Blink Code

VSCode is a very powerful code editor which has become the tool of choice for a lot of developers in record time. Lately, it has been catering to the needs of teams who want to focus on remote and mobile development, accessing their environments from a plethora of devices. The goal of a shell is to expose services to programs and users, and hence inside Blink Shell our approach has been to integrate Code with iOS so we could offer you the best of both worlds:

  • A VSCode experience fitted to your device, that connects to VSCode web, Codespaces, GitPod, or your Code server.
  • Work on local projects, or edit remote files as if they were in your device, thanks to Blink Files.
  • First-class iOS experience, with software and hardware keyboard, and the full edge-to-edge experience without interruptions that everyone loves from Blink.

Starting Blink Code

code <path_or_url>

Blink Code takes a single parameter. If it is a path, it can be local or remote following the same format as SFTP/SCP commands.

To launch Code and begin initial setup, first, run code .. Once it has launched, you will need to install the blink-fs extension. Right after installation, this will connect the Code instance to the Blink File System. The navigation sidebar will show the file hierarchy, opening individual files for editing and manipulation.


Opening remote projects

Remote development on Code could not be any easier thanks to Blink Shell's abilities. If you have already configured your host and installed the blink-fs extension on the target, just type:

code <host>:<path/to/project>

Please make sure the host has all the authentication information in settings (like passwords), as to work, the connection must be non-interactive. You can check out the logs by doing cat .blink/blinkCode.log to identify issues.

If you have enabled integration for the host, there is an even easier way to launch code. Just long-press the project directory or file, and tap Code!


Code in the Cloud

Blink Code can also connect to your instance of Code Server, offering the same premium experience so you can be more productive. To do so, just copy the URL of the running code instance and use it as the parameter, like such:


Note there are iOS limitations on the domains we can access (we are working on that). We currently support domains for GitHub Codespaces, GitPod, and Code-Server. If your Code instance is accessed through a private IP, we suggest you open a tunnel so access happens through localhost instead.

PRO TIP: Blink will also capture vscode:// routes, so it can fulfill the Open in Desktop functionality, for example, in GitHub Codespaces.


Code from GitHub repositories

You can use Blink Code to quickly browse and edit your code in GitHub repositories. This is perfect when you need to do a quick fix or edit a blog or webpage, committing back changes once you are done.

On the bottom-left corner, tap the >< button, and select "Open Remote Repository". Note you may have to log in to GitHub to access your repositories.

Tips & Tricks

Exploring VSCode

If you wish to explore VSCode in more depth, documentation abounds on how it works and what you can do with it. You can get started with the VSCode official documentation.

On-Screen keyboard

Blink Code offers the same on-screen keyboard as the terminal. When you play with it, please notice that special key modifiers like Ctrl, Cmd and Meta are integrated inside Blink Code too. Try it opening the Command Palette using Cmd-m. We promise this will take your experience to the next level!

Keyboard Shortcuts

Blink Shell makes heavy use of keyboard shortcuts for navigation. Some of these may suppress VSCode keyboard shortcuts that you may deem necessary for your workflow. If so, you can easily reconfigure any by following Blink Shortcuts.


  • If VS Code is not loading at all or it is showing a blank screen, try closing the tab and starting code again. Also, try closing Blink and reopening it.
    • Try using the --vscode-url parameter, like this: code —vscode-url Then try to reload without it.
    • Try using the same URL with Safari (and if using just code ., use under the same device. This may show if the device has some problems loading the URL. If Safari loaded, try to run the command again under Blink.
  • Make sure the Blink-FS extension is installed and enabled. In order to use SFTP this extension is very important as seen in this Discussion.
  • If you have issues enabling Blink-FS, or getting the extensions to come through, may be having problems. In those cases, we have seen that changing to the Nightly version may work, as suggested in this Discussion.
  • Make sure SFTP is enabled in the remote, and that authentication requires no user input (like passwords or 2FA). One good test for this is to enable the integration and browsing files there, as pointed out in this Discussion.
  • Make sure your remote path is valid. Try accessing your home folder with code <host>:~/. Then try using the integration, navigate to the folder you want to work on, long tap on it and Open in Code. This will automatically complete the paths for you and will allow you to see how it is accessed in the remote.
  • Check logs ~/.blink/blinkCode.log. This may give you a clue of where things stopped.
  • Send a support request with the logs to Github Discussions, create your New discussion under the Support category.