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Remote development

DETAILS: Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering: SaaS, self-managed

FLAG: On self-managed GitLab, by default this feature is available. To hide the feature, an administrator can disable the feature flag named vscode_web_ide. On, this feature is available. The feature is not ready for production use.

You can use remote development to write and compile code hosted on GitLab. With remote development, you can:

  • Create a secure development environment in the cloud.
  • Connect to that environment from your local machine through a web browser or client-based solution.

Web IDE as a frontend

You can use the Web IDE to make, commit, and push changes to a project directly from your web browser. This way, you can update any project without having to install any dependencies or clone any repositories locally.

The Web IDE, however, lacks a native runtime environment where you could compile code, run tests, or generate real-time feedback. With remote development, you can use:

  • The Web IDE as a frontend
  • A separate machine as a backend runtime environment

For a complete IDE experience, connect the Web IDE to a development environment configured to run as a remote host. You can create this environment inside or outside of GitLab.


DETAILS: Tier: Premium, Ultimate Offering: SaaS, self-managed

A workspace is a virtual sandbox environment for your code in GitLab that includes:

  • A runtime environment
  • Dependencies
  • Configuration files

You can create a workspace from scratch or from a template that you can also customize.

When you configure and connect a workspace to the Web IDE, you can:

  • Edit files directly from the Web IDE and commit and push changes to GitLab.
  • Use the Web IDE to run tests, debug code, and view real-time feedback.

Manage a development environment

Create a development environment

To create a development environment, run this command:

export CERTS_DIR="/home/ubuntu/.certbot/config/live/${DOMAIN}"
export PROJECTS_DIR="/home/ubuntu"

docker run -d \
  --name my-environment \
  -p 3443:3443 \
  -v "${CERTS_DIR}/fullchain.pem:/gitlab-rd-web-ide/certs/fullchain.pem" \
  -v "${CERTS_DIR}/privkey.pem:/gitlab-rd-web-ide/certs/privkey.pem" \
  -v "${PROJECTS_DIR}:/projects" \ \
  --log-level warn --domain "${DOMAIN}" --ignore-version-mismatch

The new development environment starts automatically.

Stop a development environment

To stop a running development environment, run this command:

docker container stop my-environment

Start a development environment

To start a stopped development environment, run this command:

docker container start my-environment

The token changes every time you start the development environment.

Remove a development environment

To remove a development environment:

  1. Stop the development environment.

  2. Run this command:

    docker container rm my-environment