VSTS Windows build agent not Xamarin-enabled?


I am experimenting with VSTS and CI. In doing so I have been running an on-premise build agent on my Mac, to observe the files used and emitted during the build process (in the _work sub folder tree). I have also been running a local build agent on my PC, when building the mobile backend (to be deployed to Azure) but when I start a build for the Android project on the Windows on-prem build agent I get this message from VSTS:

There are agents that are capable of running the build, but they are not online. If the agent is configured to run as a service, ensure that the "VSO Agent ({agent name})" service is running.

I have double-checked the build agent is indeed running and connected to VSTS so my conclusion is it is incapable of running the Android build task. Indeed, if I disable that step, the build starts as expected.

So, Is the Windows version of the build agent incapable of building Xamarin projects?

There seems to be several different versions of the build agent. The available tasks are "MSBuild", "Visual Studio Build", "Xamarin.iOS" and "Xamarin.iOS". I have also seen there's something called "xbuild" (not a task, but a build agent). Can someone help me resolve the confusion and either explain the technical differences between the different build tasks and different versions of the build agent itself? I have googled quote alot but haven't really found a good introduction to Microsoft's build technology and history.


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