Alexander Vanwynsberghe

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try"

Hosted TFS with TEE11 using Eclipse on Linux

A while ago, I made a blog post about how to access TFS2010 with Eclipse. Now the cool thing is that there is also a new version of Team Explorer  Everywhere 11 (TEE11) to be used with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 11 Developer Preview, so this also includes the hosted TFS version (, where I still have one invite left).

As I have an account on the hosted TFS preview, I definitely wanted to connect my brand new Ubuntu 11.10 distro with my brand new Eclipse 3.7 IDE. I will not explain each step of the installation process, as they are described in my previous post.

You can get the TEE11 download here, or using your TFS preview (Administration -> 3. Download software).  You will need the ‘‘ file.

Once the bits are downloaded, install the Eclipse plugin (Help -> Install New Software). After the plugin is installed, go to Window -> Show View -> Other -> Team Explorer and select the TFS specific windows you need.

The next thing you want to do off course is connect to your shiny hosted TFS. In the Team Explorer, click on plus-sign and on the server window, click on the add button. In this window, add the URL of you TFS server in the correct format. If you want to connect to your hosted TFS, enter ‘’. This will automatically disable the connection details window. Next step, click on OK.

If you’re using Ubuntu 11.10, you will get a nice error window.. Auch..?


I was not really sure what the problem was. Something about ‘XULRunner’, but I never heard about that before. So I posted an issue on the MSDN forum. Because I really wanted to know what was wrong and I started a quick wiki-search:

XULRunner is a runtime environment developed by the Mozilla Foundation to provide a common back-end for XUL-based applications. It replaced the Gecko Runtime Environment, a stalled project with a similar purpose. All XUL-based applications like Mozilla FirefoxMozilla ThunderbirdSongbird, …run on XULRunner.

So from what I understand is that XULRunner is a runtime environment where you can render things, like Firefox uses it to render webpages. The error I had was indeed when the plugin wants to open a windows to show the Windows Live login screen. Ok, but how to solve my problem, as Ubuntu 11.10 has XULRunner by default?

After some google work, I found out that TEE11 requires xulrunner-1.9.2, which is not installed anymore on Ubunutu 11.10. I will tell you how to install this, as it’s not just “apt-get install xulrunner-1.9.2, which will not work by default.

The first thing you have to do is adding a line to your /etc/apt/sources.list
Go to your terminal, and enter:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

After entering your password, it will open the gedit texteditor. Just add the following line to the end of the file:
deb lucid-security main  


This line will allow you to apt-get on the security repositories of Ubuntu. Now you can open your terminal, and simply type:
apt-get install xulrunner-1.9.2

This will install the package on your machine. If this doesn’t work, you can also download the package as .deb file and install it by double clicking on the package, and follow the steps of the Ubuntu software center.


Next thing is restart your Eclipse IDE, a try to add a new TFS server. Now you should see the Authentication window like you have in VS2010 SP1 (with KB2581206)


All right, mission accomplished! Now you can do whatever you want with TEE11 like source control, workitems, builds,..


Just wanted to say thanks to Shaw Terwilliger who gave me the following explanation about the issue:

I’m glad you figured this out quickly, I was just about to post the same work around.  We finished our TEE 11 CTP before Ubuntu 11.10 was released, and we depend on the Mozilla browser via xulrunner for this control.  Shortly after Ubuntu 11.10 was released, xulrunner wasn’t available in the repositories but the xulrunner-1.9.2 from 11.04 installed cleanly and works.

We’re investigating Ubuntu’s plans to continue shipping xulrunner in future releases, and may make some changes in our next release to work with the Webkit browser (the default in Eclipse 3.7 on Linux/GTK).

Accessing TFS2010 from Eclipse

One of the cool things about using Team Foundation Server is the fact that it’s not technology bounded. What I mean about that, is the fact that you’re not tight to Visual Studio as IDE and that TFS can also be used to build non-microsoft solutions like Java. In this blogpost, I would like to describe how you can use Eclipse to manage your TFS environment.


Last year, Microsoft released a plug-in for Eclipse, originally called TeamPrise but now it’s ‘Team Explorer  Everywhere‘ (TEE). Using this plug-in you have access to TFS 2010 from Eclipse, which is a very popular IDE. Projects using Java/PHP/.. can now also leverage the benefits like workitem tracking, source control, build automation, reporting and web-portals. 

This is a quick overview of how to install TEE. First of all, I will use Eclipe on a Ubuntu environment (just to show that it also work on Linux machine). I downloaded the latest Ubuntu release (which is really cool, btw) and created a Virtual Machine to install Ubuntu. After installation of the OS, you get this nice welcome screen:


Next step is to install Eclipse. Very simple, just download the Eclipse (3.7-Indigo) environment you want (for Java, classic, PHP). In linux, this will be a tar.gz and in Windows a normal .zip file. All you have to do after downloading is unzip/untar the file and put it in C:/eclipse or /home/.. (whatever you want). The next thing that you have to check is that you have a JRE/JDK installed. (download on Now it’s time to run Eclipse:


The next thing we want to do is install TEE SP1 (SP1 is a full package, there is no need for the non SP1 version).You can download the connector using your MSDN subscription, or using the public download url. You can download all 3 files, but actually you only need the file When the download is finished, go to Eclipse and select ‘Help -> Install New Software’. This opens a dialog where you can install additional plugins/connectors.

Click on the ‘Add..’ button to add a new repository. Enter a name, like ‘TFS connector’ and click ‘Archive’ to select the downloaded zip file. Select the new item you’ve just downloaded and click next. Follow the wizard, accept the license and click on the ‘Restart Now’ button.

When Eclipse is restarted, you don’t see many changes. The TFS related windows are more or less hidden by default. You can show them by selecting ‘Window -> Show View -> Other -> Team Foundation Server‘. There you can select the windows you want.

Now we have TEE installed in Eclipse, we can start using it. Create new project and add some awesome codefiles to it (yes I use PHP in my examples :$). If you did that, we can add the project to our Team Foundation Server. Right-click on your project and select ‘Team -> Share Project‘. There you get a dialog asking you for the TFS settings (Url & credentials). Supply them correctly and click Next.

Note: If you use Active Directory to connect, enter the correct domain and complete the username with your windows username. Also be aware that if you check ‘Save password’, the password will be saved in plain text on your system!

Then you get a list with your team projects, select the team project you need and click Next. In the list you see now, click the Team Foundation Server workspace to which your project will be connected, and then click Next. (You can offcourse also change the default values from your workpace). The last step is to select the folder for you shared projects (the project folder path). Click Next. In the last dialog, you have an overview of your selected settings, and now just click Finish 

Now that the project is added, we can do a check-in using the ‘pending changes’ window. If you look there you will see that all files associated with your project are marked as ‘add’. Now add some comments and click ‘Check In‘.


If you return to Visual Studio, and do a ‘Get latest version ‘ on your project, you should see your files from your Eclips project. 


Ok, so now we can do (allmost) all things we can do with the ‘normal’ Visual Studio Team Explorer. We have our team explorer, we can manage our sourcecontrol, manage our build, our workitems, merge files on update conflicts,… The only restriction I found was that there is no possibility to use the braching/merging actions/overview like you can in the regular TE. Other than that, I think it’s quite similar to the Team Explorer from Visual Studio. Some screenshots:

This was an overview about how to install TEE on Eclipse. In a next blogpost, I’ll cover how you can build a JAVA project using ANT/MAVEN with the TFS buildserver (using the Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Build Extensions). Stay tuned!

Some reading material:
Five Hidden Features in Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1
Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 is Available