1.2.1 • Public • Published

TeamCity build number

Sets the TeamCity build number based on the branch or Pull Request.

npm License Dependencies Dev dependencies

Table of contents

What is it?

Command line tool to set the build number based on the branch or pull request within TeamCity.

Designed to be run as a build step within a TeamCity pipeline. It accesses system properties via env.TEAMCITY_BUILD_PROPERTIES_FILE but needs others passed in as arguments (see options below).

This can be used as a cross-platform replacement for the 'GitFlow' PowerShell build step.

Local development

Use the example folder for local development and testing.

Build number format

We are using the semver 2.0 convention: https://semver.org/ this means that all pre-release packages are distinguied by a - and all release packages by +

As an example the build number format is in the form:





Note: the following examples assume a version of 1.2.3, a build counter of 99 and a commit hash of a1b2c3d:

Branch Version
pull request (from branch)
feature branch

Visual Studio 2015 and nuget packages

Please note the nuget package manager in some older versions of VS may not show the release packages because it doesn't support semver 2.0 conventions, therefore please ensure you are using the latest nuget package manager at least VSIX 3.6.0

TeamCity and Nuget restore

Semver 2.0 is only fully supported in Nuget Clients 4.5+ so please ensure you have this otherwise you may not be able to restore packages.


With npm>=5.2, use the Command Line Interface via npx:

npx @nice-digital/teamcity-build-number --branch=%teamcity.build.branch% --usePackageJsonVersion --gitHubToken=%GITHUB_TOKEN% --gitHubRepo=%system.GitHubOwnerRepo%



  • Type: String
  • Required: true
  • CLI alias: b
  • Example: --branch=%teamcity.build.branch%

The branch to build from e.g. %teamcity.build.branch%


  • Type: Boolean
  • Required: false
  • Default: false
  • Example: --usePackageJsonVersion

Whether to use the package.json version as the build number. Only needed if you are using package.json version, and it doesn't require a value e.g. just --usePackageJsonVersion.

Note: in v0.x this option could be used like --usePackageJsonVersion=true but this is no longer the case.

Note 2: If you use this you need to add system.build.counter and point it to %build.counter% in the System Properties in the Parameters of the Build Configuration.


  • Type: String
  • Required: true to build Pull Requests

A GitHub authentication token. Used for getting details of a Pull Request from the GitHub API. Must have access to the repository set in gitHubRepo.


  • Type: String
  • Required: true
  • Example: --gitHubRepo nice-digital/guidance-web

The GitHub organisation (or username) and repository to check for status of Pull Requests etc.


  • Type: String
  • Required: false
  • Example: --packageRelativePath src/client

If no value is supplied the package.json file will be looked for in the root of the repository. If a value is given such as "src", then it will look for said file in "[repo root]\src\package.json"


  • Type: Boolean
  • Required: false
  • Example: --enforceNamingConvention

If no value is supplied the naming conventions on the branch and pull request names are not enforced. If present (which means true) then the naming conventions are enforced and the build will be cancelled with the reason logged.

Note: in v0.x this option could be used like --enforceNamingConvention=true but this is no longer the case.

Debugging this module

To debug this module run a command like the following:

node --inspect-brk bin/cli.js --branch mybranch --gitHubToken mytoken --gitHubRepo myrepo --usePackageJsonVersion

then navigate chrome to:


a "Remote target" should pop up. Just click 'inspect' and chrome dev tools will debug the script.

TeamCity config

Update npm

If you're using NVM or an npm version < 5.2 then you might need to run the following command before setting the build number:

npm install -g npm

Note: if you're using a build agent with Node.js >= 8.2.0 this should have npm >= 5.3 pre-installed so you might not need to update npm.

Branch specification

We recommend the following branch specification for your VCS root ( Build Configuration Settings -> Version Control Settings -> VCS Roots -> Branch specification). This automatically builds master.


DO NOT specify +:refs/pull/(*/merge) in the branch specification this will allow for unauthorised pull requests to run in TC. If you want to build pull requests use the build feature "Pull requests" this will allow you to limit pull requests from members and collaborators.

See Building GitHub pull requests with TeamCity on the JetBrains blog for more info.




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npm i @nice-digital/teamcity-build-number

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