If you're installing code-server via npm, you'll need to install additional dependencies required to build the native modules used by VS Code. This article includes installing instructions based on your operating system.

WARNING: Do not use yarn to install code-server. Unlike npm, it does not respect lockfiles for distributed applications. It will instead use the latest version available at installation time - which might not be the one used for a given code-server release, and might lead to unexpected behavior.

Node.js version

We use the same major version of Node.js shipped with Code's remote, which is currently 20.x. VS Code also lists Node.js requirements.

Using other versions of Node.js may lead to unexpected behavior.

Ubuntu, Debian

sudo apt-get install -y \
  build-essential \
  pkg-config \
npm config set python python3

Proceed to installing

Fedora, CentOS, RHEL

sudo yum groupinstall -y 'Development Tools'
sudo yum config-manager --set-enabled PowerTools # unnecessary on CentOS 7
sudo yum install -y python2
npm config set python python2

Proceed to installing


apk add alpine-sdk bash libstdc++ libc6-compat
npm config set python python3

Proceed to installing


xcode-select --install

Proceed to installing


pkg install -y git python npm-node20 pkgconf
pkg install -y libinotify

Proceed to installing


Installing code-server requires all of the prerequisites for VS Code development. When installing the C++ compiler tool chain, we recommend using "Option 2: Visual Studio 2019" for best results.

Next, install code-server with:

npm install --global code-server
# Now visit Your password is in ~/.config/code-server/config.yaml

A script will attempt to run. Select your terminal (e.g., Git bash) as the default shell for npm run-scripts. If an additional dialog does not appear, run the install command again.

If the code-server command is not found, you'll need to add a directory to your PATH. To find the directory, use the following command:

npm config get prefix

For help and additional troubleshooting, see #1397.


After adding the dependencies for your OS, install the code-server package globally:

npm install --global code-server
# Now visit Your password is in ~/.config/code-server/config.yaml


If you need further assistance, post on our GitHub Discussions page.

Issues with Node.js after version upgrades

Occasionally, you may run into issues with Node.js.

If you install code-server using npm, and you upgrade your Node.js version, you may need to reinstall code-server to recompile native modules. Sometimes, you can get around this by navigating into code-server's lib/vscode directory and running npm rebuild to recompile the modules.

A step-by-step example of how you might do this is:

  1. Install code-server: brew install code-server
  2. Navigate into the directory: cd /usr/local/Cellar/code-server/<version>/libexec/lib/vscode/
  3. Recompile the native modules: npm rebuild
  4. Restart code-server

Debugging install issues with npm

To debug installation issues, install with npm:

# Uninstall
npm uninstall --global code-server > /dev/null 2>&1

# Install with logging
npm install --loglevel verbose --global code-server
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