Remote development

Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated
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 and GitLab Dedicated, this feature is available. This 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.


Tier: Premium, Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated

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