Table of contents

Requirements and compatibility

Last Updated: 7/7/2016

Team Services | TFS

Operating systems

TFS can be installed on a Windows server or client operating system. TFS 15 only supports 64-bit operating systems. For earlier versions of TFS, you can use either the 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems when a 32-bit version is available. We recommend using a server OS unless your TFS instance is for evaluation or personal use.

Server operating systems

TFS VersionSupported server operating systems
TFS 15Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2012 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (minimum SP1) (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)
TFS 2015Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2012 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (minimum SP1) (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)
TFS 2013Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2012 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (minimum SP1) (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)
TFS 2012Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2012 (Essentials, Standard, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 (minimum SP2)
Windows Small Business Server 2011 (Standard, Essentials, Premium Add-On)
Windows Home Server 2011
TFS 2010Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)
Windows Server 2008 (minimum SP2)
Windows Server 2003 R2
Windows Server 2003 (minimum SP2)

Don't use the server core installation option when you set up Windows Server for TFS. It's not supported.

Client operating systems

TFS VersionSupported client operating systems
TFS 15Windows 10 (Home, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 8.1 (Basic, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 7 (minimum SP1) (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate)
TFS 2015Windows 10 (Home, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 8.1 (Basic, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 7 (minimum SP1) (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate)
TFS 2013Windows 8.1 (Basic, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 7 (minimum SP1) (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate)
TFS 2012Windows 8.1 (Basic, Professional, Enterprise)
Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate)
TFS 2010Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate)
Windows Vista SP2

While TFS supports installation on client OSes, we don't recommend this except for evaluation purposes or personal use. TFS installations on client OSes don't support integration with SharePoint products or reporting. The TFS proxy can't be installed on client OSes. If you need to use any of these features, install TFS on a server OS.

Virtualization

Microsoft supports the virtualization of Team Foundation Server in supported virtualization environments. For more information, see the following pages on the Microsoft website:

SQL Server

Use one of the following versions of SQL Server for TFS:

TFS versionSupport SQL Server version
TFS 15SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2014 (minimum SP2)
TFS 2015 Update 3SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2014
SQL Server 2012 (minimum SP1)
TFS 2015SQL Server 2014
SQL Server 2012 (minimum SP1)
TFS 2013 Update 2SQL Server 2014
SQL Server 2012 (minimum SP1)
TFS 2013SQL Server 2012 (minimum SP1)
TFS 2012SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2008 R2
TFS 2010SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008

SQL Server 2014 has increased hardware requirements compared with previous versions. Certain configurations might hurt TFS performance. For more information, read TFS 2013 Update 2: performance considerations using SQL Server 2014.

If you're using SQL Server 2012 with SP1, we recommend you also apply cumulative update 2 on top of SP1 to address a critical SQL Server bug around resource consumption. This isn't a requirement because the bug only affects a small number of instances, but we wanted you to be aware of it. If you don't apply CU2, you should apply a SQL Server hotfix (KB2793634) to addresses another (different) issue where SQL Server 2012 with SP1 might request an excessive amount of restarts.

SQL Server editions

TFS supports Express, Standard, and Enterprise editions of SQL server. The Express edition is only recommended for evaluation purposes, personal use, or for very small teams. We recommend Standard or Enterprise for all other scenarios.

SharePoint

TFS VersionSupported SharePoint versions
TFS 15SharePoint 2013 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
TFS 2015SharePoint 2013 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
TFS 2013SharePoint 2013 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
TFS 2012SharePoint 2013 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise)
Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Standard, Enterprise)
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
TFS 2010Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Standard, Enterprise)
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

To use SharePoint with TFS, your SharePoint server has to have the TFS extension for SharePoint Projects configured. You can configure the TFS extension for SharePoint Products on your SharePoint server from the TFS administration console where you installed TFS.

Major releases and service packs

We don’t always immediately support major new versions of our dependencies (like SQL Server) because we sometimes have to do updates to add support for those versions. However, once we support a major version, we always support the latest service pack – immediately when it releases. We work with those teams to test it before the service packs release.

Hardware recommendations

Team Foundation Server can scale from an Express installation on a laptop used by a single person all the way up to a highly available deployment used by thousands of people and comprising multiple application tiers behind a load balancer, multiple SQL instances using SQL Always On, etc. The following recommendations should apply to most TFS deployments, but your requirements may vary depending on the usage of your team. For example, if you have particularly large Git repositories or Team Foundation Version Control branches, you may need higher spec machines that what are listed below. Note that all of the machines discussed below could be either physical or virtual.

