TeamCity Cloud 2020.2 Help

Build Files Cleaner (Swabra)

Swabra is a bundled plugin allowing you to clean files created during the build.

The plugin remembers the state of the file tree after the sources checkout and deletes all the newly added files at the end of the build or at the next build start depending on the settings. Swabra also detects files modified or deleted during the build and reports them to the build log (however, such files are not restored by the plugin). The plugin can also ensure that by the start of the build there are no files modified or deleted by previous builds and initiate clean checkout if such files are detected.

Moreover, Swabra gives the ability to dump processes which lock directory by the end of the build (requires handle.exe)

Swabra can be added as a build feature to your build configuration regardless of what set of build steps you have. By configuring its options you can enable scanning the checkout directory for newly created, modified and deleted files and enable file locking processes detection.

The checkout directory state is saved into a file in the caches directory named <checkout-directory-name-hash>.snapshot using the DiskDir format. The path to the checkout directory to be cleaned is saved into the file. The snapshot is used later (at the end of the build or at the next build start) to determine which files and folders are newly created, modified or deleted. It is done based on the actual files' presence, last modification data and size comparison with the corresponding records in the snapshot.

Configuring Swabra Options



Files clean-up

Select whether you want to perform build files clean-up, and when it will be performed.

Clean checkout

Select the Force clean checkout if cannot restore clean directory state option to ensure that the checkout directory corresponds to the sources in the repository at the build start. If Swabra detects any modified or deleted files in the checkout directory before the build start, it will enforce clean checkout. The build will fail if Swabra cannot delete some files created during the previous build.

If this option is disabled, you will only get warnings about modified and deleted files.

Paths to monitor

Specify a newline-separated set of +-:path rules to define which files and folders are to be involved in the files collection process (by default and until explicitly excluded, the entire checkout directory is monitored). The path can be relative (based on the build's checkout directory) or absolute and can include Ant-like wildcards. If no +: or -: prefix is specified, a rule as treated as "include".

Rules on any path must come in the order from more general to more concrete.
The top level path must always point to a directory. Specifying a directory affects its entire content and subdirectories. Note also that Swabra is case-sensitive.


  • -:*/dir/* excludes all dir folders and their content

  • -:some/dir, +:some/dir/inner excludes some/dir folder and all its content except for the inner subfolder and its content

  • +:./*file.txt includes only the specified file in the build checkout directory into monitoring

  • -:file.txt excludes the specified file in the build checkout directory from monitoring

Locking processes

Select whether you want Swabra to inspect the checkout directory for processes locking files in this directory, and what to do with such processes. Note that handle.exe is required on agents for locking processes detection.

Verbose output

Check this option to enable detailed logging to build log.

Default excluded paths

If the build is set up to checkout on the agent, by default Swabra ignores all .svn, .git, .hg, CVS folders and their content. To turn off this behaviour, specify an empty swabra.default.rules configuration parameter.

Installing Handle

You can install handle.exe from the Administration | Tools page.
Click the Install Tool button and select Sysinternals handle.exe from the list of tools.
Specify whether you want to download the latest version of handle.exe or upload it manually choosing the path on local machine, and click Add. TeamCity will download or upload handle.exe and send it to Windows agents.

handle.exe is present on agents only after the upgrade.

Note that running handle.exe requires some additional permissions for the build agent user. For more details read this thread.

Debug options

Generally snapshot file is deleted after files collection. Set the swabra.preserve.snapshot system property to preserve snapshots for debugging purposes.

Clean Checkout

Note that Swabra may sometimes cause clean checkout to restore clean checkout directory state.
To avoid unnecessary frequent clean checkouts, always set up identical Swabra build features for build configurations working in the same checkout directory.
Build configurations work in the same checkout directory if either the same custom checkout directory path or same VCS settings configured for them.

See plugin page at Swabra.

Last modified: 16 February 2021