Jetbrains, the Czech company that makes PhpStorm, WebStorm and Intellij-Idea, has their Gateway product in beta.
It works like this: you run the Gateway software on your desktop machine — you know, the one with the nice display — and it connects to some other development machine to run your IDE. I’ve been using it with WebStorm because I’ve been writing WordPress plugin code lately. Gateway runs on my desktop and WebStorm is on a Linux VirtualBox virtual machine, also hosted on my desktop.
The desktop and the VM split the IDE workload. The desktop handles the GUI, and the VM handles everything else: running, stopping, debuggging, files for the source code, indexing, searching, npm, Git access, everything. If your debugging sessions start with the launch of a browser, it launches it on your desktop. Seamless.
Lots of these sorts of products need elaborate server configurations only accessible to organizations willing to pay big monthly bills to server and SaaS vendors. This one will serve those organizations. But, critically, it also serves a unfunded solo open-source developer like me.
It all just works. Securely: the connection goes via ssh, and the Gateway can be told to use the same private keys as your PUtty or other ssh client.
One thing I haven’t figured out: how to get the ssh session to accept the forwarding of my ssh credentials to GitHub and/or GitLab to make push and pull operations seamless.
It’s worth your time, dear reader, to try this out. And Jetbrains charges short license money for self-funded developers. You can use your license on as many remote machines as you need to.