Skip to content

Visual Studio Code remote development with Windows 10

Basically, how to set this up.

Remote development over SSH

First make sure the following commands are executed from C:\System32\OpenSSH: ssh, ssh-keygen, scp. If they are located in e.g. Chocolatey's bin folder, keys will be searched for in weird places. This can be verifed by installing which:

choco install which
which ssh

Create key pair in Windows 10 client

cd ~
mkdir .ssh
cd ssh
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096
  • RSA is the recommended authentication security.
  • The -b flag instructs ssh-keygen to increase the number of bits used to generate the key pair, and is suggested for additional security.

Prepare server

I am using a CentOS 7 server.

ssh user@server-hostname
mkdir -p ~/.ssh
touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 700 ~/.ssh
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

Transfer public key from Windows 10 onto server

scp ~/.ssh/ user@server-hostname:~/.ssh/authorized_keys

Note: this will just copy the file onto the server, overwriting an already existing authorized_keys file if it exists.

Replace with your .pub file name, if you named it explicitly.

Test SSH keys

ssh user@server-hostname  # should not prompt for password

SSH config in Windows 10

If you haven't already, install the "Remote development" extension in vscode.

Click the lower left >< icon in vscode and choose "Remote-SSH: Open configuration file...". Then enter something like:

# Read more about SSH config files:
    HostName HOSTNAME
  • Replace PROFILE with a name you will use from a dropdown menu to choose the server later on.
  • Replace HOSTNAME with the server's hostname or IP address.
  • Replace USERNAME with the username used to log in over SSH.

More options are outlined in the docs.

Connect to server over SSH and code away

Click the lower left >< icon in vscode and choose "Remote-SSH: Connect to Host...". Choose your newly created profile.

A new vscode session will launch, and from the "Open folder" dialog, choose your project's folder. Voila!