VS Code Remote Container

VS Code is the recommended text editor for the UltraZohm project. Using the remote container extension allows for a consistent development environment with easy setup. Further information:


Running VSCode inside an Ubuntu distribution on Windows


The performance of using the remote container in VSCode on Windows is relatively slow. To speed this up significantly we will setup up the remote container and VSCode to run directly in the WSL2.


For Windows users, this is highly recommended. Running VSCode on Windows all unit tests took over 10 minutes. On Ubuntu, it took 8.2 seconds.

  1. Install the programs listed in the prerequisites.

  2. Install the WSL2-Linux subsystem for windows with the Ubuntu distribution by entering the following command in the cmd-window.

    dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
    dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart
    wsl --set-default-version 2
    wsl --install -d Ubuntu
  3. Open the Ubuntu terminal by typing Ubuntu in the window search.

  4. Enter a new UNIX username and assign a password to this account.

  5. Now you have access to the Ubuntu shell.

  6. Install GIT LFS with the following commands.

    curl -s https://packagecloud.io/install/repositories/github/git-lfs/script.deb.sh | sudo bash
    sudo apt-get install git-lfs
  7. On the root level create a new directory in which you will store all your repositories by typing in the Ubuntu shell.

    mkdir uz
  8. Enter this directory with

    cd uz
  9. Clone the repository from the remote inside the uz directory (or any other repository)

    git clone https://bitbucket.org/ultrazohm/ultrazohm_sw.git


    The repositories inside the Ubuntu subsystem and on Windows are two different local repositories. They do not sync automatically. You can only sync them via the push, pull etc. commands.

  10. Open the settings of the docker desktop distribution and enable under Resources->WSL Integration the integration for Ubuntu distribution.

  11. Add your git-credentials from your Bitbucket Account in the Ubuntu shell

    git config --global user.name "John Doe"
    git config --global user.email johndoe@example.com
  12. Apply the changes and restart the computer.


  1. To use the remote container with VSCode inside the Ubuntu distribution open the Ubuntu shell and navigate to the local repository.

    cd uz
  2. Open up VSCode

    code .
  3. VSCode will start. A prompt will pop up asking if the folder should be reopened in Container. Accept this.

  4. If this prompt does not show up, press F1 in VSCode and select Remote Containers: Rebuild Container

  5. To open the file explorer inside the Ubuntu distribution use the following command in the directory you want to open. This may be necessary to copy pictures, files, etc. into the repository.

    explorer.exe .


Sourcetree can not be natively installed in the Ubuntu distribution. The repository in the Ubuntu distro can be added to Sourctree. However, this is not advised since the performance is bad. It is recommended to either use the Ubuntu shell with the standard git-commands or the git lense extension.

Known issues in WSL


If you have issues with your git credentials in WSL, it is possible to link your WSL git installation to the windows git credential manager. As explained here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/45925964/how-to-use-git-credential-store-on-wsl-ubuntu-on-windows Run this command in your wsl terminal.

git config --global credential.helper "/mnt/c/Program\ Files/Git/mingw64/libexec/git-core/git-credential-manager-core.exe"


On some machines the error error: RPC failed; curl 56 GnuTLS recv error (-24): Decryption has failed appears during git clone when connected via WiFi. This can be related to an out-of-date wifi driver https://github.com/microsoft/WSL/issues/4253#issuecomment-799902628. If updating the driver does not solve the issue, try to connect via VPN or LAN as a workaround.


  • Start VS Code

  • File -> Open Folder

  • Choose the ultrazohm_sw

  • A prompt opens up that asks if you want to open the folder in the container

  • Click Reopen in Container

  • VS Code restarts

  • Development environment is ready to use


Fig. 20 Open repository in remote container

Build documentation

In VS Code:

  • Menu: Terminal -> New Terminal

  • A Terminal opens which can be used, e.g., to build the documentation

  • cd docs

  • make livehtml

  • A new browser window opens with a live preview of the documentation opens

  • If you change the documentation and save it, the live preview rebuilds automatically

  • Alternative: use make clean html to build manually


Fig. 21 Use make livehtml to create a live preview of the docs


VS Code features a git extension (gitlens) that can be used to commit changes and see the timeline of a file.


Fig. 22 Commit changes from VS Code


Fig. 23 Use gitlense to inspect commits on a file


Podman instead of Docker

Using the remote container with Docker might lead to unwanted problems with file permissions on Linux and Docker runs as root by default. Podman can be used as a rootless alternative to Docker.


It might be possible to use Podman with WSL2 on Windows, yet this is not tested. See https://www.redhat.com/sysadmin/podman-windows-wsl2

Cloud solution: Gitpod

Gitpod can be used to start a VS Code workspace in the browser without any local installations required.

  • Open UltraZohm workspace in Gitpod

  • Login with your Bitbucket account

  • The complete development environment as outlined in this document is automatically loaded (sphinx, ceedling)

  • Just click the link and start development


Fig. 24 Open repository in Gitpod workspace.