New Codespaces features launching at Universe 2021

GitHub Codespaces allows teams and organizations to spin-up developer environments directly from a browser or through Visual Studio Code, without the hassle of setting up a brand new environment tailored to a specific repository.

We've been hard at work since our general availability announcement in August making Codespaces the best way for you to develop software, which is why we're so happy to announce several new features at GitHub Universe 2021.

We know that many developers use the gh CLI to speed up or fully automate daily tasks, and we've received dozens of requests to add Codespaces support to the CLI. As of today, the gh codespace (or gh cs for those saving keystrokes) command now allows developers to manage their codespaces from the GitHub CLI. In addition to codespace creation, listing, and starting/stopping, users can forward ports, set port visibility, SSH into their codespaces, and copy files to/from their codespaces.

# Create a new codespace via the CLI
gh codespace create --repo monalisa/octocat --branch main

We're especially excited about ssh access, as it allows developers who prefer to use editors like vim and emacs to more easily develop in Codespaces. Just gh cs ssh into your codespace and launch your editor of choice; we'll set up the environment and grab all your dotfiles so you're ready to develop in seconds.

# SSH into the codespace created above
gh codespace ssh -c monalisa-monalisa-octocat-1337h4x0r

Complimenting the CLI, we are also launching an API in beta. The API provides control plane operations around a user's codespaces including creating, starting/stopping, listing available machine types, and setting user secrets. These APIs will allow developers to build Codespaces integrations into their favorite editors and tools, as well as allow for additional automation around Codespaces.

# Stop a running codespace via the API
curl https://api.github.com/user/codespaces/monalisa-monalisa-octocat-1337h4x0r/stop \
  -H "Authorization: token <Personal Access Token>" \
  -X POST

We also know that security and privacy are critical, and we've gotten a lot of feedback on providing additional visibility options for forwarded ports beyond public and private. Today we're launching a third option: org visible ports, which are accessible to any user in the organization the codespace has been created in. This is great for securely collaborating with your teammates on new and exciting features in your codespaces.

# Make port 80 visible to all users in an org
gh codespace ports visibility 80:org -c monalisa-monalisa-octocat-1337h4x0r

Continuing with security improvements, we have also heard from developers having difficulty launching codespaces from devcontainers stored in private container registries. To make this easier, we are offering streamlined access to containers stored in the GitHub Container Registry; you no longer have to provide a Personal Access Token (PAT).

Speaking of devcontainers, we know that there's a wide gap between using a predefined devcontainer and building a custom devcontainer. To help make that transition a little easier, we're launching the ability to extend devcontainers with features, which include shells, package managers, programming languages, and other common tools. For example, adding Terraform to a supported base image is as easy as adding the following to your devcontainer.json.

"features": {
  "terraform": "latest"
}

If you have any feedback about these features, or Codespaces in general, we'd love to hear from you!

Learn more about all our newly released features: