Setting up Visual Studio Code

Getting up and running with VS Code is quick and easy. Follow the platform specific guides below as well as the list of handy tools.

Mac OS X

  1. Download Visual Studio Code for Mac OS X.
  2. Double-click on to expand the contents.
  3. Drag Visual Studio to the Applications folder, making it available in the Launchpad.
  4. Add VS Code to your Dock by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Options, Keep in Dock.

Tip: If you want to run VS Code from the terminal, append the following to your ~/.bash_profile file (~/.zshrc in case you use zsh).

code () { VSCODE_CWD="$PWD" open -n -b "" --args $* ;}

Now, you can simply type code . in any folder to start editing files in that folder.


  1. Download Visual Studio Code for Linux.
  2. Make a new folder and extract inside that folder.
  3. Double click on Code to run Visual Studio Code.

Tip: If you want to run VS Code from the terminal, create the following link substituting /path/to/vscode/Code with the absolute path to the Code executable

sudo ln -s /path/to/vscode/Code /usr/local/bin/code

Now, you can simply type code . in any folder to start editing files in that folder.


  1. Download Visual Studio Code for Windows.
  2. Double-click on VSCodeSetup.exe to launch the setup process. This will only take a minute.

Tip: Visual Studio Code will be added to your path, so from the console you can simply type code . to open VS Code on that folder!

Tip: You might need to log off after the installation for the change to the PATH environmental variable to take effect.

Additional Tools

Visual Studio Code integrates with existing tool chains. We think the following tools will enhance your development experiences.

  • ASP.NET 5 - a lean and composable framework for building web and cloud applications, fully open source and available on GitHub
  • Node.js (includes NPM) - a platform for easily building fast, scalable network applications
  • Git - VS Code has built-in support for source code control using Git
  • Yeoman - an application scaffolding tool, you can think of this as File | New Project for VS Code
  • generator-aspnet - a yeoman generator for scaffolding ASP.NET 5 applications, run npm install -g generator-aspnet to install
  • hottowel - a yeoman generator for quickly creating AngularJS applications, run npm install -g generator-hottowel to install
  • Express - an application framework for Node.js applications, uses the Jade template engine
  • gulp - a streaming task runner system, integrates with VS Code tasks
  • mocha - a JavaScript test framework that runs on Node.js
  • bower - a client side package manager
  • TypeScript - brings structure and strong typing to your JavaScript code, without compromising the good parts
  • TypeScript definition manager - search and download 100's of TypeScript definition files for popular JavaScript frameworks, providing great IntelliSense in VS Code

Next Steps

Now you have installed and set up VS Code. Let's get going...

  • The Basics - Basic orientation around VS Code
  • Editing Evolved - Lint, IntelliSense, Lightbulbs, Peek and Goto Definition and more
  • Debugging - This is where VS Code really shines

Common Questions

Q: What are the system requirements for VS Code?

A: We have a list of System Requirements.