VS Code Connect to Remote Server over Intranet

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This post is a walkthrough to setup and connect Visual Studio Code to remote server over Intranet or behind a firewall.



  • Local machine: A computer/laptio running Debian Linux or Windows
  • Intermediate jump box:
    • OS: Debian Linux
    • IP: <jump_box_IP>
    • SSH Port: 12345
  • Remote target box:
    • OS: Debian Linux
    • IP:
    • SSH Port: 23456

1. Install VS Code in Server

Download VS Code from the download page. For Debian, download the .deb package (64-bit), and install with:

$ sudo apt install ./code_<version>_amd64.deb

Note: Installing the .deb package will automatically install the apt repository and signing key to enable auto-updating using the system’s package manager.

Launch the VS Code application and keep it running. Now it works as the VS Code Server.

2. Install and Setup VS Code locally

(1) Download and Install VS code

Download and install VS Code installation package according to working computer.

(2) Install OpenSSH Client

  • For Debian
sudo install openssh-client
  • For Windows

Follow the instructions in Get started with OpenSSH for Windows.

(3) Generate user SSH key pairs

ssh-keygen -t ed25519


SSH default directory:

  • For Debian: ~/.ssh
  • For Windows: ~/Users/username/.ssh

Transfer loca user SSH public key to jump box:

ssh-copy-id -p 12345 username@jump_box_ip

With similar operation, Generate user SSH key pairs in the jump box and transfer public key to remote server.

(4) Install the Remote-SSH extension

Search for “remote ssh” in the Extensions view (Ctrl+Shift+X). After the extension installed, there will be an indicator on the bottom-left of the Status bar, and a Remote Explorer icon at the left Activity Bar:

remote extension commands

(5) Edit local SSH config file

Edit SSH config file .ssh/config in local machine, append these contents:

# Jump box with public IP address
Host jump-box
    HostName <IP address of jump box>
    User <username>
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

# Target machine with private IP address
Host target-box
    User <username>
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_ed25519
    ProxyCommand ssh -q -W %h:%p jump-box

Note: If IdentifyFile were not provided, you have to input password manually.

3. Connect local machine to remote host

(1) In local machine, run VS Code.

(2) Click Remote Explorer icon in the left Activity bar, it will show jump-box and ’target-box’ under SSH.

(3) Click the ‘->’ behind jump-box and target-box in turn.

(4) If there were no error, the local VS Code has connected to the remote server.

4. Close remote connection

Click the VS Cide main menu File - Close Remote Connection to disconnect from the remote host.

5. VS Code alternatives

Beside VS Code, other similar code editors are available:

  1. VSCodium: Free/Libre Open Source Software Binaries of VS Code. These binaries are licensed under the MIT license. Telemetry is disabled.
  2. code-server: VS Code in the browser.


  1. Visual Studio Code Docs: Remote Development using SSH
  2. Visual Studio Code: Remote SSH: Tips and Tricks
  3. How to setup VS Code remote SSH with a jump host?