One of Eclipse Che most requested feature is to be able to do pair programming.

This blog post describes how it is possible to achieve that by using CodeTogether, a third-party VS Code extension.

There are different pricing plans available for this extension, but there is one free item when connecting to a maximum of 60 minutes and 3 shares which may be enough for most use cases.

This is only possible using Eclipse Che starting with 7.46+ and using Visual Studio Code editor, not Che-Theia.

Pair programming using Che

Quick start from an example

  1. Go to Eclipse Che dashboard page. The URL looks like

  2. Replace the last part of the URL containing /dashboard/# with # and press enter.

  3. A workspace starts and Visual Studio Code loads with a sample based on the Petclinic application.

  4. As CodeTogether is a recommended extension, accept the prompt asking to install this extension.

  5. CodeTogether will ask to access Visual Studio Code, click on No

  6. A new prompt will ask to redirect port 1593: Click on No

  7. Open the command palette (pressing F1 for example) and select CodeTogether: Start Hosting Session

  8. Keep the defaults for all properties and click on the start button

  9. A Pair programming link is then available in the clipboard.

  10. You can share this link with your team members. They will be able to join your workspace.

  11. It is possible to use this link to join from different IDEs or from a running Eclipse Che workspace (like the one we are using). To do that select 'CodeTogether: Join Session' rather than starting a new session.

Enabling pair programming settings on your own example

In the previous section, a pre-configured repository was used but it is also possible to use your own git repository.

This feature works only with Visual Studio Code IDE (not for example with Che-Theia).

Use Visual Studio Code as the IDE of an Eclipse Che workspace

There are 2 ways to use Visual Studio Code IDE in a Che workspace:

  • Add ?che-editor=che-incubator/che-code/insiders at the end of the workspace URL

  • Add a .che/che-editor.yaml file with the following content:

    id: che-incubator/che-code/insiders

Recommend the installation of CodeTogether

Include CodeTogether among the recommended extension.

  1. Create the file .vscode/extensions.json with the following content:

        "recommendations": [

That will trigger a prompt to install CodeTogether at workspace startup.

Add a Devfile

If you don’t have a Devfile at the root of your repository you should add one with a Universal Developer Image component (it includes the most popular development tools and languages).

  1. Create a .devfile.yaml file with the following content:

    schemaVersion: 2.1.0
      name: my-workspace
      - name: tools
          memoryLimit: 3Gi
  2. Do not forget to update the name attribute of the devfile to match your project.

Share your workspace

Once you have committed these changes on a repository, you can share your workspace URL with your team.

Or to share the pair-programming link, start your workspace first and then start a CodeTogether session.