Gitlab hero border pattern left svg Gitlab hero border pattern right svg

Category Direction - Live Preview

Live Preview

Stage Create
Maturity Minimal
Content Last Reviewed 2020-12-30

Introduction and how you can help

Thanks for visiting this direction page for the Live Preview feature of the Web IDE. This page belongs to the Editor group of the Create stage and is maintained by Eric Schurter (E-Mail).

Learn more about the Web IDE direction.


Developers working on projects often need to preview their changes while developing, during review and to demo progress. Previewing changes often involves having pre-configured development environments running locally or in the cloud.

Where we are headed

With Live Preview in the Web IDE you can view your simple JavaScript apps and static sites, in real time, right next to the code. We're not currently investing in the Live Preview features of the Web IDE, but welcome contributions to improve the existing feature or extend our current Live Preview capabilities.

GitLab is also supportive of 3rd party integrations to extend these features to developers.

What's Next & Why

In Progress: Add GitPod Button to Open Project in GitPod #228893

Currently Gitpod is adding a native integration to GitLab to support developers opening projects in GitLab. This will allow instance administrators to configure a remote Gitpod instance and provide 1-click access to developers to open projects.

In Progress: Investigate using Service Workers for client-side Live Preview #218438

In order to support binary and static asset files in Live Preview in the Web IDE an investigation is underway with Codesandbox to use Service Workers to load these files. Current findings summary is in this comment.

In Discovery: Okteto Integration in Web IDE &4139

Currently Okteto is interested in enabling their service through the Web Terminal available in the Web IDE. Discovery is underway to see what blockers exist to enabling this and enhancements that may be required.

What is Not Planned Right Now

Live Preview is currently limited to Javascript applications that can be evaluated in the browser, called client-side evaluation. We are not currently working on extending support to include server-side evaluation which would allow more complex applications to be previewed in real time through the Web IDE but would have increasingly complex and costly infrastructure requirements.

Git is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license