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A codespace is a development environment that's hosted in the cloud. You can customize your project for GitHub Codespaces by committing configuration files to your repository (often known as Configuration-as-Code), which creates a repeatable codespace configuration for all users of your project.

Each codespace you create is hosted by GitHub in a Docker container, running on a virtual machine. You can choose from a selection of virtual machine types, from 2 cores, 8 GB RAM, and 32 GB storage, up to 32 cores, 64 GB RAM, and 128 GB storage.

By default, codespaces are created from an Ubuntu Linux image that includes a selection of popular languages and tools, but you can use an image based on a Linux distribution of your choice and configure it for your particular requirements. Regardless of your local operating system, your codespace will run in a Linux environment. Windows and MacOS are not supported operating systems for the remote container.

You can connect to your codespaces from your browser, from Visual Studio Code, from the JetBrains Gateway application, or by using GitHub CLI. When you connect, you are placed within the Docker container. You do not have access to the outer Linux virtual machine host.

The lifecycle of a codespace begins when you create a codespace and ends when you delete it. You can disconnect and reconnect to an active codespace without affecting its running processes. You may stop and restart a codespace without losing changes that you have made to your project.

When you want to work on a project, you can choose to create a new codespace or open an existing codespace. You might want to create a new codespace from a branch of your repository each time you develop in GitHub Codespaces or keep a long-running codespace for a feature. If you're starting a new project, you might want to create a codespace from a template and publish to a repository on GitHub later.


There are limits to the number of codespaces you can create, and the number of codespaces you can run at the same time.

If you choose to create a new codespace each time you work on a project, you should regularly push your changes so that any new commits are on GitHub. If you choose to use a long-running codespace for your project, you should pull from your repository's default branch each time you start working in your codespace so that your environment has the latest commits. This workflow is very similar to if you were working with a project on your local machine.

To speed up codespace creation, repository administrators can enable GitHub Codespaces prebuilds for a repository. For more information, see "About GitHub Codespaces prebuilds."


Your work will be saved on a virtual machine in the cloud. You can close and stop a codespace and return to the saved work later. If you have unsaved changes, your editor will prompt you to save them before exiting. However, if your codespace is deleted, then your work will be deleted too. To persist your work, you will need to commit your changes and push them to your remote repository, or publish your work to a new remote repository if you created your codespace from a template.


If you leave your codespace running without interaction, or if you exit your codespace without explicitly stopping it, the codespace will timeout after a period of inactivity and stop running. By default, a codespace will timeout after 30 minutes of inactivity, but you can customize the duration of the timeout period for new codespaces that you create