Single Server deployment

A single machine, with one dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a fast hard disk drive. This configuration should support up to 250 users of core source control (TF VC or Git) and work item tracking functionality. Extensive use of automated build, test, or release would likely cause performance issues. Use of reporting features would not be recommended with this configuration.

Increasing RAM to 8 GB should enable a single server deployment to scale up to 500 users.

For evaluation or personal use, you can use a a basic configuration with as little as 1 GB of RAM, but clearly this would not be recommended for a production server used by more than one person.

Multi Server deployments

Scaling beyond 500 users; enabling extensive use of automated build, test, or release; enabling use of reporting features; or enabling SharePoint integration typically require expanding to a multiple server deployment.

For a team of more than 500 users, consider:

  • An application tier with one dual-core processor, 8 GB of memory, and a fast hard disk drive.
  • A data tier with one quad-core processor, 8 GB of memory, and high performance storage such as an SSD.

For a team of more than 2,000 users, consider:

  • An application tier with one quad-core processor, 16 GB or more of memory, and a fast hard disk drive.
  • A data tier with two or more quad-core processors, 16 GB or more of memory, and very high performance storage (SSD, high performance SAN, etc.).

If you plan to extensively use build, test, or release automation, we recommend using higher spec application and data tiers to avoid performance issues. For example, a team of 250 might use a multiple server deployment that is more in line with the recommendations for a team of 500-2,000 users. We also recommend that you keep an eye on your automated processes to ensure that they are efficient – for example, retrieve data from source control incrementally during builds whenever possible, rather than fully refreshing on each build. NOTE: except for very small teams with extremely limited usage of these features we do not recommend installing build, test, or release agents on your TFS application tiers.

If you plan to use reporting features, we recommend setting up a separate server for your warehouse database and Analysis Services cube or using a higher spec data tier.

If you plan to use SharePoint integration, we recommend setting up a separate server for your SharePoint instance or using a higher spec application tier.

If you want to guarantee high availability, you should consider multiple application tiers behind a load balancer and multiple SQL instances with your TFS DBs in an Always On availability group.

Build service hardware requirements

The XAML build service has the same operating system requirements as TFS. It normally makes sense to run the build service on a machine separate from the TFS application tier. Hardware requirements for the build service are the same as the operating system on which it is running. However, you can optimize build service performance by tailoring the hardware specs of your build machine to the types of builds your team will use.

SharePoint hardware requirements

If you install SharePoint Products, you will need more robust hardware than what is listed in the previous table. For example, SharePoint Foundation 2013 requires a 64-bit 4 core CPU and a base minimum of 8 GB of system memory. If you install SharePoint 2013 on a server that is also running SQL Server, SharePoint recommends that you have 24 GB of system memory.

Go here for complete SharePoint hardware requirements:

Client compatibility

Visual Studio

We define three levels of client support for different versions of Visual Studio and Team Explorer. Only the latest version has "full" compatibility with the latest Team Foundation Server, because this will be the only client that contains components that can interface with new features for that release, and will also be the only client from which you can perform certain administrative tasks such as creating new team projects. Previous versions will have varying levels of support below that, depending on how old they are.

Next, we describe the level of support that we guarantee with each client version. Keep in mind that additional functionality other than what is listed below might continue to work using older clients. In fact, it often does, but is outside the scope of what we test and support officially.

Visual Studio/ Team Explorer versionTFS 15 support notesTFS 2015 support notesTFS 2013 support notesTFS 2012 support notesTFS 2010 support notes
Visual Studio 15Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)
Visual Studio 2015Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)
Visual Studio/Team Explorer 2013Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)Supported (RTM or latest update)
Visual Studio/Team Explorer 2012Requires latest Visual Studio 2012 update. Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.Requires latest Visual Studio 2012 update. Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.Requires latest Visual Studio 2012 update. Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.Supported (RTM or latest update). Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.Supported (RTM or latest update). Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.
Visual Studio/Team Explorer 2010Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.
Visual Studio/Team Explorer 2008Version Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI providerRequires SP1 and Compat GDR.Version control officially supported with MSSCCI provider. Version control unofficially supported with SP1 and Compat GDR.
Visual Studio 2005Version Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI providerVersion Control available using MSSCCI provider

Any TFS-facing functionality exposed in the UI of Visual Studio and Team Explorer should work. We guarantee full feature support between client and server of the same version.

Note: If you are using the latest version of Visual Studio, but will continue to use the most recent previous version of Team Foundation Server (either temporarily or permanently), you can expect a high level of compatibility here as well. All non-administrative scenarios will be supported.

