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18 Jun 2021

How to Code on an iPad in 2021 using code-server and Railway


In this video, Joe Previte, an engineer at Coder, demonstrates how to deploy code-server (VS Code in the browser) to be able to access his environment from anywhere and write code on an iPad.


My name is Joe Previte. I'm an open source engineer here at Coder, and today I'm going to show you how to deploy code-server to Railway so that you can start coding on your iPad.

Navigating to the code-server GitHub Repo

So the first thing you want to do is head over to this GitHub repo. This is under Coder.

Deploying code-server with Railway

And we're going to scroll down, and so here you have places where you can deploy code-server. So we're going to go to the guide for Railway.

Railway is just a cloud development platform. They have a generous free plan, and we're going to be utilizing that today. The first thing you want to do is click the button to deploy on Railway. So we'll click that. I'm already signed in, but you'll want to sign in with GitHub.

What it's going to do is prompt you for a name and this is a name of a new GitHub repo so I'm just going to call this code-server iPad -- sorry -- code-server Railway iPad and for password this is going to be the password to access your code-server environment. I'm just going to do password123, and I'll change that later and then a Git repo which will be open -- which will be cloned and opened in code-server. There's an example here. I'm just gonna copy that, and that's actually the Coder docs, and we'll change this to code-server, so we'll copy code-server. I'll hit deploy.

It will create this repository, get everything set up, and if we take a look it'll show the logs as it starts building and deploying. You can see that it's already live, so if we click that link -- sorry -- if we go there it is not live but it will be live in a second.

There we go. Okay now password123. Hopefully type that in right -- and we won't save that -- and boom. So here is your code-server environment deployed on Railway.

Accessing code-server from your iPad

Now all you have to do is open up this url on your iPad. On your iPad you're going to go to the url for your Railway deployment, but before we do this I'm gonna back up.

What we're gonna do is install the PWA. So we're gonna go up here for the share icon and we're gonna hit add to home screen. I'm gonna call this code-server Railway demo. We'll hit add and you can see it's been added here. Now I'll click that. Open it up. Now I'll type in my password and log in. Then if you hit refresh with command r you will see your code-server environment and you can start coding on your iPad.

And that's it. Now you can start coding on your iPad from anywhere.

Further Reading