TeamCity On-Premises 2023.11 Help

Start TeamCity Agent

When the newly installed agent connects to the server for the first time, it appears on the Agents | Unauthorized agents page visible to administrators/users with the permissions to authorize it. Agents will not run builds until they are authorized in the TeamCity UI. The agent running on the same computer as the server is authorized by default.

The number of authorized agents is limited by the number of agent licenses on the server. See more under Licensing Policy.

TeamCity build agents can be started manually or configured to start automatically.

Manual Start

Run the following script:

  • on Windows: <installation path>\bin\agent.bat start

  • on Linux and macOS: <installation path>/bin/ start

Automatic Start

Automatic Agent Start Under Windows

To run an agent automatically on a Windows machine launch, you can either set up the agent to run as a Windows service or use another method. Using the Windows service approach is the easiest way, but Windows applies some constraints to the processes run this way.

A TeamCity agent works reliably under a Windows service provided all the requirements are met, but it is often not the case for the build processes configured to be run on the agent. This is why it is recommended running a TeamCity agent as a Windows service only if all your build scripts support this. Otherwise, it is advised to use alternative OS-specific methods to start a TeamCity agent automatically.
One of them is to configure an automatic user logon on Windows start and then configure the TeamCity agent start (via agent.bat start) on the user logon (for example, via Windows Task Scheduler).

Build Agent as Windows Service

On Windows, you may want to launch a TeamCity agent as a service to allow running it without any user logged in. If you use the Windows agent installer, you have an option to install the service in the installation wizard.

The following instructions can be used to install a Windows service manually (for example, after .zip agent installation). This procedure should also be performed to create Windows services for the second and following agents on the same machine.

Install the service:

  1. Check if the service with the required name and ID (see Step 4; the service name is TeamCity Build Agent by default) is not present. If installed, remove it.

  2. Check that the property in the <agent home>\launcher\conf\wrapper.conf file contains a valid path to the Java executable in the JDK installation directory. You can use for the agent installed from the Windows distribution file. Make sure to specify the path of the java.exe file without any quotes.

  3. If you want to run the agent under a user account (recommended) and not "System", add the wrapper.ntservice.account and wrapper.ntservice.password properties to the <agent home>\launcher\conf\wrapper.conf file with appropriate credentials.

  4. (for the second and following agents on the same machine) Modify the <agent>\launcher\conf\wrapper.conf file so that the wrapper.console.title,, wrapper.ntservice.displayname, and wrapper.ntservice.description properties have unique values within the OS.

  5. Run the <agent home>\bin\service.install.bat script under a user with sufficient privileges to register a new agent service. Make sure to start the agent for the first time only after it is configured as described.

Start the service:

  • Run <agent home>/bin/service.start.bat (or use the standard Windows Services applet).

Stop the service:

  • Run <agent home>/bin/service.stop.bat (or use the standard Windows Services applet).

You can also use the standard Windows net.exe utility to manage the service once it is installed. For example (assuming the default service name):

net start TCBuildAgent

The <agent home>\launcher\conf\wrapper.conf file can also be used to alter the agent JVM parameters.

Note that the user account used to run the build agent service must have enough rights to start/stop the agent service.

Automatic Agent Start Under Linux

To run an agent automatically on a Linux machine launch, configure a daemon process with the start command to start it and the stop command to stop it.

For systemd, see the example teamcityagent.service configuration file:

[Unit] Description=TeamCity Build Agent [Service] Type=oneshot User=teamcityagent Group=teamcityagent ExecStart=/home/teamcityagent/agent/bin/ start ExecStop=-/home/teamcityagent/agent/bin/ stop # Support agent upgrade as the main process starts a child and exits then RemainAfterExit=yes # Support agent upgrade as the main process gets SIGTERM during upgrade and that maps to exit code 143 SuccessExitStatus=0 143 [Install]

For init.d, refer to this example procedure:

  1. Navigate to the services` scripts directory:

    cd /etc/init.d/
  2. Open the build agent service script:

    sudo vim buildAgent
  3. Paste the following content into the file:

    #!/bin/sh ### BEGIN INIT INFO # Provides: TeamCity Build Agent # Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog # Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog # Default-Start: 2 3 4 5 # Default-Stop: 0 1 6 # Short-Description: Start build agent daemon at boot time # Description: Enable service provided by daemon. ### END INIT INFO #Provide the correct user name: USER="agentuser" case "$1" in start) su - $USER -c "cd BuildAgent/bin ; ./ start" ;; stop) su - $USER -c "cd BuildAgent/bin ; ./ stop" ;; *) echo "usage start/stop" exit 1 ;; esac exit 0
  4. Set the permissions to execute the file:

    sudo chmod 755 buildAgent
  5. Make links to start the agent service on the machine boot and on restarts using the appropriate tool:

    • For Debian/Ubuntu:

      sudo update-rc.d buildAgent defaults
    • For Red Hat/CentOS:

      sudo chkconfig buildAgent on

Automatic Agent Start Under macOS

For macOS, TeamCity provides the ability to load a build agent automatically when a build user logs in.

The recommended approach is to use launchd (LaunchAgent):

To configure an automatic build agent startup via launchd, follow these steps:

  1. Install a build agent on via

  2. Prepare the conf/ file (set at least the agent name).

  3. Make sure that all files under the buildAgent directory are owned by your_build_user to ensure a proper agent upgrade process.

  4. Load the build agent via the command:

    mkdir buildAgent/logs  # Directory should be created under your_build_user user sh buildAgent/bin/ load
  5. Run these commands under the your_build_user account. Wait up to several minutes for the build agent to autoupgrade from the TeamCity server. You can watch the process in the logs:

    tail -f buildAgent/logs/teamcity-agent.log
  6. When the build agent upgrades and successfully connects to the TeamCity server, stop the agent:

    sh buildAgent/bin/ unload
  7. After the build agent upgrades from the TeamCity server, copy the buildAgent/bin/jetbrains.teamcity.BuildAgent.plist file to the $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/ directory (you might have to create it). If you do not want TeamCity to start under the root permissions, specify the UserName key in the .plist file, for example:

    <key>UserName</key> <string>your_build_user</string>
  8. Configure your macOS system to automatically log in as your_build_user, as described here.

  9. Restart the machine. On the system startup, the build user should automatically log in, and the build agent should start.
    To quickly check that the build agent is running, use the following command:

    launchctl list | grep BuildAgent 69722 0 jetbrains.teamcity.BuildAgent

Stop Build Agent

To stop the agent manually, run the <Agent home>\agent script with the stop parameter.

Use stop to request stopping after the current build finished. Use stop force to request an immediate stop (if a build is running on the agent, it will be stopped abruptly (canceled)).
Under Linux, you can also use stop kill to kill the agent process.

If the agent runs with a console attached, you may also press Ctrl+C in the console to stop the agent (if a build is running, it will be canceled).

If a build agent has been started as a LaunchAgent service on macOS, it can be stopped using the launchctl utility:

launchctl unload $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/jetbrains.teamcity.BuildAgent.plist # or launchctl remove jetbrains.teamcity.BuildAgent
Last modified: 28 November 2023