Remote Python Development

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Wing Pro Screenshot

Wing Pro has the ability to connect to a remote host, VM, or container through a secure SSH tunnel, in order to work with files stored remotely in the same way that Wing supports working with files on your local system. Editing, debugging, testing, searching, version control, Python Shell, OS Commands, and other features all work with remote systems.

Currently, Wing can work remotely to OS X and Intel or ARM Linux systems. This includes any PEP 513 compatible Intel Linux system and ARM systems like Raspberry Pi and Jolla phone. We are still expanding the range of remote systems that we support. For a detailed list of the remote host types supported in the current release, please see Supported Platforms. If you try a device and cannot get it working, don't hesitate to email for help.


Before you can set up remote development in Wing, you first need to have an SSH key pair and set up password-less (SSH key authenticated) remote access to your target host using ssh on Linux and OS X or either OpenSSH (provided by Cygwin, Git Bash, or similar) or PuTTY on Windows. If you don't already have this, please refer to SSH Setup Details in Wing's documentation.

Once you have password-less SSH access working outside of Wing, in most cases Wing will automatically find and use your SSH configuration. If it fails to do that in the steps that follow, you may need to set the Network > SSH Executable preference to the full path to ssh, ssh.exe, or PuTTY's plink.exe, and/or ensure that Wing can access the SSH user agent. See Setting up SSH for Remote Development for detailed instructions.

Creating a Project

To set up a new project that works with a remote host, select New Project from the Project menu and choose Connect to Remote Host (via SSH) as the project type. Then enter an Identifier to use for the remote host and the `Host Name or ip address (optionally in the form username@hostname). You only need to specify Python Executable if python is not on the PATH on your selected remote host or you want to select one of several Python installations.

For example, here is a configuration to access a RedHat Linux system on a local network from OS X:


To keep things simple, leave Store Project File on Remote Host unchecked and then press OK. This will create the project and a remote host configuration, and will try to contact the remote agent. Wing will install the remote agent if necessary:


If installation was necessary and succeeded, you will see a confirmation dialog as follows:


Close this dialog and you will see a confirmation that the project was created successfully:


In this case, just select Save Later.

Using Your Project

Now you can right-click on the Project tool, accessed from the Tools menu, and select Add Existing Directory to add a directory containing your source code. Press the Browse button in the Add Directory dialog to browse files on the remote system. Afterward, save the project to local disk with Save Project in the Project menu.

If you restart the Python Shell from its Options menu, Wing will start the shell on the remote host. For example, here is Python running remotely on a CentOS 6 system from Wing on OS X:


To debug, open a file from the directory you added to the project and select Start/Continue in the Debug menu. Wing launches the file in the debugger on the remote host and will reach breakpoints and exceptions. Debugging a remote file works the same way as for local files. You can use the Debug Console, Stack Data, Watch and other tools to inspect and debug your code.


Other tools, including the Testing tool for unit testing, the version control integrations, and OS Commands for executing non-Python command lines all work on the remote host.


The remote host configuration you created along with your project is stored within the project file in this case, because you stored the project on local disk. You can view and edit the configuration, or create other remote host configurations, from Remote Hosts in the Project menu:


It is possible to set up multiple remote host configurations for one project, but the project's Python Executable in Project Properties (from the Project menu) can only point to one of the remote hosts, and that is where the Python Shell and debug processes are run. Changing the Python Executable is what determines whether a project points to local disk or some remote system. Here are the Project Properties that were set up automatically in the project we created above:


Remotely Stored Projects

In this example, we stored the project file on local disk, but project files can also be stored on the remote host. In that case, the remote host configuration needs to be checked as Shared, as for remote host vagrant in the Manage Remote Hosts dialog above. This stores the remote host configuration locally so that it can be used to access the remote project later with Open Remote Project from the Project menu.

You can also use this feature to remotely open a regular locally created Wing project.

Remote Display with X11

To work with code that displays a user interface, you can forward X11 display to occur on the machine where Wing is running. This is done by checking the Forward X11 option in your remote host configuration, under the Options tab.

Unless Wing is running on Linux, you will also need to install and run an X11 server on the machine where Wing is runing, for example XQuartz on OS X or MobaXTerm on Windows.

Further Reading

For more information see:

  • Remote Hosts for more detailed instructions and advanced configuration options.
  • Remote Web Development describes how to set up remote development where the debug process is launched from outside of the IDE, for example by a web server or framework.
  • Quickstart Guide contains additional basic information about getting started with Wing.
  • Tutorial provides a gentler introduction to Wing's features.
  • Wing Reference Manual documents Wing in detail.

Please don't hesitate to contact if you need help getting remote development working.