Remote VS Code

Running and using Visual Studio Code in a remote server

Remote VS Code

Running and using Visual Studio Code in a remote server

Introduction

One of the coolest things I have recently found is the code-server project by cdr. It enables users to run Visual Studio Code inside remote servers! This blog post describes the procedure for setting all this up.

Setup

Prerequisites

  • This setup requires you to have a remote UNIX server. I have tested this using an AWS EC2 instance, but it will work with similar solutions from other cloud vendors too.
  • Your remote server should have enabled access from your IP. In case of AWS, you can do this in the following way:
    • Go to your AWS console and open the EC2 service.
    • Select the instance that you want to run VSCode on.
    • In the details pane below, look at the inbound and outbound rules for this instance.
    • If it has been allowed access from everywhere, better delete that rule for security.
    • Go to the security group added to this instance and edit the inbound rules.
    • Add a new rule and select type as HTTPS and IP as My IP from the dropdown menu
    • Do this again for HTTP.
    • save this setting, and now this instance can only be accessed from your IP.

Bash script for automated setup

  • Now that we have ensured access to our server, we need to install code-server to our server.
  • Make sure that you are able to SSH to your instance.
  • Now, simply download the script below to your instance and run it.

About the script

The above script performs the following actions:

  • Downloads the specified version of code-server on the instance
  • Sets up secure connection for this server

Configuring the script

  • In case a newer version of code-server is released and you want to use that, you can change the version inside the script by changing the CODE_SERVER_VERSION variable.
  • For running this script on a macOS server, change the CODE_SERVER_ARCH variable

Running the server

Now that our server is configured, we can run our server using the following server:

sudo ./code-server -p 80 --cert=~/certs/MyCertificate.crt --cert-key=~/certs/MyKey.key "~"

Using the server

Now everything is setup and VSCode server is running to. Go ahead and open the following link in your browser:

https://<your instance public IP>:80/

You will be asked for a password to enter, which you will find in the server logs while running it. Now enjoy making changes in the server using this setup! 😄

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Man Parvesh Singh Randhawa
Software Enthusiast | Life-long learner

I am a Software Engineer interested in efficient large-scale distributed software systems.

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