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Workspaces

Workspaces

A workspace is the environment that a developer works in. Developers in a team each work from their own workspace and can use multiple IDEs.

A developer creates a workspace from a shared template. This lets an entire team work in environments that are identically configured and provisioned with the same resources.

Creating workspaces

You can create a workspace in the UI. Log in to your Coder instance, go to the Templates tab, find the template you need, and select Create Workspace.

Creating a workspace in the UI

When you create a workspace, you will be prompted to give it a name. You might also be prompted to set some parameters that the template provides.

You can manage your existing templates in the Workspaces tab.

You can also create a workspace from the command line:

Each Coder user has their own workspaces created from shared templates:

# create a workspace from the template; specify any variables
coder create --template="<templateName>" <workspaceName>

# show the resources behind the workspace and how to connect
coder show <workspace-name>

Workspace filtering

In the Coder UI, you can filter your workspaces using pre-defined filters or Coder's filter query. For example, you can find the workspaces that you own or that are currently running.

The following filters are supported:

  • owner - Represents the username of the owner. You can also use me as a convenient alias for the logged-in user.
  • template - Specifies the name of the template.
  • status - Indicates the status of the workspace. For a list of supported statuses, see WorkspaceStatus documentation.

Starting and stopping workspaces

By default, you manually start and stop workspaces as you need. You can also schedule a workspace to start and stop automatically.

To set a workspace's schedule, go to the workspace, then Settings > Schedule.

Scheduling UI

Coder might also stop a workspace automatically if there is a template update available.

Autostart and autostop

Use autostart to start a workspace at a specified time and which days of the week. Also, you can choose your preferred timezone.

Autostart UI

Use autostop to stop a workspace after a number of hours. Autostop won't stop a workspace if you're still using it. It waits for another hour before checking again. Coder checks for active connections in the IDE, SSH, Port Forwarding, and coder_app.

Autostop UI

Autostop requirement

Autostop requirement is a template setting that determines how often workspaces using the template must automatically stop. Autostop requirement ignores any active connections, and ensures that workspaces do not run in perpetuity when connections are left open inadvertently.

Workspaces will apply the template autostop requirement on the given day in the user's timezone and specified quiet hours (see below). This ensures that workspaces will not be stopped during work hours.

The available options are "Days", which can be set to "Daily", "Saturday" or "Sunday", and "Weeks", which can be set to any number from 1 to 16.

"Days" governs which days of the week workspaces must stop. If you select "daily", workspaces must be automatically stopped every day at the start of the user's defined quiet hours. When using "Saturday" or "Sunday", workspaces will be automatically stopped on Saturday or Sunday in the user's timezone and quiet hours.

"Weeks" determines how many weeks between required stops. It cannot be changed from the default of 1 if you have selected "Daily" for "Days". When using a value greater than 1, workspaces will be automatically stopped every N weeks on the day specified by "Days" and the user's quiet hours. The autostop week is synchronized for all workspaces on the same template.

Autostop requirement is disabled when the template is using the deprecated max lifetime feature. Templates can choose to use a max lifetime or an autostop requirement during the deprecation period, but only one can be used at a time.

User quiet hours

User quiet hours can be configured in the user's schedule settings page. Workspaces on templates with an autostop requirement will only be forcibly stopped due to the policy at the start of the user's quiet hours.

User schedule settings

Admins can define the default quiet hours for all users with the --default-quiet-hours-schedule flag or CODER_DEFAULT_QUIET_HOURS_SCHEDULE environment variable. The value should be a cron expression such as CRON_TZ=America/Chicago 30 2 * * * which would set the default quiet hours to 2:30 AM in the America/Chicago timezone. The cron schedule can only have a minute and hour component. The default schedule is UTC 00:00. It is recommended to set the default quiet hours to a time when most users are not expected to be using Coder.

Admins can force users to use the default quiet hours with the CODER_ALLOW_CUSTOM_QUIET_HOURS environment variable. Users will still be able to see the page, but will be unable to set a custom time or timezone. If users have already set a custom quiet hours schedule, it will be ignored and the default will be used instead.

Automatic updates

It can be tedious to manually update a workspace everytime an update is pushed to a template. Users can choose to opt-in to automatic updates to update to the active template version whenever the workspace is started.

Note: If a template is updated such that new parameter inputs are required from the user, autostart will be disabled for the workspace until the user has manually updated the workspace.

Automatic Updates

Updating workspaces

After updating the default version of the template that a workspace was created from, you can update the workspace.

Updating a workspace

If the workspace is running, Coder stops it, updates it, then starts the workspace again.

On the command line:

coder update <workspace-name>

Workspace resources

Workspaces in Coder are started and stopped, often based on whether there was any activity or if there was a template update available.

Resources are often destroyed and re-created when a workspace is restarted, though the exact behavior depends on the template. For more information, see Resource Persistence.

⚠️ To avoid data loss, refer to your template documentation for information on where to store files, install software, etc., so that they persist. Default templates are documented in ../examples/templates.

You can use coder show <workspace-name> to see which resources are persistent and which are ephemeral.

Typically, when a workspace is deleted, all of the workspace's resources are deleted along with it. Rarely, one may wish to delete a workspace without deleting its resources, e.g. a workspace in a broken state. Users with the Template Admin role have the option to do so both in the UI, and also in the CLI by running the delete command with the --orphan flag. This option should be considered cautiously as orphaning may lead to unaccounted cloud resources.

Repairing workspaces

Use the following command to re-enter template input variables in an existing workspace. This command is useful when a workspace fails to build because its state is out of sync with the template.

coder update <your workspace name> --always-prompt

First, try re-entering parameters from a workspace. In the Coder UI, you can filter your workspaces using pre-defined filters or employing the Coder's filter query. Take a look at the following examples to understand how to use the Coder's filter query:

  • To find the workspaces that you own, use the filter owner:me.
  • To find workspaces that are currently running, use the filter status:running.

Re-entering template variables

You can also do this in the CLI with the following command:

coder update <your workspace name> --always-prompt

If that does not work, a Coder admin can manually push and pull the Terraform state for a given workspace. This can lead to state corruption or deleted resources if you do not know what you are doing.

coder state pull <username>/<workspace name>
# Make changes
coder state push <username>/<workspace name>

Logging

Coder stores macOS and Linux logs at the following locations:

ServiceLocation
startup_script/tmp/coder-startup-script.log
shutdown_script/tmp/coder-shutdown-script.log
Agent/tmp/coder-agent.log

Note: Logs are truncated once they reach 5MB in size.

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