Now Available: Update 3 refresh of Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine

I’m pleased to announce that today we’ve published the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine. This includes several updates to the hands-on-labs / demo scripts to show off some of the new capabilities which have been added in Updates 1 – 3.

With the continuous stream of great updates coming to Visual Studio every few months I haven’t been able to update the virtual machine with each new update, so I didn’t publish a new VM for Updates 1 or 2. But with Update 3 we hit critical mass of some great ALM capabilities which demanded an update.

For people who are interested in this level of detail, I’ve included a high-level changelog below which details the updates we’ve made in this version of the VM and labs. You can download the latest version of the VM and corresponding hands-on-labs / demo scripts at You can find a list of our other ALM VM’s at As always, we love hearing your feedback.


Virtual Machine

  • Upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Applied all recent Windows Updates
  • Increased the size of the VHD file to account for the updates
  • Added TFS 2013 Power Tools
  • Other smaller fit-and-finish fixes and updates based on user feedback


Connecting to Visual Studio Online Using the Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine

  • This is a brand new document which explains how to disable the date & time hack and make other special considerations if you want to use this virtual machine to evaluate Visual Studio Online.


Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with Team Foundation Server 2013

  • Added steps showing the ability to show/hide in-progress work items on backlog
  • Added notes regarding work item tagging support in queries and in Visual Studio
  • Added step to pin lightweight chart in web access


Debugging with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio Ultimate 2013

  • Added Exercise 2, Using IntelliTrace with Call Information


Embracing Continuous Delivery with Release Management for Visual Studio 2013

  • Added optional exercise demonstrating release to Azure using DSC
  • Changed “Release Management Deployer” references to “Microsoft Deployment Agent”
  • Updated manual release to trigger from Configure Apps | Release Templates instead of Releases tab in Release Management Client.
  • Added note to end of Ex. 3 regarding tagging support


Getting Started with Git using Team Foundation Server 2013

  • Now creating the new website using the ASP.NET Web Application wizard
  • Added note about CodeLens features for Git


Introduction to Platform Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 2013

  • Run settings are now located in their own sub-tab in MTM (Plan | Run Settings)


Introduction to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2013

  • Run settings are now located in their own sub-tab in MTM (Plan | Run Settings)


New Collaboration Experiences for Development Teams using Team Foundation Server 2013

  • Added note about CodeLens support for Git sources to end of CodeLens exercise


All 25 labs include the following:

  • Screenshot updates as necessary, other minor edits

Comments (22)

  1. Dave Burnison says:


    I have an MSDN Subscription, therefore I can use Windows Server in test. Is there a way then that I can apply a windows server license so that the OS eval does not time out? I am an ALM Consultant and I  use this VM, but the fact that the OS eval runs out is a problem.



  2. Brian Keller says:


    I'm not a legal expert so that's not really something I can advise you on. But as long as your MSDN Subscription covers all of the software on the VM and you are only using this for dev/test purposes only then I believe it should be OK.

  3. Dan Zhang says:

    I suggest you add a number before the lab document name, eg. "01_Working with the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine.docx". Then it will be easy for me to know which one is the first lab I should start with.

  4. Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine says:

    Hi Brian,

    Has there been any progress on making this available as a template or VM in Azure? That would be so valuable! 🙂



  5. Brian Keller says:

    Dan, thanks for the suggestion although they are designed so that they can be completed in any order you want. It's up to you what you want to learn about.

  6. Brian Keller says:

    Hi Bill,

    That's a popular request but unfortunately isn't technically possible. The Azure gallery requires that images are sysprepped, and that would break all of the underlying TFS configuration, sample data, sample users, and other configurations in the VM. You can upload the VHD as a disk to your own subscription (we enable RDP access and ship it as a fixed-disk VHD file to facilitate this). Or you can try MSDN Virtual Labs (…/bb467605.aspx) which hosts my VM and labs (I still need to work with them to get the Update 3 version added in place of the RTM version which is there today).

  7. Rasmus Gimm says:

    Brian – any chance you'll release this as a vmware hard disk? The reason I ask is that we have moved to developing iOS and Android applications (and yes WP 8 at somepoint), and while we still use TFS…we are running on MacBooks with VMWare Fusion. Even our Windows developer machines don't have Hyper-V installed as it conflicts with VMWare…Windows Phone developers have seperate machines because of the Hyper-V limitation.

    Even our Server infrastructure has moved to VMWare…so we have very limited Hyper-V environments.

    All in all, we like TFS…and are running 2013 with Update 1….but getting the team to learn the newer features of TFS is hard when they can't just rapidly get a VM to learn with…again a VM in VMWare. Sure we can convert it ourselves…and we will…but it'd be a really nice to get it in the VMWare format from the start.

    We can look into the MSDN Virtual Labs…but it requires Microsoft account…which again is friction for folks to even just looking at the new version / functionality.

