PyCharm ssh remote interpreter breaks every single restart


I use PyCharm version 2018.3.2 build #PY-183.4886.43 (just upgraded to 2018.3.3 #PY-183.5153.39, same issue)

I have a local git repository loaded as a PyCharm project. This repository is deployed to a remote machine. The remote (ssh) interpreter used by the PyCharm project uses this code. This setup worked fine for a long time, but recently I've been having problems every single day.

When I try running e.g. unittests from PyCharm (rightclick -> Run Unittests in file), I get the following errors:

Can't run remote python interpreter: Error connecting to remote host xxx

Couldn't upload helpers for remote interpreter: Auth cancel

However, when I change code, changes do get automatically pushed toward this same remote host with no problem. I can also browse to the virtual environment on the remote host (through PyCharm). Usually (almost all of the behavior I describe seems completely random and arbitrary) I can even open the python console and it will run the remote interpreter. Yet when I try running a file it refuses to work.

When I go to settings -> project interpreter, the selected interpreter and mappings are correct. However, under the package list it states "Nothing to show."

I have been unable to find out the steps to fixing this problem. I usually get it to work eventually through a process of repeatedly restarting, invalidating cache, creating a new ssh interpreter configuration that is -exactly- the same as the previous one (this fixes the "Nothing to show." but it still doesn't run files), etc. If I try this for long enough it tends to end up working but I can't find a pattern to it. It seems completely arbitrary and I fail to see why it can so clearly connect to the interpreter and the remote machine in some ways, but can't in others.

PyCharm is such a great tool to work with but sometimes it's infuriating due to its completely unexplainable and intransparent behavior.

Thanks for any help! Let me know if more information is needed.


With the help of PyCharm support I seem to have fixed it. If anyone else runs into this issue in the future: I fixed it by deleting the .pycharm_helpers directory in my remote home directory.


Thank you for your post. 

I have the same issue. I can run the code remotely. but in the setting,  it only shows "nothing to show" then it can't find any modules on the server from my local Pycharm.

I tried to delete  /home/myaccountname/.pycharm_helpers  directory and reboot or not reboot the Pycharm on my computer. But it still has "nothing to show"...


Yeah, the above thing seemed to fix it for me but the next day I had the same issue again. The behavior seems very random so I'm not sure if I really did fix it this time around, but I used to use an alias for the remote host. Now I'm using the ip address instead, and it's been working since. I have no idea how or whether it will stay fixed, but it's something PyCharm support suggested and so far so good... If you're using a name instead of an ip address as well it's worth a try.


I can confirm we had similar issues that was fixed by using IP address instead of the hostname, so please try it.


I have been using Pycharm for 18 months and I've suddenly started getting this.  Is there a definitive answer on this.  Its so annoying I've started looking at other IDEs


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