Lifesaving apps & advice for the stranded desktopless developer
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1.8 KiB

PIOSEE tree for broken computer


  • I do not currently have a portable Mac or Linux computer, which I need to do my software development work. More specifically, I need a computer that can run Microsoft’s VS Code text editor.


  • I currently have an iPad (with keyboard + mouse) and a Raspberry Pi
  • My SSH keys are backed up and my cloud infrastructure is broadly accessible with no password resets needed.
  • Cognizant of relatively strong confirmation bias towards Raspberry Pi


  • Rent a managed instance of VS Code on a machine in the cloud using VSapp
    • Pros: Simplicity, ease of use, reliability
    • Cons: Costs additional $, security & performance are a wildcard, no ARM64 support.
  • Run my own instance of VS Code on a VPS in the cloud using code-server
    • Pros: Simplicity, control, increased security compared to managed option, reliability
    • Cons: Expensive ($20/mo minimum, probably more), still requires SSH keys to be moved to the cloud, no ARM64 support.
  • Run my own instance of VS Code at home on my Raspberry Pi using code-server
    • Pros: ARM64 support, keeps SSH keys on my own hardware, performance (Raspi has 8GB/RAM)
    • Cons: Reliability dependent on home internet connection (less than perfect & may be at times frustrating), no x86-64 support. Relatively complex to setup. No way to fix remotely if AutoSSH connection breaks.


Raspberry Pi self-hosted Code server

  • For my comfort level the best option seems to be the self-hosted VS Code server running on the Raspberry Pi. The gamble is reliability; however, the max downtime is four days, and the time to standup another server in its’ place in the cloud should it fail is negligible.