Coder has open-sourced a new remote development platform 🥳 Check it out at coder/coder on GitHub.

Local preview

Coder is typically deployed to a remote data center, but you can use Docker to create a lightweight preview deployment of Coder.

Coder currently supports local preview only on workstations running macOS or Linux.

Prerequisites

Before proceeding, please make sure that you have the following installed:

  1. Docker
  2. helm
  3. kind or Docker Desktop
  4. kubectl

You will also need to generate a free Coder license, which you can upload upon installation.

Limitations

We do not recommend using local previews for production deployments of Coder.

The local preview does not work as a workspace provider for Coder's hosted beta.

Resource allocation and performance

Your experience with the local Coder preview is dependent on your system specs, but please note that you can expect slightly degraded performance due to the deployment running entirely inside a Docker container.

CVMs

The kind deployment supports CVMs if you meet the following requirements (if you choose not to try out CVMs, these requirements do not apply):

  1. Your Linux hosts must be running Linux Kernel 5 and above.

  2. You must have the linux-headers package corresponding to your Kernel version installed. You should see the following folders all corresponding to your Kernel version:

    $ uname -r
    5.11.4-arch1-1
    $ ls /usr/lib/modules
    5.11.4-arch1-1
    $ ls /usr/src/
    linux  linux-headers-5.11.4-arch1-1
    
  3. Docker Desktop for Mac must use version 2.5.0.1. This specific version is required because of a recent downgrade to Linux Kernel 4.9 due to a bug.

Air-gapped clusters

The local preview option does not work in an air-gapped deployment.

Option 1: Kind

To install Coder, run:

curl -fsSL https://coder.com/try.sh | PORT="80" sh -s --

You can edit the value of PORT to control where the Coder dashboard will be available. However, dev URLs will only work when PORT is set to 80.

When the installation process completes, you'll see the URL and login credentials you need to access Coder:

You can now access Coder at

    http://localhost:80

You can tear down the deployment with

    curl -fsSL https://coder.com/try.sh | sh -s -- down

Platform credentials
User:     admin
Password: yfu...yu2

Visit the URL shown, and log in using the provided credentials.

Dev URLs

Coder allows you to access services you're developing in your workspace via dev URLs. You can enable dev URLs after you've installed Coder.

If you do not want to enable dev URLs, you can use SSH port forwarding or tools like ngrok to preview webpages from inside you workspace.

  1. To use dev URLs, you must have a wildcard subdomain. One option to meet this requirement is to use a service such as nip.io to route domains to a local IP address.

  2. Update Coder with the following Helm values added for either your local (127.0.0.1) or private (e.g., 192.168.1.x) address:

    coderd:
      devurlsHost: "*.127.0.0.1.nip.io"
    

Alternatively, you can use dnsmasq to create local domains (e.g., http://dashboard.coder and http://*.coder). This may be useful if you do not want to rely on an external service/network or if your network has DNS rebinding protection. Here's how to do this:

  1. Install dnsmasq

    # Mac OS
    brew install dnsmasq
    
    # Linux (Ubuntu)
    sudo apt-get install dnsmasq
    
  2. Create a dnsmasq configuration for the .coder domain

    # Mac OS
    sudo touch $(brew --prefix)/etc/dnsmasq.d/coder.conf
    sudo vim $(brew --prefix)/etc/dnsmasq.d/coder.conf
    
    # Linux (Ubuntu)
    sudo touch /etc/dnsmasq.d/coder.conf
    sudo vim /etc/dnsmasq.d/coder.conf
    
    # coder.conf
    address=/coder/127.0.0.1
    
  3. Add dnsmasq as DNS resolver on your machine

    # Mac OS: this will only route
    # .coder domains to dnsmasq
    sudo mkdir -p /etc/resolver
    sudo touch /etc/resolver/
    sudo vim /etc/resolver/coder
    
    # Linux (Ubuntu)
    # add to top of the file
    sudo vim /etc/resolv.conf
    
    nameserver 127.0.0.1
    
  4. Update Coder with these Helm values added to use your new domains:

    coderd:
      devurlsHost: "*.coder"
    

Option 2: Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop includes a standalone Kubernetes server and client that you can use to run Coder.

  1. Enable the Kubernetes cluster inside Docker.

  2. Ensure that Docker has enough resources allocated to meet Coder's requirements (you can do so by going to Docker preferences).

    Docker Desktop Resources

  3. Install metrics-server so that Coder gets valid metrics from your cluster:

    helm repo add bitnami https://charts.bitnami.com/bitnami
    
  4. Install Coder on to your cluster.

If you run into OutOfmemory errors when installing, try increasing your resource allocation in Docker. If increasing the resource allocation doesn't fix the error, reinstall Coder using the following Helm values:

helm upgrade --install coder \
    coder/coder

For Coder v1.21+, you will need to update your access URL (go to Manage > Admin) to your private IP address (e.g 192.168.1.x) instead of using localhost.

Removing Coder

To remove the local Coder deployment, run:

curl -fsSL https://coder.com/try.sh | sh -s -- down

Because Coder runs inside Docker, you should have nothing left on your machine after tear down.

If you added a custom DNS to use dev URLs, you can revert these changes by uninstalling dnsmasq and removing the resolver config:

# MacOS
brew remove dnsmasq
sudo rm -r /etc/resolver/coder

# Linux (Ubuntu)
sudo apt-get remove dnsmasq
sudo vim /etc/resolv.conf
# remove "nameserver 127.0.0.1"
# and ensure you have another
# nameserver specified
# e.g "nameserver 127.0.0.53"

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