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Application Development

Develop for Compute Engine in your IDE with Cloud Code

September 2, 2022
Russell Wolf

Product Manager

Ivan Portyankin

Software Engineer

When developing services with Compute Engine, our customizable compute service that lets you create and run virtual machines on Google’s infrastructure, you’ll likely find yourself frequently switching between your code editor, terminal, and the Google Cloud Console.

Cloud Code is a set of IDE plugins for popular IDEs like VS Code and IntelliJ that make it easier to develop applications that use Google Cloud services. And now, Cloud Code makes it easy to develop with Compute Engine by incorporating common workflows with your favorite IDE’s user interface.

Specifically, this new integration between Compute Engine and Cloud Code makes it easier to manage your commonly used virtual machines in the IDE, view details about them, connect to them over SSH, upload your application files to them, and view their logs.  

Before you begin

Let’s demonstrate how the new integration works in Cloud Code for VS Code. Install Cloud Code for VS Code, and once installed, open its icon on the activity bar on the left and find “Compute Engine”:


Cloud Code for Jetbrains IDEs (such as IntelliJ) could be installed similarly, and you will find Compute Engine in the list of your IDE tool windows.

View your VMs 

Cloud Code makes it easy to see all relevant VMs in your GCP project and view details needed to effectively work with the VM from the IDE. To start working with a Compute Engine VM in the IDE, navigate to Cloud Code’s new Compute Engine explorer. From there, you can see all the VMs in your current Cloud project. Clicking on a VM will display details such as machine type, boot image, IP address and more. You can also right click on a VM for a quick link to the Google Cloud Console where you can take additional action.


Connect to your VMs over SSH

Once you’ve found the VM you want to work with, Cloud Code makes it easy to connect to that VM over SSH. Again, find the VM you want to connect to in Cloud Code’s Compute Engine explorer, right click it, and select “Open SSH”. Cloud Code will then establish an SSH connection from your IDEs terminal into the VM. If there’s any difficulty establishing a connection, Cloud Code can run a troubleshooting diagnostic to help resolve the issue. 

Many organizations maintain VMs that don’t have a public IP address, making it difficult to establish an SSH connection to them. For those VMs that use Identity-Aware Proxy, Cloud Code can still securely connect to them over SSH, even without a public IP address.


Upload files to your VMs

You might want to try a debug version of your application, run a script, or try a new code in an environment identical to production, in this case on a development VM instance which might not have access to full source code or is not a part of your CI/CD pipeline. Cloud Code provides an easy way to upload your code files into a VM instance.

Find the VM you want to connect to in Cloud Code’s Compute Engine explorer, right click it, and select “Upload File via SCP”. Choose a file from your local system and Cloud Code will upload it to a VM instance using SCP. Once upload completes, Cloud Code offers to open a new SSH connection to access the files and work with them on a remote VM instance. Again, if there’s any difficulty establishing a connection, Cloud Code can run a troubleshooting diagnostic to help resolve the issue.

View your VM logs

As you're working with your VM, you can right click it and select to view the VM instance logs. From Visual Studio Code this will open a logs viewer in the IDE. From IntelliJ, the logs viewer in the Cloud Console will be opened.  If you’ve configured application logs to be collected with Cloud Logging, you can also view those in these logs viewers as well. 

Get Started

We invite you to try out Compute Engine with Cloud Code to better streamline your development workflow. To learn more, check out the Compute Engine documentation for Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IDEs. If you’re new to development with IDEs, you can take the first step by installing Visual Studio Code or IntelliJ.

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