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How To Install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on Linux

Visual Studio code (VScode) is the cross-platform Chromium-based code editor is being open sourced today by Microsoft. How do I install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on a Debian or Ubuntu or Fedora Linux desktop?

Visual Studio supports debugging Linux apps and code editor now open source by Microsoft. It is a preview (beta) version but you can test it and use it on your own Linux based desktop.

Why use Visual Studio Code?

From the project website:

Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their core code-edit-debug cycle. Visual Studio Code is the first code editor, and first cross-platform development tool – supporting OS X, Linux, and Windows – in the Visual Studio family. If you use Unity, ASP.NET 5, NODE.JS or related tool, give it a try.

Requirements for Visual Studio Code on Linux

  1. Ubuntu Desktop version 14.04
  2. GLIBCXX version 3.4.15 or later
  3. GLIBC version 2.15 or later

The following installation instructions are tested on:

  1. Fedora Linux 22 and 23
  2. Debian Linux 8
  3. Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS

Download Visual Studio Code

Visit this page to grab the latest version and save it to ~/Downloads/ folder on Linux desktop:

Fig.01: Download Visual Studio Code For Linux

Fig.01: Download Visual Studio Code For Linux

Make a new folder (say $HOME/VSCode) and extract VSCode-linux-x64.zip inside that folder or in /usr/local/ folder. Unzip VSCode-linux64.zip to that folder.

Alternate install method

You can use the wget command to download VScode as follows:
$ wget 'https://az764295.vo.msecnd.net/public/0.10.1-release/VSCode-linux64.zip'
Sample outputs:

--2015-11-18 13:55:23--  https://az764295.vo.msecnd.net/public/0.10.1-release/VSCode-linux64.zip
Resolving az764295.vo.msecnd.net (az764295.vo.msecnd.net)..., 2606:2800:11f:179a:1972:2405:35b:459
Connecting to az764295.vo.msecnd.net (az764295.vo.msecnd.net)||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 64638315 (62M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: 'VSCode-linux64.zip'
100%[======================================>] 64,638,315  84.9MB/s   in 0.7s   
2015-11-18 13:55:23 (84.9 MB/s) - 'VSCode-linux64.zip' saved [64638315/64638315]

Install VScode using the command line

Cd to ~/Download/ location, enter:
$ cd ~/Download/
$ ls -l

Sample outputs:

Fig.02: VSCode downloaded to my ~/Downloads/ folder

Fig.02: VSCode downloaded to my ~/Downloads/ folder

Unzip VSCode-linux64.zip in /usr/local/ directory, enter:
$ sudo unzip VSCode-linux64.zip -d /usr/local/

Cd into /usr/local/ to create the soft-link as follows using the ln command for the Code executable. This is useful to run VSCode from the terminal application:
$ su -
# cd /usr/local/
# ls -l
# cd bin/
# ln -s ../VSCode-linux-x64/Code code
# exit

Sample session:

Fig.03 Create the sym-link with the absolute path to the Code executable

Fig.03 Create the sym-link with the absolute path to the Code executable

How do I use VSCode on Linux?

Open the Terminal app and type the following command:
$ /usr/local/bin/code
Sample outputs:

Fig.04: VSCode in action on Linux

Fig.04: VSCode in action on Linux

And, there you have it, the VSCode installed and working correctly on the latest version of Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora Linux. I suggest that you read getting started pages from Microsoft to understand the core concepts that will make you more productive writing and navigating your code.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Damon November 18, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I don’t see why you’d want to use this over one of the existing open source chromium/node-based editors such as Atom and Brackets, both of which already have thriving plugin ecosystems.

  • mrbrklyn November 19, 2015, 6:48 am

    screw ms.

  • Daniel November 20, 2015, 12:13 am

    Will this work on a z/VM Linux (SLES) running on s390x?

  • ljgww November 22, 2015, 10:00 am

    If one expects to move code from Visual Studio to this gimmick, it will soon find out that this is futile. VScode is nothing to do with VS albeit name insinuation. For that kind of stuff use mono Develop (which is in some ways IMHO better than VS).

    Perhaps this VScode can be used for something but, again, why?

    This only serve MS marketing to have waving flag, but after, what, 4 decades of misleading people I thought MS learned a lesson? Alas they did not. What they are trying with this is to lure very young generation of programmers which started their programming career with HTML and JavaScript trying to appear to be cool to them by adopting their cult tools.

    Beware. Bad dog MS! Sit.

  • Brent R Brian November 23, 2015, 12:33 pm

    Why would I EVER want to take a secure LINUX box and infect it with MICROSOFT code ?

  • Kevin February 6, 2016, 2:29 am

    These comments are funny! That Microsoft hate is old school now. I use linux for my daily laptop, but I try to know both sides.
    MS changed CEOs awhile ago and they’re doing interesting stuff now. Visual Studio Code is COMPLETELY OPEN SOURCE and on github! It runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows the same.
    Even some of the Atom contributors are looking at it because it’s a really good editor and MS developers made some design choices that fixed things that stop people from using Atom, like really bad performance on big projects.
    And the reason you would want it is because it’s a damn good developer tool for python, js, etc.
    VSCode has nothing to do with the real “Visual Studio” product except the shared VS name marketing. And, if you do run windows desktop, even the free Visual Studio product is a damn good developer IDE for some types of projects.

  • zed March 10, 2016, 6:03 am

    when will the compiler be ported to linux? maybe also compile sql server on linux with it

  • wolf April 5, 2016, 1:55 pm

    thx, but the 2nd part is more important on that type of software

    # install
    wget -c https://az764295.vo.msecnd.net/stable/f291f4ad600767626b24a4b15816b04bee9a3049/VSCode-linux-x64-stable.zip
    o=$( pwd )
    sudo -s <<EOF
    unzip VSCode-linux-x64-stable.zip -d /usr/local
    cd /usr/local/bin
    ln -s ../VSCode-linux-x64/code code
    cd $o
    # remove
    sudo -s < 
  • tacomeat April 26, 2016, 10:17 pm

    There’s gotta be a better way to install this. This method SuUUUUCKS!!!

  • tacomeat April 26, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Man How the hell do I remove this????

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