AWS, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Streamline Your Development Connecting Remote Instances to VS Code

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In this blog, we will learn how to connect your remote machine (in my case, Amazon EC2 instance) with your VS Code editor.

Suppose you are actively working on a remote Linux-based instance and need to do lots of frequent editing or changes to your code. In that case, it is a hassle as the default IDE it comes with is not at all user friendly and does not provide or come with an advanced feature that comes with the VS Code. Still, we cannot use it in the CLI version, but there is a way to SSH or connect to your Amazon EC2 instance or any remote instance from VS Code from your local system and work directly from your IDE.


Connecting to an Amazon EC2 instance from within VS Code offers several advantages:

  • Seamless Code Editing: Edit code and files as they are on your local system.
  • Advanced Features: Utilize all VS Code plugins, shortcuts, and advanced editing features.
  • Simplified Workflow: Eliminate the hassle of syncing code between your local system and the remote instance.

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  • A running Linux based Amazon EC2 instance with a public IP address attached to it.
  • Visual Studio Code (VS Code) installed in the system.

Steps to Implement

Configure Security Group for SSH

Log in to the AWS console.

Navigate to the security group of the Amazon EC2 instance you want to connect to.

Create a new inbound rule for SSH and allow your current system’s IP address to enable SSH access to the remote instance.

Install Remote – SSH Extension

Open VS Code on your system.

Go to the Extensions view by clicking the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the side of the window.

Search for “Remote – SSH” in the VS Code marketplace and install the extension.

Access Remote SSH

Once the extension is installed, you will see a new icon on the far left side of the status bar. This icon provides quick access to Remote SSH.

Click on this Remote SSH icon.


Open SSH Configuration File

Click on “Open SSH Configuration File” from the Remote SSH menu.


Select and open the config file to configure the remote instance details.


Configure the Remote Instance

In the config file, paste the following code:

Host <any name of your choice>

HostName <host IP address>

IdentityFile <location of the key>

User <user name>

Host: A name that will appear in VS Code. It can be any name.

HostName: The server’s IP address or host.

User: The username of the instance or machine.

IdentityFile: The path to the private key file.

Save the configuration file.


Connect to the Remote Instance

Click on the Remote SSH icon again on the far left corner of the status bar.


Select “Connect to Host”.


Choose the hostname you specified in the configuration file.


Select “Linux” if it is a Linux-based instance and click “Continue”.


Access Files and Folders

Once connected, you can browse the files and folders of your remote instance.

Go to File > Open Folder in VS Code to open a folder.


Connecting a remote instance, such as an Amazon EC2 instance, to VS Code significantly enhances the development experience. By following the steps outlined, you can seamlessly integrate your remote server’s environment with the powerful features of VS Code. This integration allows for efficient code editing, advanced plugins, and a streamlined development process, ultimately boosting productivity and reducing the hassle of manually syncing files.

With the setup completed, you can enjoy a smooth and efficient workflow, making remote development as convenient as working on your local machine.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon EC2 and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. What should I do if I encounter connection issues?

ANS: – Ensure your security group allows SSH connections from your current IP address. Double-check the SSH configuration file for any errors in the hostname, IP address, username, or path to the private key.

2. Can I connect to any remote server using this method?

ANS: – Yes, as long as the remote server supports SSH connections and you have the necessary access credentials.

WRITTEN BY Yamini Reddy



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