How to Set Up Visual Studio Code Server on a Raspberry Pi for iPad Access: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you looking to set up a Visual Studio Code Server so that you can access and develop code from your iPad or any other device? You’re in luck! Today, I’ll walk you through installing and configuring Visual Studio Code Server on your Raspberry Pi and make it accessible across your devices, including the iPad. Here’s how you can get started:

First of all, make sure you have backed up any critical information on your Raspberry Pi, then log into the device and execute the following commands.

Step 1: Install Node.js and npm

Node.js is a runtime environment that we need to run the code server. You can install it on your Raspberry Pi with these commands:

sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo apt-get install npm

Step 2: Install Yarn Package Manager

Before we can install the Visual Studio Code server, we need the Yarn package manager. Install it globally using npm:

sudo npm -g install yarn

Step 3: Install VS Code Server

With Yarn ready to go, we can now install the code server:

yarn global add code-server

Step 4: Initial Code Server Setup

Run the code server once to generate the config file:


Afterwards, quit the server so we can edit the configuration.

Step 5: Configure the Code Server

For text editing, let’s install Vim:

sudo apt-get install vim

Now, edit the config file to allow access from all devices:

vim ~/.config/code-server/config.yaml

Make the following changes:

  • Set the bind address to for broad access.
  • Disable password authentication by changing auth: password to auth: none.
  • (Optional) Change the password to something memorable.

Step 6: Restart Code Server

Run the code server again with:


Step 7: Set Up Auto-Start on Boot

Create a new service file with Vim:

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/code-server.service

Enable the service to start on boot:

sudo systemctl enable code-server

Step 8: Secure Mode Configuration

To start the code server in secure mode and generate a certificate, stop the server first:

sudo systemctl stop code-server

Edit the config file again:

vim ~/.config/code-server/config.yaml

Enable the certificate:

  • Change cert: false to cert: true.
  • Add cert-host: <hostname of your pi>.local.

Step 9: Transfer the Certificate to the iPad

Copy the certificate to a location accessible via SFTP:

cp ~/.local/share/code-server/<hostname.local>.crt .

Use an SFTP app on your iPad to download the <hostname.local>.crt file and add it as a profile in your iPad settings. Trust the <hostname.local> certificate in the settings.

Step 10: Access Code Server from Safari

Connect to the code server using https://<hostname.local>:8080 and add the page to your home screen for easy access.

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