Self-host VS Code Server

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Getting Started[edit]

Code Server is used by developers like Azure, Google, Reddit, and others to give them access to VS Code in the browser. Thanks to folks over at GitHub who have put together some recourses here.

Quickstart Guide[edit]

NOTE: If you get stuck or need help, file an issue, tweet (@coderhq) or email.

This document pertains to Coder specific implementations of VS Code. For documentation on how to use VS Code itself, please refer to the official documentation for VS Code

It takes just a few minutes to get your own self-hosted server running. If you've got a machine running macOS, Windows, or Linux, you're ready to start the binary which listens on port `8443` by default.


  1. Visit the releases page and download the latest cli for your operating system
  2. Double click the executable to run in the current directory
  3. Copy the password that appears in the cli<img src="../assets/cli.png">
  4. In your browser navigate to `localhost:8443`
  5. Paste the password from the cli into the login window<img src="../assets/server-password-modal.png">

NOTE: Be careful with your password as sharing it will grant those users access to your server's file system

Things To Know[edit]

When you visit the IP for your code-server, you will be greeted with this warning page. Code-server is using a self-signed SSL certificate for easy setup. To proceed to the IDE, click Advanced then click proceed anyway.

Usage[edit]

code-server can be run with a number of arguments to customize your working directory, host, port, and SSL certificate.

USAGE

 $ code-server [WORKDIR]

ARGUMENTS

 WORKDIR  [default: (directory to binary)] Specify working dir

OPTIONS

 -d, --data-dir=data-dir
 -h, --host=host          [default: 0.0.0.0]
 -o, --open               Open in browser on startup
 -p, --port=port          [default: 8443] Port to bind on
 -v, --version            show CLI version
 --allow-http
 --cert=cert
 --cert-key=cert-key
 --help                   show CLI help
 --no-auth
 --password=password
 

Data Directory

Use `code-server -d (path/to/directory)` or `code-server --data-dir=(path/to/directory)`, excluding the parentheses to specify the root folder that VS Code will start in.

Host[edit]

 By default, code-server will use `0.0.0.0` as its address. This can be changed by using `code-server -h` or `code-server --host=` followed by the address you want to use.
 > Example: `code-server -h 127.0.0.1`

Open[edit]

 You can have the server automatically open the VS Code in your browser on startup by using the `code server -o` or `code-server --open` flags

Port[edit]

 By default, code-server will use `8443` as its port. This can be changed by using `code-server -p` or `code-server --port=` followed by the port you want to use.
 > Example: `code-server -p 9000`

Cert and Cert Key[edit]

 To encrypt the traffic between the browser and server use `code-server --cert=` followed by the path to your `.cer` file. Additionally, you can use certificate keys with `code-server --cert-key` followed by the path to your `.key` file.
#* Example (certificate and key): `code-server --cert /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.cer --cert-key /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.key`
#* Example (if you are using Letsencrypt or similar): `code-server --cert /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem --cert-key /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.key`

Nginx Reverse Proxy[edit]

Nginx is for reverse proxy. Below is a virtual host example that works with code-server. Please also pass --allow-http. You can also use certbot by EFF to get an SSL certificate for free.

 server {
   listen 80;
   listen [::]:80;
   server_name code.example.com code.example.org;
     location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8443/;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Accept-Encoding gzip;
     }
  }

Apache Reverse Proxy[edit]

Example of https virtual host configuration for Apache as a reverse proxy. Please also pass --allow-http on code-server startup to allow the proxy to connect.

 <VirtualHost *:80>
   ServerName code.example.com
   RewriteEngine On
   RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} =websocket [NC]
   RewriteRule /(.*)           ws://localhost:8443/$1 [P,L]
   RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} !=websocket [NC]
   RewriteRule /(.*)           http://localhost:8443/$1 [P,L]
   ProxyRequests off
   RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Proto https
   RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Port 443
   ProxyPass / http://localhost:8443/ nocanon
   ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8443/
 </VirtualHost>
 Important: For more details about Apache reverse proxy configuration checkout the documentation here.