Gitpod is not simply “moving your laptop into the cloud”. One key benefit of using a Cloud Development Environment (CDE) is reproducibility. When your workspace is configured, opening a new workspace is effortless—allowing you to fully embrace ephemeral development environments.

Understanding Gitpod configuration

The gitpod.yml file

The primary method of configuration is using a YAML file named .gitpod.yml, located at the root of your repository. The gitpod.yml file defines (for example):

  1. The processes to start for your project - e.g. a database or webserver.
  2. Required tools to install before the project starts.
  3. Any editor extensions or IDE plugins to install.

See the .gitpod.yml reference page for more.

A gitpod.yml example

language icon yml
image: gitpod/workspace-full

# Commands that will run on workspace start
    - name: Setup, Install & Build
      before: yarn global add express
      init: yarn install
      command: yarn build

# Ports to expose on workspace startup
    - port: 3000
      onOpen: open-preview
      name: Website
      description: Website Preview

Caption: An example project configured to install, build and run a yarn project with a webserver, exposed on port 3000. On start, an in-editor preview of the webserver is opened automatically.

The workspace image

In addition to the gitpod.yml you can also specify a workspace image for:

  1. Application portability
  2. Re-using an existing Dockerfile

Currently, Gitpod only supports Docker for workspace images. The Dockerfile can either be kept alongside your Gitpod configuration, or you can consume an existing public, or private image.

See Workspace Image for more.

Creating a Gitpod configuration

You can create a .gitpod.yml manually, or by using the gp init command (or gp init -i for interactive mode). The gp CLI tool is part of the Gitpod CLI, which is included in all Gitpod workspaces by default.

language icon bash
gp init

See the Gitpod CLI page for more.

Validate your Gitpod configuration

You can test your configuration, including your .gitpod.yml, without leaving your workspace or committing your changes by using the gp validate command. This command opens a workspace (that runs from within your current workspace) which includes your configuration changes. Thus, allowing you to troubleshoot workspace configuration (ports, tasks, etc.) and more.

You can use the gp validate command to test various configuration setups: simple workspace starts (without Prebuilds enabled), workspace starts using a Prebuild, or for debugging Prebuilds themselves. See below for the differences:

Command Steps ran
gp validate before + init + command
gp validate --prebuild before + init

Tip: For improved speed and convenience while updating your workspace configuration, consider starting your workspace using a large Workspace Class.

Validate a workspace start

  1. Run gp validate to emit a Workspace URL.
  2. Open the workspace and review your configuration.
  3. Update your configuration in the original workspace, and re-run gp validate (if needed).

Validate a Prebuild

You can run gp validate --prebuild to validate how a prebuild process would look upon completion (this runs before and init tasks, but not command tasks).

  1. Run gp validate --prebuild - This command will emit a Workspace URL.
  2. Open the workspace to check your configuration.
  3. Update configuration in the original workspace, re-running gp validate if needed.

Important: This command runs the workspace as a Prebuild not from a prebuild. Meaning this produces the same environment that is created by a Prebuild process, before a workspace is subsequently started using it.

Apply configuration changes

To apply your changes for all subsequent workspaces, commit and push the gitpod.yml (and .gitpod.Dockerfile if you created one) to the root of your repository.

Open the commit in a new workspace by either:

  1. Prefixing your repo URL with
  2. Opening a new workspace from the Gitpod dashboard
  3. Installing, and using the Gitpod Browser Extension

Important: You must commit the .gitpod.yml to the root of the repository and start a new workspace for changes to apply (a workspace restart is not sufficient).


Can I use an Android emulator with Gitpod and JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA for Android development?

Android app development is possible in Gitpod, but you cannot directly run an Android emulator on Gitpod. Check this relevant issue:

You have two options:

  1. Connect to a physical device with a wirelessly exposed adb server. Some guides:
  2. Use the exposed adb server from a local Android emulator (e.g. from JetBrains Android Studio)

In both methods, you need to use reverse SSH port forwarding to access the adb server inside a Gitpod workspace. For instructions, see:

You might also want to use Gitpod with JetBrains IDE locally:

For Flutter Android development, there is a template available: gitpod-samples/template-flutter

IP addresses of Gitpod workspace

Q: How can I connect to an Azure SQL instance from a workspace? Is there a way to get a public IP to whitelist?

A: Gitpod workspaces do not have dedicated static IPs. However, you can use a proxy server IP and link it with your Gitpod workspaces using Tailscale integration. For more information, refer to Gitpod’s Tailscale Integration documentation.

Is it possible to run a Kubernetes cluster in a Gitpod workspace using minikube or kind (or other alternatives)?

You cannot run a Kubernetes cluster directly in a Gitpod workspace using minikube or kind. However, you can run it through QEMU using the following Gitpod template: template-k3s. You can also use template-nixos.

Relevant GitHub issue:

Was this helpful?