Hi I have a headless ubuntu server and would like to install some sort of cloud9 like IDE - any suggestions with instructions?

Code highlighting and hinting would be excellent. This is for mainly PHP development.

4 Answers 4


I recommend Codiad - dark theme, git, terminal, easy setup without big dependencies.

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  • I ended up installing this and using it. Quite easy to get up and running.
    – Omar Mir
    Aug 21, 2015 at 3:14

For the benefit of others stumbling onto this question and the answers, this is a fast moving target, because development in all dependent technologies is rapidly changing.

I don't think there is any need to go through the manual process of building rvm/npm anymore. Most distros now ship with decent versions of those tools and even nodejs itself.

So, best to do a quick review of the requirements at their github site .. and follow their lead in deploying cloud9.

For me, the steps that have worked (ubuntu 12.04, xfce) are as follows:

  • I already had nodejs (0.10.26) and npm (1.4.3) installed
  • so, npm install -g sm ..
  • then sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev ..
  • useradd -m cloud9
  • su - cloud9
  • git clone git://github.com/ajaxorg/cloud9.git
  • cd cloud9
  • npm install

All the above completed successfully without errors. The npm install does take a while because it builds all required dependencies.

The following is taken verbatim from the cloud9 website, and it works as stated:


  • bin/cloud9.sh .. runs on default tcp 3131, accessible from http://localhost:3131
  • bin/cloud9.sh -w ~/myproject .. runs with a specified project
  • bin/cloud9.sh -l .. listen on all interfaces
  • bin/cloud9.sh --username user --password somepassword .. run with basic auth, requiring the username/password to access it
  • 1
    It's even easier to deploy a cloud9 clone on your own machine using docker. Just install docker by doing curl https://get.docker.com | sudo bash and then start a cloud9 container using docker run -it -d -p 80:80 -v /your-path/workspace/:/workspace/ kdelfour/cloud9-docker. Don't forget that in that container you're root, so file permissions on the host need to be fixed when you want to use the app outside the development container. Or you could just share that volume with another docker container that runs your app.
    – Andrei C
    Nov 3, 2016 at 8:52

I just installed cloud9 IDE yesterday (and tried the whole last week) on ubuntu server 12.04, it's kind of tricky, but I figured out how to do it (with the help of http://www.samclarke.com/2012/07/how-to-install-cloud-9-ide-on-ubuntu-12-04-lts-precise-pangolin/).

If you have nodejs installed, you first have to uninstall it and you need to install some extra packages: sudo apt-get install build-essential g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils git libxml2-dev

You should create a new user called "cloud9" for example sudo adduser cloud9. Everything that follows has to be done as the new user!

Install the node version manager (nvm) in the home directory of cloud9 by using:

  • git clone git://github.com/creationix/nvm.git ~/nvm
  • echo '. ~/nvm/nvm.sh' >> ~/.bashrc && . ~/.bashrc

Now install nodejs 0.8.23 using nvm:

  • nvm install v0.8.23
  • nvm use v0.8.23

Install sourcemint via npm:

  • npm install sm

Clone the cloud9 git repository into the home directory of cloud9:

  • git clone git://github.com/ajaxorg/cloud9.git

Change into the directory "cloud9" and run sourcemint:

  • ../node_modules/sm/bin/sm install

Now you can start cloud9 with ~/cloud9/bin/cloud9.sh.

To automatically start cloud9 you need a script:

# It is important to use bash here and not sh!
. ~/nvm/nvm.sh
nvm use v0.8.23

The script has to have executable permissions!

You can start the server at startup by adding the following line to /etc/rc.local: su cloud9 -c /home/cloud9/scriptname.sh &

If you want cloud9 to be accessible on port 80 add the following to your virtualhost entry in apache2:

ProxyPass / http://localhost:3131
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:3131

(maybe / and http://... need to be the other way round, I'm not sure)

Then enable the mod_proxy module of apache2: sudo a2enmod mod_proxy

And restart apache2: sudo service apache2 restart

That's it, now you have a working installation of cloud9 on ubuntu server!

  • I have since switched to my original love; Debian. But I will try then when I get home. Hope it works :)
    – Omar Mir
    Mar 20, 2013 at 14:49
  • @OmarMir I made a mistake in the script. The point in the 3rd line was missing.
    – FSMaxB
    Mar 20, 2013 at 21:11
  • As time passes, the compatibility with different versions of nodejs is changing, so the only way to make it work is trying node-versions until sourcemint (sm) installs properly and everything else is working.
    – FSMaxB
    Apr 29, 2013 at 8:44

Also you can use koding.com without installing full ide on your server - you will need to install only plugin that needed to connect to your machine over ssh. So, here you will have terminal and file viewer - working nice for me. ide in browser

Another cloud IDE without installing anything at your server, even plugin for connection - codeanywhere.com: codeanywhere, online ide

And Eclipse Che that now in Alpha and I not tested it but looking good: ide in browser, online text editor

Also you can use vi as nice text editor - you will need only to connect over ssh to your machine.

And another option - you can use atom with some plugin for remote editing of files, or you can edit file locally and click some buttons to upload file to server (with git of with some plugin).

  • 1
    Koding is no longer free :(
    – user595510
    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:46

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