  8. Brian Keller says:


    No, I have no plans to ship a VMWare disk for this. I have heard from people in the community who have converted it successfully, but it's not something I have the expertise to advise on or support.

    A Microsoft Account (formerly called a Live ID) takes 2-3 minutes to create so I hope you will consider this approach. You already have one if you have a Hotmail/Outlook account.

  9. Rasmus Ginn says:

    @Brian – Disappointing. 2-3 minutes is a hassle, and outlook/hotmail is such a turn off. From what I saw trying to get folks setup with accounts it's quite lengthy and the capthca is terrible.  Any fast way around creating accounts.

    Better question, how do you advise folks on Mac's to learn the new TFS features? Having the VM hosted somewhere or the training lessons available online with a click of a button would be ideal.

    Again make this easier…please.

  10. Brian Keller says:

    @Rasmus, you are not required to sign up for an Outlook/Hotmail account. I was just pointing out that if you already have an Outlook/Hotmail account then you already have a Microsoft account. You are free to visit to create a new Microsoft account using your existing email account (Gmail, Yahoo, whatever).

    We don't have any plans to remove the authentication requirement from MSDN/TechNet Virtual Labs. As you can imagine these are in place to help prevent people from making malicious use of our computing resources.

  11. John Tallon says:

    Hi Brian,

    On the Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with Team Foundation Server 2013 Lab, Item number 20 (page 13) seems to have been mistyped or partly typed.

    It says "20. Update 3 now provides a " and nothing more. Sounds like an interesting point, so I thought I's let you know.

  12. Brian Keller says:

    John, thanks for letting us know! That was a typo, we should have deleted that entire sentence. We'll get it fixed.

  13. Peter says:

    Hi Brian,

    I've tested the new VM for a while now for demo purposes and having trouble with action recordings and coded ui test. The recordings seems to be fine but when I try to do playback or run the coded ui test it gets stuck and throws an exception after the first object has been clicked on in the tailspin toys application. It's only the tailspin toys application that shows this behaviour. I've tried on multiple computers and downloaded the VM several times but it always gets the same results. Have you seen this and is it possible to fix in some way?

  14. Brian Keller says:

    Hi Peter, I'm sorry for the trouble you are hitting. We did discover a similar bug in Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 which the product team didn't have time to fix. We documented this at the beginning of the first manual testing lab as follows. Can you try the below and let me know if it fixes the problem?

    Note: If you are connecting to the VM over a RDP, it is recommended that you either run in windowed mode (not full screen) or alternatively ensure that both the host machine and the RDP session use the same resolution. This will help ensure smooth action recordings during this lab.

  15. Peter says:

    Hi Brian,

    I've tested all the things listed in the note and I also tested to run it from the hyper-v directly and not through RDP but unfortunately they all end up with the same results "The playback failed to find the Control with the given search properties" but on several different controls.

  16. Freddy Beltran says:

    Hello, Thanks for te update, pretty opportune.

    Question: By using GIT, is there any TFS 2013 feature that cannot be used because using git, instead the native TFS source control?

    In other words, is there any TFS feature that cannot be used whrn using GIT?



  17. Brian Keller says:

    Hi Freddy,

    Yes there are some features which work with Git but don't work with TFVC, and vice versa. We are adding features all the time so eventually we'll probably have parity everywhere.

    Perhaps the biggest are the TFVC offers code reviews in VS whereas in Git the way of reviewing code is to use pull requests. We are working on smoothing out the experience here so that there will be less of an impact to choosing one version control option over the other.

    Until recently, Git indicators were not supported with CodeLens – but that's been implemented now with Update 3.

    I'll ask our PM's to chime in here if I'm forgetting anything but I think those are the most common ones.

  18. Hi Freddy,

    In addition to what Brian called out, Git in TFS doesn't support workflows like Gated Build, nor is there support for client side policies (hooks as they're called in Git).  These are items that are on our backlog to improve in future VS/TFS updates.


  19. Peter says:

    Hi Brian,

    We found the problem with running action recording and coded UI test against tailspin toys. It turn out to be IE 11 and tailspin didn't go that well together. If you add to the compability view settings evertything works fine.

  20. Derek Davidson says:

    In answer to @Rasmus @ I also use a Mac but run this VM just fine – I use VirtualBox from Oracle.  Works great and doesn't conflict with VMWare.

  21. Brian Keller says:

    Peter, thank you. Turns out we fixed this for the user recommended in the testing hands on labs (Julia) but not the other users. Will fix for next time.

  22. Freddy_ says:

    Hello, Just to share with the comminuty

    I tested the VM Image in Hyoer-V, VMWare Workstation 11 and also with VirtualBox 4.2.30, on a Windows 8.1 x64 laptop, working like a charm in all 3.

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