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Set up TFS on a server

You can use a basic installation of TFS to share your code and improve collaboration with customers and team members. If you don’t already have TFS, you can set it up on your own server by following the steps in this topic: Install TFS, Install the build service, and Install Team Explorer.

If you don't want to manage your own server, you can use Visual Studio Online instead. If you'd rather install TFS in a different configuration, you can learn how in Team Foundation Server install guide.

Install TFS

  1. Download TFS. You can install TFS on a client or on a server operating system. For clients, use Windows 7 or Windows 8, 32-bit or 64-bit. For servers, you have to use 64-bit. Go here for the complete list of system requirements for TFS.

    If you install on a server operating system, you can add a SharePoint portal and SQL Server reporting later, even if you skip those features during initial installation.

  2. Use the Basic configuration wizard for a quick and simple installation.

    Use TFS basic

  3. After finishing, close the basic configuration wizard.

    TFS success!

    Once you've installed TFS, you might need to add antivirus exceptions. Read this KB article for more information.

Install the build service

  1. After finishing the basic configuration wizard, you can install the build service on the same server. The build service automates builds of your software projects. Launch the build service configuration wizard.

    Select TFS build install wizard

  2. Close the wizard after it finishes. Now your build server is ready to go.

    Build install wizard success

Install Team Explorer

Team Explorer installs with each version of Visual Studio, or you can download it for free. Although Team Explorer isn't necessary for most administration tasks, it is required to create team projects, which your software teams will require, and to support work item tracking customization. Installing it on the server is a convenient way to ensure that you can create team projects whenever necessary without having to go to another computer.

  • If you downloaded the DVD5 ISO image, browse the directory where you downloaded the image files, open the Team Explorer folder, and run the vs_TeamExplorer application.

  • If you ran the tfs_server application to install TFS, then you’ll need to download Team Explorer from the Visual Studio downloads page.

You are ready to connect to TFS and start creating your first team projects!

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Q & A

Q: Can I install TFS in a different configuration?

A: Yes. You can install TFS in a variety of configurations, including ones that include SharePoint and reporting resources, ones that use network load balancing to manage workload between multiple application tiers, configure a proxy for remote offices, and a number of other options. You can learn more about installation options in the Team Foundation Server install guide.

Q: How do I manage users in TFS?

A: Managing users individually is not recommended for any but the smallest deployments. You can use the built-in groups in TFS to manage your users, and you can also create groups to help manage users in your deployment. Read Manage users or groups in TFS to learn more.

Q: How does TFS manage its services?

A: Service accounts play a crucial role in TFS operations as described in Service accounts and dependencies in Team Foundation Server.

Q: Where can I learn more about the underlying architecture in TFS?

A: See Team Foundation Server architecture.