Starting with Eclipse{nbsp}Che 7.15, Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extensions can be installed to extend the functionality of a Che workspace. VS Code extensions can run in the Che-Theia editor container, or they can be packaged in their own isolated and pre-configured containers with their prerequisites.

This document describes:

  • Use of a VS Code extension in Che with workspaces.

  • Che Plug-ins panel.

  • How to publish a VS Code extension in the Che plug-in registry (to share the extension with other Che users).

    • The extension-hosting sidecar container and the use of the extension in a devfile are optional for this.

    • How to review the compatibility of the VS Code extensions to be informed whether a specific API is supported or has not been implemented yet.

Publishing a VS Code extension into the Che plug-in registry

The user of Che can use a workspace devfile to use any plug-in, also known as Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extension. This plug-in can be added to the plug-in registry, then easily reused by anyone in the same organization with access to that workspaces installation.

Some plug-ins need a runtime dedicated container for code compilation. This fact makes those plug-ins a combination of a runtime sidecar container and a VS Code extension.

The following section describes the portability of a plug-in configuration and associating an extension with a runtime container that the plug-in needs.

Writing a meta.yaml file and adding it to a plug-in registry

The plug-in meta information is required to publish a VS Code extension in an Eclipse{nbsp}Che plug-in registry. This meta information is provided as a meta.yaml file. This section describes how to create a meta.yaml file for an extension.

Procedure
  1. Create a meta.yaml file in the following plug-in registry directory: <apiVersion>/plugins/<publisher>/<plug-inName>/<plug-inVersion>/.

  2. Edit the meta.yaml file and provide the necessary information. The configuration file must adhere to the following structure:

    apiVersion: v2                                                   (1)
    publisher: myorg                                                 (2)
    name: my-vscode-ext                                              (3)
    version: 1.7.2                                                   (4)
    type: value                                                      (5)
    displayName:                                                     (6)
    title:                                                           (7)
    description:                                                     (8)
    icon: https://www.eclipse.org/che/images/logo-eclipseche.svg     (9)
    repository:                                                     (10)
    category:                                                       (11)
    spec:
      containers:                                                   (12)
        - image:                                                    (13)
          memoryLimit:                                              (14)
          memoryRequest:                                            (15)
          cpuLimit:                                                 (16)
          cpuRequest:                                               (17)
      extensions:                                                   (18)
        - https://github.com/redhat-developer/vscode-yaml/releases/download/0.4.0/redhat.vscode-yaml-0.4.0.vsix
        - vscode:extension/SonarSource.sonarlint-vscode
    1 Version of the file structure.
    2 Name of the plug-in publisher. Must be the same as the publisher in the path.
    3 Name of the plug-in. Must be the same as in path.
    4 Version of the plug-in. Must be the same as in path.
    5 Type of the plug-in. Possible values: Che Plugin, Che Editor, Theia plugin, VS Code extension.
    6 A short name of the plug-in.
    7 Title of the plug-in.
    8 A brief explanation of the plug-in and what it does.
    9 The link to the plug-in logo.
    10 Optional. The link to the source-code repository of the plug-in.
    11 Defines the category that this plug-in belongs to. Should be one of the following: Editor, Debugger, Formatter, Language, Linter, Snippet, Theme, or Other.
    12 If this section is omitted, the VS Code extension is added into the Che-Theia IDE container.
    13 The Docker image from which the sidecar container will be started. Example: eclipse/che-theia-endpoint-runtime:next.
    14 The maximum RAM which is available for the sidecar container. Example: "512Mi". This value might be overridden by the user in the component configuration.
    15 The RAM which is given for the sidecar container by default. Example: "256Mi". This value might be overridden by the user in the component configuration.
    16 The maximum CPU amount in cores or millicores (suffixed with "m") which is available for the sidecar container. Examples: "500m", "2". This value might be overridden by the user in the component configuration.
    17 The CPU amount in cores or millicores (suffixed with "m") which is given for the sidecar container by default. Example: "125m". This value might be overridden by the user in the component configuration.
    18 A list of VS Code extensions run in this sidecar container.
Additional resources

To set up a custom plug-in registry, see: Building a custom plug-in registry.

