Gitpod Enables Every Developer to Run Upstream VS Code in a Browser

Backed by industry leaders like GitLab, VMware, Uber, SAP, Sourcegraph, and many others, cloud-based development pioneer Gitpod creates an open source project that brings browser-based development to VS Code free from Microsoft’s control


SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gitpod, the leading open source platform for automated dev environments, today announced that they have created a new open source project (licensed under MIT) around Gitpod’s `OpenVSCode Server` implementation of upstream, stock VS Code. This project enables every individual developer and/or company to run upstream and stable VS Code in the browser. By doing so, Gitpod is making a browser-based VS Code developer experience accessible for everyone allowing developers and teams to run VS Code on cloud-powered servers and access it from any device - all you need is a browser.

“Over the last few months, we have been approached by multiple large organizations and individual developers asking how we run Gitpod’s ‘OpenVSCode Server’ implementation, as they wanted to adopt that approach within their own products and daily workflows,” said Sven Efftinge, co-founder and CEO of Gitpod. “Microsoft didn’t yet publish the source code they use to enable GitHub Codespaces, but since we use the same low-footprint technique in Gitpod, we thought we might share this with everyone. My hope is that this eliminates the need for bad forks of VS Code that introduce unnecessary complexity.”

The launch of Github Codespaces has pushed browser-based, remote development into the mainstream. However, Microsoft / VS Code did not open source their server implementation. As a result, developers cannot run the most upstream VS Code in a browser and server context, as the source code that is driving Github Codespaces is not open source.

With Gitpod’s creation of the ‘OpenVSCode Server’ open source project, dev teams will have access to all the benefits of cloud-based IDEs in a vendor-neutral solution. Teams and individual developers can use the most popular IDE in the world on any device, at any time, deployed on any machine, including access to all VS Code extensions via the vendor-neutral OpenVSX marketplace - another project that Gitpod initially created. Since they are using the same application that is also running on desktop, they always get the latest VS Code. This is effectively the market-proven implementation for running VS Code in the browser that both Gitpod and GitHub Codespaces use at scale. Developers will have access to the latest version of VS Code with a straightforward upgrade path and low maintenance effort.

The initiative is supported by industry and technology leaders such as GitLab, VMware, Uber, RStudio, SAP, Sourcegraph, SUSE, Tabnine, Render and TypeFox.

Interested parties can find out more about the general benefits of cloud-based development here:

Quotes from Supporting Partners

“Cloud-based development environments are quickly becoming a favored approach by cloud native developers to lower the barrier of contribution,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “As usual, Gitpod is at the forefront of delivering solutions that move the entire industry forward. Their new ‘OpenVSCode Server’ project will certainly allow professional development teams to write code via a browser.”

“Gitpod’s move to open source their technology will improve the productivity of developers who run VS Code in the browser,” said Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO at GitLab. “Extension developers can further automate end-to-end tests in a DevOps platform like GitLab, improving the overall developer flow from ideation through CI/CD pipelines.”

“RStudio Workbench enables data scientists to work with RStudio IDE, VS Code, or Jupyter in a secure, centralized configuration,” said JJ. Allaire, CEO of R-Studio. “OpenVSCode Server's technical alignment with the core VS Code open-source project provides an ideal architecture, and we are excited to integrate it into future versions of RStudio Workbench.”

“Independently maintained projects like OpenVSCode Server play an important role as an alternative to vertically integrated dev ecosystems,” said Beyang Liu, co-founder and CTO at Sourcegraph. “Our mission at Sourcegraph is to make it easier for everyone in the world to code, and I’m looking forward to the innovations this enables for developers everywhere. Together with the vendor-neutral marketplace that Gitpod started, it opens up a ton of opportunities for devs to do even more.”

“Openness, not technology alone, must be at the heart of all digital transformation. We are excited to see Gitpod sharing this notion of openness with the release of their new open source project, making a browser-based VS Code developer experience accessible to everyone," said Will Chan, Co-Founder of Rancher Labs and current VP of Engineering at SUSE. "SUSE is dedicated to open source in all aspects, and we look forward to further working with Gitpod to advance open solutions to meet end user needs."

“When developers are given choice and access to open, flexible solutions, productivity soars,” said Brandon Jung, VP of ecosystems and business development at Tabnine. “With Gitpod’s availability of the ‘OpenVSCode Server’ open source project, they’re empowering the entire community to become more efficient and develop with ease on any device.”

“At Uber, we’ve invested in remote development solutions to unlock productive and happy developers at our scale. OpenVSCode Server will allow us to keep a current and easy-to-maintain developer experience, while providing the latest tooling to our developers. We’re thrilled to partner with Gitpod to integrate this new project.” - Ty Smith, Staff Engineer and Tech Lead for Uber’s Developer Platform

About Gitpod
Gitpod is an open source developer platform automating the provisioning of ready-to-code developer environments. Designed for applications running in the cloud, Gitpod frees engineering teams from the friction of manually setting up local dev environments, saving dozens of hours and enabling a new level of collaboration to create applications much more quickly than ever before. Natively integrated with GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket, Gitpod automatically and continuously prebuilds developer environments for all your branches. As a result, team members can instantly start coding with fresh dev environments for each new task - no matter if you are building a new feature, want to fix a bug, or work on a code review. Gitpod is available today for free. For more information about Gitpod, or to begin contributing, please visit, or email

Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact:
Nichols Communications for Gitpod
Ray George
+1 650-922-3825