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Creating a codespace

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

GitHub Codespaces is available for organizations using GitHub Team or GitHub Enterprise Cloud. GitHub Codespaces is also available as a limited beta release for individual users on GitHub Free and GitHub Pro plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

About codespace creation

You can create a codespace on, in Visual Studio Code, or by using GitHub CLI. 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.

When you create a codespace, a number of steps happen to create and connect you to your development environment:

  • Step 1: VM and storage are assigned to your codespace.
  • Step 2: Container is created and your repository is cloned.
  • Step 3: You can connect to the codespace.
  • Step 4: Codespace continues with post-creation setup.

For more information on what happens when you create a codespace, see "Deep Dive."

For more information on the lifecycle of a codespace, see "Codespaces lifecycle."

If you want to use Git hooks for your codespace, then you should set up hooks using the devcontainer.json lifecycle scripts, such as postCreateCommand, during step 4. Since your codespace container is created after the repository is cloned, any git template directory configured in the container image will not apply to your codespace. Hooks must instead be installed after the codespace is created. For more information on using postCreateCommand, see the devcontainer.json reference in the VS Code documentation.

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

You can see every available codespace that you have created at

To speed up codespace creation, repository administrators can enable GitHub Codespaces prebuilds for a repository. For more information, see "About GitHub Codespaces prebuilds."

Access to GitHub Codespaces

When you have access to GitHub Codespaces, you'll see a "Codespaces" tab within the Code drop-down menu when you view a repository.

You'll have access to GitHub Codespaces under the following conditions:

Either all of these are true:

  • You are a member, or outside collaborator, of an organization that has enabled Codespaces and set a spending limit.
  • The organization owner has allowed you to create codespaces at the organization's expense.
  • The repository for which you want to create a codespace is owned by this organization.

Or both of these are true:

  • You are participating in the beta of Codespaces for individual users.
  • Either you own the repository for which you want to create a codespace, or it is owned by an organization of which you are either a member or an outside collaborator.

Before Codespaces can be used in an organization, an owner or billing manager must have set a spending limit. For more information, see "Managing spending limits for GitHub Codespaces."

Organization owners can specify who can create and use codespaces at the organization's expense. Organization owners can also prevent any codespace usage being charged to the organization. For more information, see "Enabling GitHub Codespaces for your organization."

Creating a codespace

  1. On, 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. Click the Code button, then click the Codespaces tab.

    New codespace button

  4. Create your codespace, either using the default options, or after configuring advanced options:

    • Use the default options

      To create a codespace using the default options, click Create codespace on BRANCH.

      Optionally, before clicking Create codespace on BRANCH, you can click the down arrow at the side of the button to see what machine type will be used for your codespace.

      View the default machine type

      Note: The machine type with the lowest resources that are valid for the repository is selected by default.

    • Configure options

      To configure advanced options for your codespace, such as a different machine type or a particular devcontainer.json file:

      1. Click the down arrow at the side of the Create codespace on BRANCH button, then click Configure and create codespace.

      2. Click the Configure and create codespace button.

      3. On the options page for your codespace, choose your preferred options from the drop-down menus.

        The codespace options page


      4. Click Start session.

After you connect your account on to the GitHub Codespaces extension, you can create a new codespace. For more information about the GitHub Codespaces extension, see the VS Code Marketplace marketplace.

Note: Currently, VS Code doesn't allow you to choose a dev container configuration when you create a codespace. If you want to choose a specific dev container configuration, use the GitHub web interface to create your codespace. For more information, click the Web browser tab at the top of this page.

  1. In VS Code, in the left sidebar, click the Remote Explorer icon.

    The Remote Explorer icon in Visual Studio Code

    Note: If the Remote Explorer is not displayed in the Activity Bar:

    1. Access the Command Palette. For example, by pressing Shift+Command+P (Mac) / Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows/Linux).
    2. Type: codespaces.
    3. Click Codespaces: Details.
  2. Click the Add icon: .

    The Create new Codespace option in GitHub Codespaces

  3. Type the name of the repository you want to develop in, then select it.

    Searching for repository to create a new codespace

  4. Click the branch you want to develop on.

    Searching for a branch to create a new codespace

  5. If prompted to choose a dev container configuration file, choose a file from the list.

    Choosing a dev container configuration file for GitHub Codespaces

  6. Click the machine type you want to use.

    Instance types for a new codespace

    Note: Your choice of available machine types may be limited by a policy configured for your organization, or by a minimum machine type specification for your repository. For more information, see "Restricting access to machine types" and "Setting a minimum specification for codespace machines."

To learn more about GitHub CLI, see "About GitHub CLI."

To create a new codespace, use the gh codespace create subcommand.

gh codespace create 

You are prompted to choose a repository, a branch, a dev container configuration file (if more than one is available), and a machine type (if more than one is available).

Alternatively, you can use flags to specify some or all of the options:

gh codespace create -r owner/repo -b branch --devcontainer-path path -m machine-type 

In this example, replace owner/repo with the repository identifier. Replace branch with the name of the branch, or the full SHA hash of the commit, that you want to be initially checked out in the codespace. If you use the -r flag without the b flag, the codespace is created from the default branch.

Replace path with the path to the dev container configuration file you want to use for the new codespace. If you omit this flag and more than one dev container file is available you will be prompted to choose one from a list. For more information about the dev container configuration file, see "Introduction to dev containers."

Replace machine-type with a valid identifier for an available machine type. Identifiers are strings such as: basicLinux32gb and standardLinux32gb. The type of machines that are available depends on the repository, your personal account, and your location. If you enter an invalid or unavailable machine type, the available types are shown in the error message. If you omit this flag and more than one machine type is available you will be prompted to choose one from a list.

For full details of the options for this command, see the GitHub CLI manual.

Further reading