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How to Install and Configure Code-Server Cloud IDE Platform on Ubuntu 20.04

Cloud IDE is a web-based integrated development platform (IDE). It is a programming environment designed for developers and comes with a code editor, a compiler, a debugger, and a graphical user interface. The main benefit of Cloud IDE is that you can access it from anywhere, from any compatible device, enabling easy installation and real-time collaboration between developer teams.

code-server is an open-source project that allows you to run Visual Studio Code on a remote server accessible directly from your browser. Visual Studio Code provides a code editor with integrated Git support, a code debugger, and smart autocompletion.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install a code-server Cloud IDE platform on Ubuntu 20.04.


  • A fresh Ubuntu 20.04 VPS on the Cloud Platform
  • A root password configured on your server

Step 1 – Create Atlantic.Net Cloud Server

First, log in to your Atlantic.Net Cloud Server. Create a new server, choosing Ubuntu 20.04 as the operating system with at least 1GB RAM. Connect to your Cloud Server via SSH and log in using the credentials highlighted at the top of the page.

Once you are logged in to your Ubuntu 20.04 server, run the following command to update your base system with the latest available packages.

apt-get update -y

Step 2 – Install code-server IDE

First, you will need to download the latest version of the code-server from the Git Hub repository. At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest version of the code-server is v3.4.0. You can download it with the following command:


Once the download is completed, extract the downloaded file with the following command:

tar -xvzf code-server-3.4.0-linux-amd64.tar.gz

Next, move the extracted directory to the /usr/lib directory:

cp -r code-server-3.4.0-linux-amd64 /usr/lib/code-server

Next, create a symbolic link of code-server binary to the /usr/bin/ directory:

ln -s /usr/lib/code-server/bin/code-server /usr/bin/code-server

Next, create a directory to store user’s data:

mkdir /var/lib/code-server

Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3 – Create a Systemd Unit File for code-server

Next, you will need to create a systemd service file to manage the code-server service. You can create it with the following command:

nano /lib/systemd/system/code-server.service

Add the following lines:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/code-server --bind-addr --user-data-dir /var/lib/code-server --
auth password


Save and close the file when you are finished. Then, reload the systemd daemon with the following command:

systemctl daemon-reload

Next, start the code-server service and enable it to start at boot with the following command:

systemctl start code-server
systemctl enable code-server

You can now verify the status of the code-server service with the following command:

systemctl status code-server

You should see the following output:

At this point, code-server is started and listening on port 8080. You can now proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – Configure Nginx as a Reverse Proxy

It is a good idea to configure Nginx as a reverse proxy to access the code-server without specifying the port 8080.

First, install the Nginx server with the following command:

apt-get install nginx -y

Once Nginx has been installed, create a new virtual host configuration file for code-server:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/code-cloud.conf

Add the following lines:

server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

server {
listen 80;


location / {
proxy_pass http://localhost:8080/;
proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection upgrade;
proxy_set_header Accept-Encoding gzip;

Save and close the file then, activate the Nginx virtual host with the following command:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/code-cloud.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Next, check Nginx for any syntax errors with the following command:

nginx -t

You should get the following output:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Finally, restart the Nginx service to apply the changes:

systemctl restart nginx

Step 5 – Access code-server IDE

Now, open your web browser and type the URL You will be redirected to the code-server IDE login page:

Provide your password which you set in the previous steps and click on the SUBMIT button. You should see the code-server GUI interface in the following screen:


Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured code-server IDE on Ubuntu 20.04.

You can now start coding directly in Cloud IDE on your virtual private server from Atlantic.Net.

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