How to install Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VS Code) on Ubuntu

Microsoft's Visual Studio Code editor will now run on any Linux distribution that supports Snap. Follow these steps to install VS Code on Ubuntu.

How to install Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VS Code) on Ubuntu

Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, sometimes called MS VCS or VS Code, is a lightweight, yet powerful code editor that has been available for Windows and macOS for a long time. Thanks to the love-fest that has developed between Microsoft and Linux over the years, and the creation of the universal package format known as Snap Packages, this editor is now available to run on any Linux distribution that supports Snap.

Visual Studio Code comes with built-in support for languages like:

  • JavaScript
  • TypeScript
  • Node.js

It also includes extensions for other languages, such as:

  • C++
  • C#
  • Java
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Go

VS Code also supports the .NET and Unity runtimes. Other features are:

  • Built-in code search.
  • Source control.
  • Debugging tool.
  • Color theming.
  • Keybindings.
  • Code can be saved as snippets (for reuse).
  • And much more.

If you're a developer and want to work on the Linux platform, MS VSC might well be the tool which converts you. The following steps walk you through installing MS VSC on Ubuntu Desktop 19.04.

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

Installing MS VSC on Ubuntu desktop

Because Ubuntu Desktop 19.04 includes everything necessary to install Snap Packages, the installation of VS Code is quite simple. From the desktop, open a terminal window and issue the command (Figure A):

sudo snap install code --classic

Note: Visual Studio Code has to be installed using the classic confinement, as it needs access to the rest of the system.

Figure A

Figure A: Installing Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Once the installation finishes, you're ready to fire up the tool. You'll find Visual Studio Code in your desktop menu. For example, if you use GNOME, open the Dash and type code. When the launcher appears (Figure B), click it to open the app.

Figure B

Figure B: The MS VSC app launcher in GNOME Dash.

Once the app opens, you can start working with a new file or edit code you previously worked on.

Linux is a great platform for developers. With more and more tools finding its way to the open source operating system, you are hard-pressed to find a better environment in which to develop. Give Microsoft Visual Studio Code a go and see if it doesn't become your editor of choice.

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....