But it works on my PC!

The random thoughts of Richard Fennell on technology and software development

More on running multiple TFS build controllers on a single VM

I have been having a on-going project to run multiple build controllers on a single VM. Today I needed to reconfigure a on of the controllers to point at a different TPC. You have to do this the correct way to avoid problems.

My error log was full of

Http communication failure:
Exception Message: Cannot listen on pipe name 'net.pipe://build/ServiceHost/1' because another pipe endpoint is already listening on that name. (type AddressAlreadyInUseException)

It all boiled down to the fact I ended up with two controllers trying to use the same URI, in my case


The number at the end of this URI is assigned when the controller is registered with a TPC. If, as I did, you just stop a controller and edit its properties to point at another TPC and restart it, it is possible to end up with two controllers on the same box trying to use the same ID.

The simple fix is to unregister the build controller and the register it with the new TPC as needed. This will cause the machine to be scanned and new, empty ID chosen for the URI. As as detailed in Jim Lamb’s original post.

As a side effect I also saw errors in the log saying custom activity assemblies could not be loaded due to permission errors. This all turned out to be that the custom activities are stored in

C:\Users\[tfs build account]\AppData\Local\Temp\BuildAgent\[agent ID] 

So if two agents have on the ID, even if one’s parent controller is failing to load fully, it will tend to lock the files for the other controller. Again this was fixed by registering the controller and agents in the correct manner

Solution to ‘Missing requirement: Shared profile’ error when installation TEE SP1 on Eclipse Indigo

[Updated 1 mar 2012 - This should only effect you if Eclipse is unzipped into your 'c:\program files' folder structure)

During my new laptop build I have had to reinstall Eclipse, so I took the chance to upgrade to the Indigo release. When I tried to install the TFS 2010 Team Explorer Everywhere SP1 plug-in I got the error

Cannot complete the install because one or more required items could not be found.
  Software currently installed: Shared profile (SharedProfile_epp.package.java
  Missing requirement: Shared profile (SharedProfile_epp.package.java requires 'org.maven.ide.eclipse []' but it could not be found

This stumped me for a while, but after a bit of searching on Eclipse forums I found this was a problem common to installing other plug-ins, not just TEE, so not a TEE dependency as the error suggests.

The issue was you have to be running Eclipse as an administrator to install the plug-in. Judging from the forums this has tripped a few people up with plug-ins on the Indigo release, seems this was not the case with the previous releases such as Helios.

Once you have installed the plug-in as administrator you can restart Eclipse in standard mode and connect to your TFS server as you would expect.

Workaround to connect to a TFS Lab Environment from outside a TMG firewall

Whist on the road I have had need to access our Lab Management system via our TMG firewall through which we expose our TFS 2010 for remote users (via SSL). When I load Microsoft Tests Manager (MTM) I can connect to the TFS server, as expected, and go into ‘Lab Center’ mode. I can see my project’s environment and can start, stop and deploy them without issue (all communication routed via our TFS server). However the MTM environment viewer fails to make a connection to the test VMs in the environments.


MTM environment viewer can connect to an environment in two ways:

  • Host connection – via the Hyper-V management protocols
  • Guest connection – via a RDP session to the VM’s operating system

From outside our firewall a host connection is not an option as the required ports are not open. So my only option was a guest connection. However, our TMG firewall is set to provide a  RD gateway, effectively a proxy for RDP sessions. You have to configure RDP to use this, and have to authenticate with this gateway prior to authenticating with the actual target remote machine.


The problem is MTM does not support the use of TMG RD Gateways.

However there is a solution. If I right click on the VM in MTM Environment Viewer you can launch a standard remote desktop session.


If you do this you will be prompted to authenticate correctly.Firstly with your domain account to authenticate with the TMG RD gateway, then for other credentials to the test VM.

So a reasonable workaround, if a VPN or TMG Direct Access is not on option for you.

