Enabling FTP capabilities on an Azure VM

Configure the VM

Add yourself a User account for the FTP user.  Go through Server Manager > Tools > Computer Management > Users and Roles and add yourself a User.  Ensure this user has read write permissions on the folder you’re intending to use for your FTP.

Connect to your VM go through the usual Server Manager > Add Roles and Features > IIS enable FTP services here.

Under IIS click on the FTP site > FTP Firewall support add a IT range in here.  I went with 9000-9999.  Go with your public IP of your VM (top of your RDP session or back into Azure portal to grab it) for the External IP Address of Firewall.

Stay in IIS navigate up to your root/global server settings click on FTP Firewall Support at this global level and enter the same port range as above. Leave the External IP Address of Firewall blank.

Configure Azure

Into the Azure portal. Click on the VM in question and into Networking.  Add an Inbound Port Rule.  Lets call it FTP and for Source port range enter *.  Give it 21 for destination. TCP as the protocol.

Add another Inbound Port name it FTPData giving it 9000-9999 for it’s destination port and * as Source. TCP again.

Fire up Filezilla or similar and connect to the IP with the username and p/wd as configured earlier for the FTP user select Passive as the transfer mode.

Obviously, you might want to secure the FTP connection. I’m leaving this open for now as I’ll be addressing the security concern in another post which I will talk about Vnet to Vnet Peering. Stay tuned!


Typically you might get a user permissions issue when attempting to upload to the FTP site. Most likely the user won’t have the correct folder permissions. Hop back onto the VM, right click on the FTP folder > Security and add the ftp user to have read write permissions.

Ensure FTP is sound locally on the VM by firing up a command prompt on the VM itself and ftp to localhost via “ftp”.

Also bear in mind that if you’re making changes to the FTP settings under IIS you will probably need to restart the “Microsoft FTP server” service.

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Azure DevOps – Create a Build Server VM

Configuring the Build Server

Here I simply span up an Azure VM and installed Visual Studio Build Tools.  It makes life a little easier if you install the dev tools you need first before installing the agent as the agent service will need restarting each time a new set of tools are installed.  You can check installs under the Capabilities section of the agent.

Installing the Agent

Head over to your Azure DevOps and select Pipelines > Deployment Groups > Pools then create a new Agent Pool. Once you’ve created your Agent Pool click on the “Download Agent” button. Connect back to your VM.  Create yourself a agent folder “C:\Agent” unzip the contents of the downloaded agent to this folder. This is now effectively your build agent folder.  Run the config command and run through the prompts – pretty much default for everything.  Ensure you run the agent as a service. Once complete you’ll now have an agent configured along with the subfolder “_work” etc for the build files and process.

Restricting Build Jobs To 1 Build Server

Now that the Build server is up and running you may wish to specify certain builds to use that server. The easiest option is specifying the Agent Pool on the build.  You can also fine tune specific agents under the “Demands” section under the Build options.

Agent.Name equals MyNewAgent


Agent.ComputerName equals MyNewBuildServer



If your build gets stuck at “Waiting for the request to be queued” it’s very likely that you don’t have the capabilities set on the build server.

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Big Country – Louth Town Hall 26th October 2018

Same, but different

Although I’ve not seen Big Country obsessively (I’m probably just into double figures) I have managed to see them in quite a few guises over the years. 3 or 4 times with Stuart Adamson (the last being the Final Fling tour at Leeds in 2000), once as a 3 piece with Tony Butler singing (Leeds Rios), a couple of times with Mike Peters and now with Simon Hough.  Obviously, no lineup is going to meet the power of Stuart Adamson but I’ve enjoyed them all.

The Gig

Shortly before 9pm in a reasonably busy Louth Town hall the band appear and launch straight into 1000 Stars from the Crossing album.  I’m surprised just how similar Simon’s vocals are to Stuart Adamson.  What follows is a lovable romp through the band’s greatest hits and a generous serving of The Crossing.  It can’t fail with those ingredients.  It all seems to be over far too quickly and before I know it we’re exiting via the foyer into the cold night air.

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Hugh Cornwell Book Reading – Saltaire Methodist Church 19th March 2015

Popped along to Saltaire Methodist Church on Thurs night to check out Hugh’s book reading. I do like Saltaire especially the breweries monthly “Beer Club” and Fannies ale house

So this was very inviting.

Walked into the Methodist Church to be greeted by Hugh tucking into fish and chips. Had a natter with him for a few minutes whilst a few other punters walked in.

He eventually sits at the front of the church and invites us all to sit in the first 3 pews at the front (which we did). We’re then treated to him reading a section out from his book and the floor is open for a Q&A session. Which starts out with some interesting questions from the crowd – apart from one chap who seemed a little “refreshed” and keeps telling us all about his red Indian blood.
Eventually, the questions predictably switch to music. Some points below (some of them already covered off on the forums in earlier posts)…..

– Big tour of America being planned for June/July – “What you doing Hugh? East or West coast?” “All of it”.
– UK Tour of churches in Oct/Nov (I’m guessing acoustic here?)
– Working on new book (Doctor in Miami in 2050 – he’s about half way through writing this one)
– Working on new music
– Some festival dates in Summer (one on East coast – is this the Skegness one?)
– No contact with Stranglers although he didn’t mention any negativity and wishes them well.
– He doesn’t run any more and hasn’t done for over 25 years – points out the dangers of running.

Quite an enjoyable evening all round.

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