Hosted Pipelines Announcements: VS 2019, Mojave, and more

Joe Bourne

More capabilities are coming to the Hosted Agents experience for Azure Pipelines. Today, the Hosted Pipelines Infrastructure team is excited to announce the first of those capabilities is already available, a new hosted image based on Windows Server 2019 including the Preview for Visual Studio 2019!

We’re also excited to share some details about Hosted macOS pools being upgraded to OS X 10.14 (Mojave) as well as some other upcoming road map features we’re planning for the next few months. There are exciting times ahead for Hosted Agents in Azure Pipelines!


Windows Server 2019 and VS 2019

This image is based on Windows Server 2019 and comes with the Visual Studio 2019 Preview installed. It also carries over almost all the tools from our Windows Server 2016 VS2017 image. The Windows 2019 image readme includes the complete list of available tools and versions. Please note that Visual Studio 2019 is currently in Preview. When the final build of Visual Studio 2019 is released we will be replacing the Preview installation with the final release.

Using the new image is easy! If you’re using YAML, just specify the Windows 2019 image in the jobs you want to use it for. For example:

- job: Windows
    vmImage: 'windows-2019'
  - script: echo hello from Windows    

For customers using the designer, while editing your build pipeline, on the Options or General tab or Process step, for the Agent pool, select the pool named Hosted Windows 2019 with VS2019. We hope you enjoy the new image, please reach out with any questions or issues.

NOTE: There is a known issue with Wave 2 of the VS 2019 Preview affecting customers relying on .NET Core 3 installer. This issue is fixed in Wave 4 and we are already working on getting the hosted pools updated to this wave. In the meantime, Oren Novotny has provided a workaround for folks running into this problem. Thanks Oren!

To workaround this issue, use either a powershell task with inline script

iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))

Or in YAML:

- powershell: iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))
  displayName: VS Preview workaround


Hosted macOS is moving to Mojave (OS X 10.14)

In an effort to deliver the latest and greatest tool sets, we will be upgrading our Hosted macOS images from High Sierra to Mojave at the end of March 2019. The latest Xcode updates are only supported on macOS Mojave so this is an important move. This upgrade also means versions of Xcode prior to Xcode 9.4.1 will no longer be supported. If your builds run on an older version of Xcode, please take some time to update to Xcode 9.4.1 or later to continue taking advantage of the Hosted macOS images.

If you have specific questions regarding our Hosted macOS pools, please reach out to Nilofer on Twitter at @nilli_minaj


Future Plans for Hosted Agents

We want to have the best Hosted CI/CD experience and we’d like to be as transparent as possible with the areas of investment we’re evaluating. Some of the upcoming things we’re working through include:

  • Aligning image updates to our sprintly release cycle. This will give us a faster and more reliable update frequency.
  • Image version rollback to better support customers with pipeline failures due to image updates.
  • Adding Support for Ubuntu 18.04 and Server Core 1809 for Windows Container scenarios
  • We’re investigating slow OS drive speeds and looking for ways to improve the IO speed of this drive to make builds run faster.
  • Lots more which we will be sharing over the coming months.

We’d really like to hear from you regarding what capabilities you’d like to see us add to the Hosted Agents experience in Azure Pipelines. Please contact us by reaching out @AzureDevOps, to me @JoeB_in_NC, or by creating an an issue on our GitHub repository.

Thank you for using Azure Pipelines!


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