TF30162: Task "BuildTask" from Group "Build" failed – when creating a team project

When trying to create a new Team Project on my test TFS 2010 basic installation I got the error

Time: 2011-07-05T11:43:36
Module: Engine
Event Description: TF30162: Task "BuildTask" from Group "Build" failed
Exception Type: Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.PcwException
Exception Message: Multiple identities found matching workspace name 'TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC)' and owner name 'BLACKMARBLE\fez'. Please specify one of the following workspace specs:
TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC);BLACKMARBLE\fez
TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC);BLACKMARBLE\fez
Stack Trace:
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Build.ProjectComponentCreator.ExecuteInternal(ProjectCreationContext context, XmlNode taskXml, Boolean validationOnly)
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Build.ProjectComponentCreator.Execute(ProjectCreationContext context, XmlNode taskXml)
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.ProjectCreationEngine.TaskExecutor.PerformTask(IProjectComponentCreator componentCreator, ProjectCreationContext context, XmlNode taskXml)
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.ProjectCreationEngine.RunTask(Object taskObj)
--   Inner Exception   --
Exception Message: Multiple identities found matching workspace name 'TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC)' and owner name 'BLACKMARBLE\fez'. Please specify one of the following workspace specs:
TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC);BLACKMARBLE\fez
TYPHOONfbb296e15246421e9fc8d25e9d128512typhoon (VC);BLACKMARBLE\fez (type MultipleWorkspacesFoundException)

Exception Stack Trace:    at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.InternalCache.GetWorkspace(Guid repositoryGuid, String name, String owner)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.InternalCache.Merge(XmlNode xmlOnDisk, InternalWorkspaceConflictInfo[]& removedConflictingWorkspaces)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.InternalCache.Save(XmlNode inputXml, XmlNode outputXml, InternalWorkspaceConflictInfo[]& removedConflictingWorkspaces)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.InternalCacheLoader.SaveConfigIfDirty(InternalCache internalCache, InternalWorkspaceConflictInfo[]& conflictingWorkspaces)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.Workstation.UpdateWorkspaceInfoCache(String key, VersionControlServer sourceControl, String ownerName)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.Workstation.EnsureUpdateWorkspaceInfoCache(VersionControlServer sourceControl, String ownerName, TimeSpan maxAge)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Controls.VersionControlHelper.CheckinFiles(VersionControlServer versionControl, Dictionary`2 localPathsToServerPaths, String checkinComment)
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Build.ProjectComponentCreator.CheckinFiles(ProjectCreationContext context, VersionControlServer versionControl, List`1 templates)
   at Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Build.ProjectComponentCreator.ExecuteInternal(ProjectCreationContext context, XmlNode taskXml, Boolean validationOnly)

This turns out to be another version of the local cache refresh issue I blogged about recently. The issue was I had deleted a couple of team projects on my TFS server via the TFS Administration Console, but my local VS2010 copy did not know as the cache had not been refreshed. Unloading VS2010, reloading it so the local cache was refreshed and then the create new project works fine

Speaking at Microsoft UK next week

I will be speaking at Microsoft UK’s ‘Application Lifecycle Management for Independent Software Vendors’ event next Monday. I am one of four speakers, between us well all address a variety of subjects within ALM

  • Modern Software Delivery: The continuous delivery of high quality software - Colin Bird
  • Driving Quality Throughout the Application Lifecycle - Richard Erwin
  • Extending Testing into the Lab - Richard Fennell
  • The Secrets of Repeatable Success - Adam Gilmore

I believe there are still spaces available

More from the ALM Rangers - Lab Management Guide

The Build Customisation project was not the only ALM Rangers release over the weekend. The Lab Management Guide was also shipped. This provides scenario based and hands-on guidance for the planning, setup, configuration and usage of Visual Studio Lab Management, backed by custom VM Template automation for reference environments.

If you work with Lab Management, or would like, this is well worth a read





ALM Ranger’s Build Customization Guidance has shipped

I am really please to say that the first ALM Rangers project I have been involved with, the Build Customization Guidance, has shipped.

The project had the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on lab guidance for the customization and deployment of Team Foundation Build 2010 activities such as versioning, code signing, and branching. You can find details at the Rangers blog,the project table of content or the codeplex site

I have certainly learnt a good deal working on this projects, thanks to everyone who made it such a interesting experience. Hope anyone reading the materials find them as useful.