Adding a plug-in registry VS Code extension to a workspace

When the required VS Code extension is added into a Che plug-in registry, the user can add it into the workspace through the Che Plugins panel or through the workspace configuration.

Adding a VS Code extension using the Che Plugins panel

Prerequisites
  • A running instance of Eclipse{nbsp}Che. To install an instance of Eclipse{nbsp}Che, see Che quick-starts

Procedure

To add a VS Code extension using the Che Plugins panel:

  1. Open the Che Plugins panel by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+J or navigate to View/Plugins.

  2. Change the current registry to the registry in which the VS Code extension was added.

  3. In the search bar, click the Menu button and then click Change Registry to choose the registry from the list. If the required registry is not in the list, add it using the Add Registry menu option. The registry link points to the plugins segment of the registry, for example: https://my-registry.com/v3/plugins/index.json.

    vs code extension change registry
  4. Search for the required plug-in using the filter, and then click the Install button.

  5. Restart the workspace for the changes to take effect.

Adding a VS Code extension using the workspace configuration

Prerequisites
Procedure

To add a VS Code extension using the workspace configuration:

  1. Click the Workspaces tab on the Dashboard and select the workspace in which you want to add the plug-in. The Workspace <workspace-name> window is opened showing the details of the workspace.

  2. Click the devfile tab.

  3. Locate the components section, and add a new entry with the following structure:

     - type: chePlugin
       id:              (1)
    1 Link to the meta.yaml file in your registry, for example, https://my-plug-in-registry/v3/plugins/<publisher>/<plug-inName>/<plug-inVersion>/meta.yaml

    Che automatically adds the other fields to the new component.

    Alternatively, you can link to a meta.yaml file hosted on GitHub, using the dedicated reference field.

     - type: chePlugin
       reference:              (1)
    1 https://raw.githubusercontent.com/<username>/<registryRepository>/v3/plugins/<publisher>/<plug-inName>/<plug-inVersion>/meta.yaml
  4. Restart the workspace for the changes to take effect.

Choosing the sidecar image

Che plug-ins are special services that extend the Che workspace capabilities. Che plug-ins are packaged as containers. The containers that the plug-ins are packaged into run as sidecars of the Che workspace editor and augment its capabilities.

Prerequisites
  • A running instance of Eclipse{nbsp}Che. To install an instance of Eclipse{nbsp}Che, see Che 'quick-starts'.

Procedure

To choose a sidecar image:

  1. If the VS Code extension does not have any external dependencies, use eclipse/che-theia-endpoint-runtime: next as a sidecar container image for the extension.

    In addition to the eclipse/che-theia-endpoint-runtime:next base image, the following ready-to-use sidecar images that include language-specific dependencies are available:

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-runner-java8

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-runner-java11

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-go-1.10.7

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-python-3.7.3

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-dotnet-2.2.105

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-php7

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-kubernetes-tooling-1.0.0

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-kubernetes-tooling-0.1.17

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-openshift-connector-0.0.17

    • eclipse/che-remote-plugin-openshift-connector-0.0.21

For a VS Code extension with external dependencies not found in one of the ready-to-use images, use a container image based on the eclipse/che-theia-endpoint-runtime:next image that contains the dependencies.

Example

Base the FROM directive on FROM eclipse/che-theia-endpoint-runtime:next. This is required because the base image contains tools for running the remote VS Code extension and for communicating between the sidecar and the Che-Theia editor. This way, the VS Code extension operates as if it was not remote.

Verifying the VS Code extension API compatibility level

Che-Theia does not fully support the VS Code extensions API. The vscode-theia-comparator is used to analyze the compatibility between the Che-Theia plug-in API and the VS Code extension API. This tool runs in a nightly cycle, and the results are published on the vscode-theia-comparator GitHub page.

Prerequisites
Procedure

To run the vscode-theia comparator manually:

  1. Clone the vscode-theia-comparator repository, and build it using the yarn command.

  2. Set the GITHUB_TOKEN environment variable to your token.

  3. Execute the yarn run generate command to generate a report.

  4. Open the out/status.html file to view the report.

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