Running the SDK

The best way to work on a new package or update a package maintained by you or the community is on At least, once we launch the beta. Now that the SDK is still in alpha we recommend downloading the SDK and creating your plugin there.

When you want to work on packages that are part of the core or are one of the open source packages than the best way is using the SDK.

This guide walks you through setting up the SDK and will explain the different ways of working with the SDK.


To start the installation of the SDK make sure you have a recent version git installed and you have set up your SSH key with GitHub. If you are using and have connected your GitHub account, these things will already be set up for you.

N.B.: As of this writing you'll need a 'Medium' size workspace to run the SDK on

Download the SDK with the following command:

git clone c9sdk

This will clone the repository into the c9sdk directory. To install the dependencies of the SDK run the following commands:

cd c9sdk

You can run the script also to update the SDK to the latest version.

Note that the install script requires internet and will also run the Cloud9 installation script that we use for SSH workspaces. You can find that script here: That repository is open source and we gratefully accept pull requests that fix issues for specific platforms. I refer to the issues of that repo for any problems installing the Cloud9 SDK.


Start Cloud9 in the SDK as follows:

./server.js -p 8080 -l -a :

The following options can be used:

--settings       Settings file to use
--help           Show command line options.
-t               Start in test mode
-k               Kill tmux server in test mode
-b               Start the bridge server - to receive commands from the cli  [default: false]
-w               Workspace directory
--port           Port
--debug          Turn debugging on
--listen         IP address of the server
--readonly       Run in read only mode
--packed         Whether to use the packed version.
--auth           Basic Auth username:password
--collab         Whether to enable collab.
--no-cache       Don't use the cached version of CSS

After the SDK has started navigate to http://localhost:8080 in your browser to load the IDE.


In the same way as on, the locally run SDK has a debug mode which can be triggered by ?debug=2.

Working on Custom Packages

Working with custom packages works the same way as on Simply follow the package development workflow guide for that.

Working on Cloud9 Maintained Packages

Working with the packages that are maintained by Cloud9 is slightly different. The primary reason for this is that these packages are pre-installed and always loaded. There are also some 'historical reasons' so this might be 'fixed' in the future.

The Cloud9 packages are in the c9sdk/plugins directory. Each directory is either part of the core, which you checked out, or part of it's own repository for the open source packages which was cloned by the script.

To edit any package, simply make the changes you want to the code and hit reload to debug them.

If you want to create a pull request to have your changes accepted by us, start by forking the relevant repository on GitHub and then set the origin to your own repository:

git remote add myfork

Then simply push your changes:

git push myfork master

and create a pull request against the repository on the c9 organization. We will evaluate pull requests as soon as possible. Also make sure to subscribe to the Cloud9 SDK mailinglist and ask any questions there prior to creating your pull request.