Che 6 workspace configuration format is no longer supported in the latest Che 7 release. Please, follow the "Converting a Che 6 workspace to a Che 7 devfile" documentation in order to update the definition of the workspace and benefit from the latest capabilities.


A workspace is usually termed as a local directory with projects and meta-information that the integrated development environment (IDE) uses to configure projects. In Eclipse Che, a workspace is the developer environment. The developer environment contains Docker containers, Kubernetes pods, and a virtual machine or localhost. Environment variables and storage volumes are part of the workspace. The developer environment also contains projects, project commands, and resource allocation attributes.


The workspace runtime environment is a set of machines where each machine is defined by a recipe. The environment is healthy when all the machines successfully start and the installers execute jobs. The environment is defined by a recipe that can have different types. The environment and infrastructure validate a recipe.


The runtime environment has a minimum of one machine that can be a Docker-formatted container or a Kubernetes pod. You can create multi-machine environments with as many machines as your project infrastructure requires. Each machine has a configuration and start policy. Machine crashes and start failures are signs of an unhealthy environment. Machines communicate by using the internal network, service:port.


A workspace environment is defined by a recipe. The recipe can be one of the following:

  • single container image

  • Dockerfile

  • Docker Compose file

  • Kubernetes list of objects with multiple pods and services


The bootstrapper starts the installer script after the first process is executed in the machine following the CMD or ENTRYPOINT. The role of the bootstrapper is to start the installer scripts with a set of parameters and a configuration file. The bootstrapper is a small binary compiled from Go code.


The purpose of the installer is to install software and services, start servers, and activate agents. The workspace agent, executive agent, and terminal servers are important to the IDE and workspace. The language servers, SSH installer, and other servers bring new functionality to a workspace. The bootstrapper executes installer scripts that prepare the environment and checks for dependencies. See an example of an installer script that prepares the environment and installs the C# language server.


A volume is a fixed amount of storage that is used to persist workspace data. Workspace projects are automatically mounted into a host file system by default. A user can define extra volumes for each machine in the environment. Docker volumes, Kubernetes persistent volumes (PVs), and persistent volumes claims (PVCs) are examples of volumes.

Environment variables

The environment variables are propagated into each individual machine. Depending on the infrastructure, environment variables are propagated to Docker containers or Kubernetes pods.

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