High level of support

If you are running the most recent previous version of Visual Studio or Team Explorer (for example: Visual Studio 2013, if you are on TFS 2015), then you can expect most features to be supported from Visual Studio. You might need to install the latest update, but after doing so, mainline scenarios for all non-admin personas will be supported. This includes features needed for developers and testers to continue their daily work, such as queuing builds, running queries, viewing documents, and getting, editing, and checking in files. Program Managers should also be able to continue using most features relevant to them, but might need to rely on web access for some scenarios, such as managing areas and iterations, and writing new queries.

Older process templates that were in use with the previous version of Team Foundation Server should continue to be compatible with the new server.

General support

If a client is two versions older than your server, you can expect general support (after installing a compatibility GDR). This will look similar to the high level of support you see when Visual Studio is one release older than TFS; however, the experience for some non-mainline scenarios may be degraded but not entirely blocked. Non-admins should still be able to continue unimpeded in their daily work, and older process templates should remain compatible with the new server.

MSSCCI support

Visual Studio/Team Explorer 2008 and Visual Studio 2005 are no longer officially supported. To connect to the server, these clients must interface through the MSSCCI provider instead. MSSCCI support only includes support for source control integration and MSSCCI commands. The goal is simply to allow developers to continue working with legacy applications in an upgraded server.

Team Explorer Everywhere

A new version of Team Explorer Everywhere is released with each version of TFS. You should try to use the version of Team Explorer Everywhere that corresponds to the version of your Team Foundation Server; however, recent versions of Team Explorer Everywhere have had forward and backward compatibility with all versions of TFS. If you need support for an older version of Eclipse, Java, or an Operating System, you may choose to use an older version of Team Explorer Everywhere that encompasses the range you need. Multiple versions of Team Explorer Everywhere can also be installed side-by-side if you are running multiple versions of Eclipse.

The following table includes all versions of Team Explorer Everywhere that are compatible with TFS 2013, and lists other TFS and Eclipse compatibility.

Team Explorer EverywhereEclipse versionTFS 2015TFS 2013TFS 2012TFS 2010TFS 2008TFS 2005
Team Explorer Everywhere 2015Eclipse 3.5-4.3CheckCheckCheckCheckxx
Team Explorer Everywhere 2013Eclipse 3.5-4.3CheckCheckCheckCheckxx
Team Explorer Everywhere 2012Eclipse 3.4-4.3CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1Eclipse 3.2-3.6CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
Team Explorer Everywhere 2010Eclipse 3.0-3.5CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck

Browsers

You can use these browsers with Visual Studio Team Services and to access TFS with the web client.

VersionEdgeInternet ExplorerSafari (Mac)FirefoxChrome
Team Servicesmost recent9 and later9.1 and latermost recentmost recent
TFS 15most recent11 and later9.1 and latermost recentmost recent
TFS 2015most recent9 and later5 and latermost recentmost recent
TFS 20139 and later5 and latermost recentmost recent

Edge, Firefox, and Chrome automatically update themselves, so Team Services and TFS support the most recent version.

Office

TFS VersionSupported Office versions
TFS 15Office 2016
Office 2013
Office 2010
TFS 2015Office 2013
Office 2010
Office 2007
TFS 2013Office 2013
Office 2010
Office 2007
TFS 2012Office 2010
Office 2007
TFS 2010Office 2010
Office 2007
  • If you are using SharePoint with TFS, you will need to add SP2 to Office 2007 and SP1 to Office 2010 for integration between Office and SharePoint.
  • SharePoint 2010 does not support Office 2013.

TFS Build Compatibility

We've built a brand new scriptable build system that's web based and cross-platform.

You may want to use an older version of Build if you plan to continue using the Xaml build system, if you are using Build servers against multiple versions of TFS, or if you need to leverage servers with older operating systems in your TFS deployment. TFS 2010 Xaml Controllers support operating systems as far back as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

TFS VersionSupported Build versions
TFS 15TFS 15 Build Agent
TFS 2015 Build Agent
TFS 2015 Xaml Controller
TFS 2013 Xaml Controller
TFS 2010 Xaml Controller
TFS 2015TFS 2015 Build Agent
TFS 2015 Xaml Controller
TFS 2013 Xaml Controller
TFS 2010 Xaml Controller
TFS 2013TFS 2013 Xaml Controller
TFS 2012 Xaml Controller
TFS 2010 Xaml Controller
TFS 2012TFS 2012 Xaml Controller
TFS 2010 Xaml Controller
TFS 2010TFS 2010 Xaml Controller

More information about TFS requirements for companion products:

SQL Server, SharePoint Products, and Project Server

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