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Troubleshooting GitHub Codespaces clients

This article provides troubleshooting information for issues you may encounter with the client you use for GitHub Codespaces.

Note: Using GitHub Codespaces with JetBrains IDEs is currently in public beta and is subject to change.

Troubleshooting the Visual Studio Code web client

If you encounter issues using GitHub Codespaces in a browser that is not Chromium-based, try switching to a Chromium-based browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Alternatively, check for known issues with your browser in the microsoft/vscode repository by searching for issues labeled with the name of your browser, such as firefox or safari.

If you encounter issues using GitHub Codespaces in a Chromium-based browser, you can check if you're experiencing another known issue with VS Code in the microsoft/vscode repository.

Differences from working in VS Code locally

When you open a codespace in your browser, using the VS Code web client, you will notice some differences from working in a local workspace in the VS Code desktop application. For example, some key bindings will be different or missing, and some extensions may behave differently. For a summary, see: "Known limitations and adaptions" in the VS Code docs.

You can check for known issues and log new issues with the VS Code experience in the microsoft/vscode repository.

Visual Studio Code Insiders

Visual Studio Code Insiders is the most frequent release of VS Code. It has all the latest features and bug fixes, but may also occasionally contain new issues that result in a broken build.

If you are using an Insiders build and notice broken behavior, we recommend switching to Visual Studio Code Stable and trying again.

Click in the bottom left of the editor and select Switch to Stable Version.... If the VS Code web client doesn't load, or the icon isn't available, you can force switching to Visual Studio Code Stable by appending ?vscodeChannel=stable to your codespace URL and loading the codespace at that URL.

If the problem isn't fixed in Visual Studio Code Stable, check for known issues and, if required, log a new issue with the VS Code experience, in the microsoft/vscode repository.

VS Code troubleshooting

When you open a codespace in the VS Code desktop application, you may notice a few differences compared with working in a local workspace, but the experience should be similar.

If you encounter problems, you can check for known issues and log new issues with the VS Code experience in the microsoft/vscode repository.

Visual Studio Code Insiders

Visual Studio Code Insiders is the most frequent release of VS Code. It has all the latest features and bug fixes, but may also occasionally contain new issues that result in a broken build.

If you are using an Insiders build and notice broken behavior, we recommend switching to Visual Studio Code Stable and trying again.

To switch to Visual Studio Code Stable, close the Visual Studio Code Insiders application, open the Visual Studio Code Stable application, and re-open your codespace.

If the problem isn't fixed in Visual Studio Code Stable, check for known issues and, if required, log a new issue with the VS Code experience, in the microsoft/vscode repository.

Troubleshooting JetBrains IDEs

Performance issues

A GitHub Codespaces machine type with at least 4 cores is recommended for running any of the JetBrains IDEs. For more information, see "Changing the machine type for your codespace."

If you are using a machine with 4 or more cores and the performance you are experiencing in JetBrains feels a little sluggish, you may need to increase the maximum Java heap size.

We recommend setting the maximum heap size to somewhere between 2862 MiB (3 GB) and 60% of the remote host's RAM.

The following provides some guidance as an initial starting point, which you can adjust based on the size of the codebase and the memory needed to run your application. For example, if you have a large or complicated codebase you may need to increase the heap size further. If you have a larger application, you can set a lower heap size to allow the application more memory.

Machine typeMaximum heap size
4 core3 GB
8 core4 GB
16 or 32 cores8 GB
  1. On the left of the navigation bar, at the top of the application window, click the name of the codespace.

    Screenshot of the resources button in JetBrains

  2. In the Performance tab, note the CPU Load and Memory details. These will indicate whether the machine is overloaded.

    Screenshot of a the Localhost button in JetBrains

  3. Click the Settings tab and edit the heap size, increasing it to no more than 60% of the available memory for your codespace.

    Screenshot of the maximum heap size setting

  4. Click Save and restart.

Client can't be opened in MacOS Ventura

In MacOS Ventura, the first time you try to connect to a codespace from the JetBrains Gateway a message may be displayed telling you that the JetBrains client application "is damaged and can't be opened."

Screenshot of the 'cannot be opened' error message

If this happens:

  1. Click Cancel to dismiss this message.

  2. Click the Apple icon, top left of the screen, and click System Settings.

  3. Click Privacy & Security and scroll down to the "Security" section.

    Screenshot of the Privacy & Security dialog

    You will see a message telling you that the JetBrains Client was blocked from use.

  4. Click Open Anyway to add the JetBrains client to your recognized applications. The message is displayed again but this time with an Open button.

    Screenshot of the error message with an 'Open' button
  5. Click Cancel again.

  6. Go back to the JetBrains Gateway application and connect to the required codespace again. The JetBrains client will now open successfully. Having authorized the client application to run on your Mac, you will not see the message when you connect to your codespaces in future.

SSH connection issues

To connect via the SSH server running in your codespace, you must have an SSH key in your ~/.ssh directory (MacOS and Linux) or %HOMEPATH%\.ssh directory (Windows) that has already been added to your GitHub account. If you do not have any keys in this directory, GitHub CLI will generate keys for you. For more information, see "Adding a new SSH key to your GitHub account."

If you encounter problems with key validation, try upgrading your version of GitHub CLI. For information, see the upgrade instructions in the README for GitHub CLI.

JetBrains IDE issues

For help with issues specific to the JetBrains IDE you are using, or the JetBrains Gateway application, see "Product Support" on the JetBrains website.