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

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)... 93.184.215.200, 2606:2800:11f:179a:1972:2405:35b:459
Connecting to az764295.vo.msecnd.net (az764295.vo.msecnd.net)|93.184.215.200|: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

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

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

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.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.