange or delete the specified mandatory artifacts.

To delete a mandatory artifact from the list, select the checkbox next to the artifact, and then select Delete.

Screenshot that shows the Delete button to remove a mandatory artifact.

To rearrange the order of the mandatory artifacts:

  1. Select Edit Windows artifacts or Edit Linux artifacts.
  2. On the Mandatory artifacts page, select the ellipsis ... next to the artifact in the Selected artifacts list.
  3. Select Move up, Move down, Move to top, or Move to bottom.
  4. Select Save.

See mandatory artifacts for a VM

Once you specify mandatory artifacts for a lab, all lab VMs for that operating system (Windows or Linux) have those artifacts installed at creation. Lab users can see the mandatory artifacts to be installed on their VMs.

For example, to see the mandatory artifacts specified for lab Windows VMs in the earlier procedure:

  1. On your lab's home page, select Add.

  2. On the Choose a base page, select a Windows image, such as Windows 11 Pro.

  3. On the Create lab resource page, under Artifacts, note the number of mandatory artifacts. To see what the mandatory artifacts are, select Add or Remove Artifacts.

    Screenshot that shows the Create lab resource screen with number of mandatory artifacts and Add or Remove Artifacts link.

  4. On the Add artifacts screen, an informational message lists the mandatory artifacts to be installed, in order.

    Screenshot that shows the Add artifacts screen with the list of mandatory artifacts to install.

You can't remove, rearrange, or change mandatory artifacts when you create an individual VM. However, you can add other available artifacts to the VM. For more information and instructions, see Add artifacts to DevTest Labs VMs.

You can also create your own artifacts for VMs. For more information, see Create custom artifacts for DevTest Labs VMs.

Next steps