Working with Azure DevOps using Azure DevOps CLI

Posted by: Saumilkumar Shah , on 3/2/2020, in Category DevOps
Views: 107545
Abstract: This tutorial demonstrates how to create Azure DevOps repos, boards, pipelines, artifacts etc. using Azure DevOps Command Line Interface extension.

The Azure DevOps extension for Azure Command Line Interface (CLI) provides users with the flexibility to add Pipelines, Boards, Repos, Artifacts and DevOps commands. Its predecessor, VSTS CLI has been deprecated and hence will no longer be receiving new updates.

Azure DevOps from the command line allows us to work in a streamlined task/command-oriented manner without having to worry about the GUI flows, thereby providing us a faster and flexible interaction. Also, the usage of Azure DevOps CLI can be extended for automating a series of steps/tasks, into one script.


(1) Install the Azure CLI.

(2) Add the Azure DevOps Extension

(3) Run the az login command to authenticate user.

For usage and help content for any command, pass in the -h parameter, for example:

$ az devops -h

    az devops : Manage Azure DevOps organization level operations.
        Related Groups
        az pipelines: Manage Azure Pipelines
        az boards: Manage Azure Boards
        az repos: Manage Azure Repos
        az artifacts: Manage Azure Artifacts.

    admin            : Manage administration operations.
    extension        : Manage extensions.
    project          : Manage team projects.
    security         : Manage security related operations.
    service-endpoint : Manage service endpoints/service connections.
    team             : Manage teams.
    user             : Manage users.
    wiki             : Manage wikis.

    configure        : Configure the Azure DevOps CLI or view your configuration.
    feedback         : Displays information on how to provide feedback to the Azure DevOps CLI team.
    invoke           : This command will invoke request for any DevOps area and resource. Please use
                       only json output as the response of this command is not fixed. Helpful docs -
    login            : Set the credential (PAT) to use for a particular organization.
    logout           : Clear the credential for all or a particular organization.

Here are some steps to create a starter pipeline using command line:

Step 1: Install Azure CLI. The minimum requirement is v2.0.69, which can be verified with az --version command.

Step 2: Add Azure DevOps Extension

az extension add --name azure-devops

Extension Name

Step 3: Confirm whether the extension is installed or not using the following command:

az extension list or az extension show --name azure-devops

Extension Name

Step 4: Sign into your Azure DevOps Account using the following command:

az login

Step 5: Now we will configure the default project and organization:

az devops configure --defaults organization={{OrganizationName}} project={{ProjectName}}

--defaults -d
Space separated 'name=value' pairs for common arguments defaults, e.g. '--defaults project=my-project-name organization= arg=value'. Use '' to clear the defaults, e.g. --defaults project=''.

Step 6: As the next step, create a repo using the following command:

az repos create --name "CLISample" --detect true --open --organization "" --project "PublicData"

Required Parameters
Name for the new repository.

Optional Parameters
Automatically detect organization.
accepted values: false, true
Open the repository page in your web browser.
--org --organization
Azure DevOps organization URL. You can configure the default organization using az devops configure -d organization=ORG_URL. Required if not configured as default or picked up via git config. Example:
--project -p
Name or ID of the project. You can configure the default project using az devops configure -d project=NAME_OR_ID. Required if not configured as default or picked up via git config.


Step 7: Next, create a pipeline using the following command by passing the repo created in Step 6:

az pipelines create --name "MyCLISamplee" --description "Pipeline for CLI project" --repository CLISample --branch master --repository-type tfsgit

Required Parameters
Name of the new pipeline.

Optional Parameters
Branch name for which the pipeline will be configured. If omitted, it will be auto-detected from local repository.
Description for the new pipeline.
Repository for which the pipeline needs to be configured. Can be clone url of the git repository or name of the repository for a Azure Repos or Owner/RepoName in case of GitHub repository. If omitted it will be auto-detected from the remote url of local git repository. If name is mentioned instead of url, --repository-type argument is also required.
Type of repository. If omitted, it will be auto-detected from remote url of local repository. 'tfsgit' for Azure Repos, 'github' for GitHub repository.
accepted values: github, tfsgit

Once we run this command, it will prompt for further details (I have selected Starter pipeline as a demo template, but you may choose any other option as per your requirement):

(i) Select Pipeline template


(ii) Select/Modify yaml template


(iii) Commit file changes to repos


Now, we are good to go with our first CLI based repo and pipeline.




In this tutorial, we explored one of the common scenarios where we want to create a starter pipeline through Azure DevOps CLI. In the same way, we can configure multiple items like boards, repos, artifacts, devops commands etc.


Azure DevOps CLI Extension GitHub repo -

Azure DevOps CLI documentation -

This article was technically reviewed by Subodh Sohoni.

This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Saumil works with Microsoft as a Cloud Consultant. He comes with experience into Azure Services, DevOps, Solution Design, Release Management. He is passionate about cloud technologies. Follow him on twitter @SaumilkumarShah and connect on Linkedin.

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