Using Visual Studio Code Remotely

Visual Studio Code is a free, cross-platform IDE that runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS. Its many features include syntax highlighting and autocomplete for C, a graphical user interface for Git, and the ability to edit, compile, run, and debug programs on remove servers over SSH.

This document does not attempt to provide a complete guide to using Visual Studio Code; rather, it demonstrates (to those already familiar with its use) how to appropriately use Visual Studio Code to connect remotely to the school's Linux Lab Cluster and to a Raspberry Pi.

Using Visual Studio Code on the Linux Lab Cluster

On the server, and the Linux Lab Cluster accessed from it, use network storage for your home directory and the compile directory in /project/scratch01/compile. This means that any programs you write in these directories will be available from any server in the cluster, making it straightforward to access and edit your code by a number of means, including remotely through Visual Studio Code.

Because of the potential for high overhead from multiple connected instances of Visual Studio Code, Engineering IT provides a web-based, optimized VS Code application for student use.

If you want to connect remotely to the Linux Lab cluster with Visual Studio Code, please use the following instructions. Do not attempt to connect remotely from a desktop version of the software.

To connect:

  1. Go to

  2. Sign in with your WUSTL key and password (and with Duo 2FA, if prompted)

  3. Click on the Interactive Apps dropdown, then click the Academic VS Code IDE application

    Click to Expand

  4. Enter the number of hours you expect to work, and the directory path you intend to work from (e.g. /project/scratch01/compile/username or leave it blank for your home directory) then click Launch

    Click to Expand

  5. It will take several seconds for the VS Code IDE instance to initialize. Once it's ready, click Connect to VS Code

    Click to Expand

  6. A new window will launch with the VS Code application, which looks something like the below screenshot. Once you see it, you're ready to go!

    Click to Expand

Connecting Remotely to your Raspberry Pi with Visual Studio Code

To connect remotely to your Raspberry Pi (or any Linux-based machine that you own), with Visual Studio Code, you will need to ensure that an SSH server is running on the target device. On your Raspberry Pi, if you have not done so already, this can be done one of two ways:

From the desktop environment: Click on the raspberry logo at the top-left corner, click Preferences, then click Raspberry Pi Configuration. Click on the Interfaces tab in the configuration window, then select SSH: Enabled. Click OK to save the settings.

From the terminal: Run sudo raspi-config, then select option 5, Interfacing Options. Select SSH, then select Yes to enable the SSH server. Exit the configuration tool to save the settings.

In Visual Studio Code, you will need to install the Remote – SSH extension. To do so, go to View > Extensions, then search the marketplace for the Remote – SSH extension, which is published by Microsoft, and click Install.

Click to Expand

The extension page in Visual Studio Code provides instructions on its use, which are also available here.

If you have not done so already,