Creating a codespace

You can create a codespace for a branch in a repository to develop online.

Anyone can create a codespace for any public repository, or for any repository owned by their user account.

Note: Codespaces is currently in limited public beta and subject to change. For more information about joining the beta, see "About Codespaces."

About codespace creation

You can create a codespace on either GitHub.com or in Visual Studio Code. Each codespace you create is only available to you. No one else can work in your codespace.

Codespaces are associated with a specific branch of a repository and the repository cannot be empty. You can create more than one codespace per repository or even per branch. However, each user account has a two-codespace limit during limited public beta. If you've reached the limit and want to create a new codespace, you must delete a codespace first. For more information, see "Deleting a codespace."

When you create a codespace, a number of steps happen to enable full access to your development environment.

  • Resources such as a VM and storage for your container are assigned. A new VM is created every time you create or start a codespace to ensure that you always have the latest versions and security patches.
  • Codespaces receives information about your repository, branch, commits, your public dotfiles repository, and any secrets that you have created.
  • Codespaces executes a shallow clone of the repository.
  • If you have one in your repository, Codespaces runs the devcontainer.json file. For more information, see "Configuring Codespaces for your project."
  • Your Docker container, docker-compose, or other initialization is run.
  • At this point, the codespace is marked as available and you can connect.
  • Once the codespace is made available, depending on the commands in the devcontainer, the codespace will continue with some set up.
    • The codespace shares ports added in the devcontainer.json file.
    • The codespace runs anything specified in postCreateCommand.
    • Codespaces clones your dotfiles repository to the codespaces environment and looks for an install file. For more information, see "Personalizing Codespaces for your account."
    • Finally, the codespace does a full clone of the repo so you have full access to it.

You can edit code, debug, and use Git commands while developing in a codespace with Visual Studio Code. For more information, see the Visual Studio Code documentation.

You can see every available codespace that you have created at github.com/codespaces.

Creating a codespace

  1. On GitHub, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under the repository name, use the "Branch" drop-down menu, and select the branch you want to create a codespace for.

    Branch drop-down menu

  3. Under the repository name, use the Code drop-down menu, and select Open with Codespaces.

    Open with Codespaces button

  4. To create a codespace using a Standard machine type, click New codespace.

    New codespace button

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