I'm an OS X "refugee" working on a Linux-specific C++ codebase (CMake based, if that matters.)

I've been trying to figure out a decent workflow that lets me edit source (preferably with rich editing support, like code-completion, etc) on OS X, but build, run and debug the source on a remote Linux machine. The link between the machines is fast and flexible -- I can share directories, or SSH/SFTP, or whatever -- so ideally that shouldn't be a big problem.

I've taken a look at NetBeans, which explicitly supports this workflow, but it's so clunky that it's not appreciably better than running Eclipse on the remote Linux machine via X windows (a crappy experience in its own right.) It looks like many of the JetBrains IDEs support things like this (PyCharm certainly does, and I'm a fan), but their nascent C++ offering, CLion, doesn't support remote development yet. (It's being tracked by an issue)

Anyone have any recommendations? I'm mainly looking to keep OS X text input conventions (i.e. kb shortcuts) and native OS X style UI. Also willing to hack stuff up, within reason. Any ideas?


Use almost IDE with remote debug facility on your project within a shared directory and either add the make step as:

  • a remote run preparation step,
  • as a macro on the local IDE or
  • use a cross compiler tool chain to build on the Max then execute as a remote debug session.

I know from personal experience that the GCC tools include both cross compiler and remote debug clients, (the GCC one even has facilities for downloading the built code before debugging it), and that many IDEs including Eclipse, Code::Blocks, (there is an OS-X build) and many others include facilities for using these tools exactly this way as it is what we do things all the time in the embedded development world.

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