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VSCode setup

Install the VSCode extensions so we can remotely connect to the Raspberry Pi and Docker container instances

By Kevin McAleer,    3 Minutes

VSCode Remote connection

Microsoft VSCode can connect to a remote computer, such as our Raspberry Pi, over SSH and then connect to running contains on that remote machine so that we can write, run and debug our ROS2 programs.

We will need to install some extensions first, then connect to our ROS2 container on the Raspberry Pi.

Install Extensions

Lets install the two docker extensions on our main computer (not the Raspberry Pi), that we will use to write, run and debug code.

VS Code Extentions

  • Click on the Extensions Icon - This will list installed and installable extensions
  • Type docker in the search bar - This will show installable docker extensions
  • Click Install on the Docker extension - This extension is published by Microsoft
  • Type remote in the search bar - This will show installable remote extensions
  • Click Install on the Remote - SSH extension - This extension is published by Microsoft
  • Click Install on the Remote Explorer extension - This extension is also published by Microsoft

Remote connect

We can now connect to the Raspberry Pi 4 running our new docker container by using SSH from our main computer running VSCode.

  • Open Command Palette - Hold CTRL + SHIFT + P to open the command palette
  • Connect to Host - Type connect in the command palette search and then select Connect
  • Click Remote-SSH Connect to Host... - Then type [email protected] where pi is the username you selected earlier and the IP Address is that of your Pi.

Screenshot of remote-ssh

To find the ip address of your Pi you can type ip a from the Raspberry Pi terminal; there will be a list of all the addresses the Pi is using.

  • Type your Pi’s password - Type the password you created in Step 2

Screenshot of remote-ssh

  • You are now connected to the Pi remotely - notice the green connection status at the bottom left of VSCode

Screenshot of remote-ssh

  • Click on Open Folder - We can now open a folder; select ‘Cubie-1’

Screenshot of remote-ssh

You can browse the remote file system and open the files we downloaded earlier

Screenshot of remote-ssh

Connect to the container

We can now connect to the running docker container that we created in step 7. We can create code from the comfort of our main computer running vscode and run code remotely on our robot. This will make the development process much simpler.

To connect to the container:

  • Open a terminal - with CTLR + SHIFT + `
  • Connect to the running container - From the terminal, type:
docker exec -it docker_ros2_1 bash

Where docker_ros2_1 is the name of the running container

Screenshot of remote-ssh

To list all the running containers, type docker ps from the terminal

🎉 Congratulations, you’ve now setup ROS2 in a container on the Raspberry Pi and connected to it from another computer running VSCode.

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