Setting up Azure Devops Server 2019

Microsoft rebranded the VSO with Azure DevOps and added a lot more capabilities to it couple of months back to make it a complete DevOps solution for Modern Applications. During a community session on Azure DevOps, one of the attendees asked me that it’s a good solution but our company is still not comfortable of hosting their code on Microsoft’s server. Do we have a way to run the Azure DevOps in my company server like TFS? The answer at that time was a No but on 20th November, Microsoft announced the first RC of Azure DevOps Server 2019. It’s basically the same codebase that they have packaged to host it in on-prem servers.  Azure DevOps Server is supported in the following OS.

Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter )
Windows Server 2012 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter )

If you want to have 5 or fewer users, they have released the Azure DevOps Server 2019 Express edition which doesn’t need the dedicated server to host the DevOps

Let us see how to set up a Azure DevOps Server. Download the binaries from here and run the setup  and follow the steps below :

  • Choose the installation directory where you want to install the server.

  • Click on Install button and let the setup download the dependencies and binaries and install them in your server.


  • Once the installation is completed, you will be prompt to configure the server.



  • Start and wizard and choose whether you’re setting azure DevOps server for the first time or if you have some data already in the server then you can setup using the existing database as well so you will not lose any of your data from previous setups.

  • In the next step, you will be prompt to choose between the basic setup where the default configurations will be used or choose the Advanced setup where the user will have the power to setup the configuration which will suit your infrastructure or firewalls and also setup the SQL Server Reporting Service for the DevOps server. For this demo, we went ahead and worked with the basic setup.

  • Please choose the language in the next step from the drop down and click the Next button. You will move to the Setting up the SQL Server instance. Here also you have the option to set up the new SQL Server Express or use an existing one. I went ahead with Installing a Fresh instance of SQL Server Express.

  • Setup the Application Tier or the UI of the application. It will be running on the port 8080 and can be visited by the DNSName: 8080/tfs from other machines.

  • Setup the Search (not mandatory) by setting up a search store and adding a User for the search. You also need to setup a service account for the search. It also requires the dependencies like Java Runtime to setup the search. I have skipped this part and went ahead.

  • Review the configurations before the setup configures it in your server.

  • The system will check for the configuration and dependencies and will tell you to fix the issue before configuring the server. If everything is correct, just click on the Configure button and the system will configure everything your settings.


  • Click on Next and Finish once the configuration is completed. It took around 17-18 Minutes for me to configure the server and the website will be automatically opened once the whole setup is completed.



  • Create your first project from the UI and you’re good to go with Azure DevOps on your Server.


You can go through my article on Azure DevOps to understand how to setup your CI/CD pipeline for the Open Source Projects. All the steps are the same in the onprem version as well.


Setting up the Azure DevOps Server 2019 on your system is quite simple and straightforward. You can download the express edition if your users are less than 5 and set it up on your laptop/desktop as well. However, for more production level scenarios with more no of users, you need a dedicated Server for hosting DevOps Server. Once the setup is completed you can reach out to the localhost:8080 or DNS: 8080 to access the Azure DevOps UI and start working on it immediately.



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