Gitpod: A One-Click Online IDE

We at TypeFox are thrilled to announce the public beta of Gitpod. So far we have not been particularly loud about it, so it’s likely you haven’t heard about our first product.
Gitpod is an online IDE for GitHub and other Git-hosting-services. With a single click on a GitHub-Issue, Pull-Request or Branch, Gitpod launches a developer workspace for you. Your frontend is the open-source IDE Theia and the backend is a Docker container running in the cloud. Of course, you can bring your own docker images and launch plenty of simultaneous workspaces. As you may have guessed, Language Servers add excellent support for most popular programming languages.

Please read the blog-post “Gitpod — Online IDE For GitHub” for all the details.

We truly believe Gitpod is a valuable service for all developers on GitHub and in the future, users of other Git-hosting-services.

Gitpod makes Theia IDE available to developers

About one and a half years after we started the Theia project together with our friends from Ericsson, we are proud to see Eclipse Che choosing Theia as their future IDE frontend and Redhat and ARM significantly investing by contributing to Theia.

So far it was a bit hard to get your hands on Theia, as you had to either clone the repo, build and run it locally. So not exactly what you would call easy access. With Gitpod finally end users can easily work with Theia on a daily basis with just a single click on any GitHub repo. We are looking forward to work on all the useful feedback we might receive.

Gitpod can host your custom IDE

Theia makes it easy to create a branded web-based IDE, enhanced with custom languages and diagramming. Support for custom languages can be plugged in via the Language Server Protocol (LSP). See here for a list of already-available Language Servers. The LSP is also the mechanism of choice to integrate your Xtext language. For Diagramming there is the Sprotty framework. Sprotty not only integrates with Theia but also with Xtext-languages on the server-side. Sprotty covers the ground from read-only visualizations with excellent layout algorithms to highly interactive graphical modeling environments. Locally, customs IDEs are already usable as Electron-Apps or via Docker containers.

Starting this year, we offer Gitpod as a hosting service for your custom IDEs in the public cloud. Also we will make Gitpod available for on-premise installations via Kubernetes. Please contact us if you are interested to discuss the details.

What does this mean for our clients?

Gitpod adds a new division to TypeFox. You may know TypeFox for building custom products, consulting and support based on open-source projects. We will continue these services and we are looking for the synergies mentioned above. It is exciting to have a new building block at our disposal when creating custom IDEs! Additionally, TypeFox will operate a hosted version of Gitpod in a public cloud.

Work with us!

Theia, Sprotty, Gitpod, Xtext, and many customer project I can’t talk about here have been made possible by amazing people in a great team. If this technology excites you as well, contact us, and get paid for working full-time on this technology. Join our Team!

I hope you like Gitpod. Any kind of feedback is very welcome.

About the Author:

Co-Founder and TypeFox. Passionate software engineer. Runner.


  1. Hallvard Trætteberg September 15, 2018 at 23:34

    I love the idea of cloud-hosted IDEs, but I wonder what kind of projects you support? E.g. if my project uses is a plain java project I assume it is not that diffiicult. But what if it uses maven and tycho for building? You mention Xtext, but what about Xtext+Xbase, how well is that supported? I know about LSP, which handles individual editors, but how is the workspace handled?

    • Sven Efftinge September 16, 2018 at 10:34

      Hi Hallvard,
      it largely depends on the docker image your workspace is based on (it is configurable). The default image
      has maven and gradle and Java 8 included. But you can come up with your own image (and soon docker file, so you don’t need to take care of the image builds).
      LSP handles workspaces, too. It gets initialized with a workspace folder, which it uses to pick up project configuration. For instance, the Java LS looks for Eclipse metadata, maven pom or gradle build.xml to figure out what the workspace looks like.
      Xbase (and with that Xtend) has not yet been ported to LSP, which is something we want to do next.

  2. Hallvard Trætteberg September 17, 2018 at 07:17

    Thanks Sven,

    So if the Java LS finds a top-level pom.xml, it will be like using Eclipse with its maven support (m2e)?

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