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The build checkout directory is the directory on agent where all of the project's sources reside. If you use agent-side checkout mode, build agent checks out the sources into this directory before the build. In case you use server-side checkout mode, TeamCity server sends to the agent incremental patches to update only the files changed since the last build in the given checkout directory.
You can specify the checkout directory when configuring Checkout Settings on the Version Control Settings page, however, default (empty) value is recommended. See #Custom checkout directory.
If you want to investigate some issue and need to know the directory used by a build configuration, you can get the directory from the build log, or you can refer to
Custom checkout directory
In the most cases, leaving the checkout directory with default value (empty in UI) is recommended.
If for some reason you need to specify custom checkout directory (for example, the process of creating builds depends on some particular directory), please ensure that the following conditions are met:
Please also note that content of the checkout directory can be deleted by TeamCity under certain circumstances.
Automatic Checkout Directory Cleaning
Checkout directories are automatically deleted from disk if not used (no builds were run on the agent using the directory as checkout directory) for a specified period of time (8 days by default).
The time frame for automatic directory expiration can be changed by specifying new value (in hours) by either of the following ways:
Setting the property to "0" will cause deleting the checkout directories right after the build finish.
The directory cleaning is performed in background and can be paused by consequent builds.