Remote Development with Linux

Linux is a highly variable environment and the large number of server, container, and desktop distributions can make it difficult to know what is supported. Visual Studio Code Remote Development has prerequisites for the specific host / container / WSL distribution you will be connecting to.

The extensions are known to work when connecting to recent stable/LTS version of:

  • Ubuntu 64-bit x86, ARMv8l (AArch64) (20.04+)
  • Debian 64-bit x86, ARMv8l (AArch64) (Buster/10+)
  • Raspberry Pi OS ARMv7l (AArch32) 32-bit (Buster/10+) (previously called Raspbian)
  • CentOS / RHEL 64-bit x86 (8+)
  • Alpine Linux 64-bit x86 containers or WSL hosts (3.16+) in Dev Containers, WSL

The following non-Linux SSH hosts are also supported:

However, if you are using a non-standard configuration or downstream distribution of Linux, you may run into issues. This document provides information on requirements as well as tips to help you get up and running even if your configuration is only community-supported.

Note that other extensions may have dependencies beyond those listed here. Some extensions also contain compiled native code that may not work on Alpine Linux, or ARMv7 (AArch32), or ARMv8 (AArch64). These platforms are considered in "preview" for this reason. If you encounter an issue that only occurs with a particular extension, contact the extension authors for information on their native dependencies.

Local Linux prerequisites

If you are running Linux locally, the VS Code prerequisites drive most of the requirements.

In addition, specific Remote Development extensions have further requirements:

Remote host / container / WSL Linux prerequisites

Platform prerequisites are primarily driven by the version of the Node.js runtime (and by extension the V8 JavaScript engine) shipped in the server component automatically installed on each remote endpoint. This server also has a set of related native node modules that need to be compiled and tested for each target. 64-bit x86 glibc-based Linux distributions currently provide the best support given these requirements.

You may encounter issues with certain extensions with native dependencies with ARMv7l (AArch32) / ARMv8l (AArch64) glibc-based hosts, containers, or WSL and 64-bit x86 musl-based Alpine Linux. For ARMv7l/ARMv8l, extensions may only include x86_64 versions of native modules or runtimes in the extension. For Alpine Linux, included native code or runtimes may not work due to fundamental differences between how libc is implemented in Alpine Linux (musl) and other distributions (glibc). In both these cases, extensions will need to opt-in to supporting these platforms by compiling / including binaries for these additional targets. Please raise an issue with the appropriate extension author requesting support if you encounter an extension that does not work as expected.

Distribution Base Requirements Remote - SSH Requirements Notes
General kernel >= 4.18, glibc >=2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25, Python 2.6 or 2.7, tar OpenSSH server, bash, and curl or wget Run ldd --version to check the glibc version. Run strings /usr/lib64/ | grep GLIBCXX to see if libstdc++ 3.4.25 is available.
General for Arm32 libatomic1 No additional requirements.
Ubuntu 20.04+, Debian 10+, Raspberry Pi OS Buster/10+ and downstream distributions libc6 libstdc++6 python-minimal ca-certificates tar openssh-server bash and curl or wget Requires kernel >= 4.18, glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25.
RHEL / CentOS 8+ glibc libgcc libstdc++ python ca-certificates tar openssh-server bash and curl or wget Requires kernel >= 4.18, glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25.
Alpine Linux 3.16+ musl libgcc libstdc++. musl >= 1.2.3, glibc not required. Not yet supported. Supported in Dev Containers and WSL. Extensions installed in the container may not work due to glibc dependencies in extension native code.
openSUSE Leap / SUSE Linux Enterprise 15+ glibc libgcc_s1 libstdc++6 python ca-certificates gzip tar curl or wget Requires kernel >= 4.18, glibc, libstdc++6

Tips by Linux distribution

The following is a list of distributions and any base requirements that may be missing. End-of-life versions of distributions are not included.

  • ✅ = Working
  • ⚠️ = Working, but see note for limitations
  • 🔬 = Experimental
  • 🛑 = Unsupported, but has workaround
  • ❌ = Unsupported
Server Distribution Docker Image Missing libraries Notes / additional steps
⚠️ Alpine Linux 3.16 (64-bit) alpine:3.16 libgcc libstdc++ Supported in Dev Containers and WSL only. Some extensions installed in the container may not work due to glibc dependencies in extension native code.
✅ CentOS 8 Server (64-bit) centos:8 <none> <none>
❌ CentOS 7 Server (64-bit) centos:7 glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25 <none>
✅ Debian 10 Server (64-bit) debian:10 <none> <none>
❌ Debian 9 Server (64-bit) debian:9 glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25 <none>
✅ openSUSE Leap Server 15 (64-bit) opensuse/leap:15 Docker image is missing tar and gzip. <none>
✅ Oracle Linux 8 (64-bit) oraclelinux:8 <none> <none>
❌ Oracle Linux 7 (64-bit) oraclelinux:7 glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25. Docker image is missing tar. <none>
⚠️ Raspberry Pi OS Buster/10 (ARMv7l 32-bit) <n/a> <none> Some extensions may not work when installed on an ARMv7l host due to extension x86 native code. Dev Containers does support connecting to containers on an ARM host.
✅ RedHat Enterprise Linux 8 (64-bit) <none> <none>
❌ RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit) glibc >= 2.28, libstdc++ >= 3.4.25 <none>
✅ SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 (64-bit) Docker image is missing tar and gzip. <none>
✅ Ubuntu Server 20.04 (64-bit) ubuntu:20.04 <none> <none>
❌ Ubuntu Server 18.04 (64-bit) ubuntu:18.04 <none> <none>

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