Let’s learn to install VS Code on Arch Linux. Microsoft Visual Studio Code has become one of the most used text editor and IDE for developers. It is a very powerful IDE with support for almost all languages through thousands of plugins. It is also highly customizable.
But Microsoft VS Code is proprietary software not available in the official repositories, which means we cannot just install it using Pacman. So this tutorial provides a detailed walkthrough of the VS Code installation process in Arch and Arch Based distributions like Manjaro and Garuda.
Code in the AUR
The Visual Studio Code package can be downloaded from the Arch User Repository(AUR). The AUR offers two different versions of VS Code packages besides the official Microsoft build. T
They are licensed under the MIT license and is built on the same open-sourced repository that Microsoft VS Code is built on. The AUR also contains the development versions of all these binaries. In this article, we will be focusing mainly on installing the Microsoft packaged Visual Studio Code. Instructions to install open-source and development versions are listed at the end of the article.
Installing Microsoft VS Code on Arch
There are two options for installing any repository from AUR. We can wither download the repository and build it from source manually or we can take help of AUR helpers like paru and yay to install the program quickly. We will be going through both the ways in which we can install vs-Code.
1. Using AUR Helper
With paru/yay you can install vs-code with just one line ;).
# If you are using yay, just replace paru with yay. paru -S visual-studio-code-bin
2. Building VS Code from Source on Arch
The other option is to download the build repository and install it from the source manually. For this purpose, we need some extra packages – git(for cloning the repository) and base-devel(for installing the programs required to build a package). To install these packages use the command
sudo pacman -S git base-devel
Clone the package repository
Clone the VS-Code stable repository from the AUR using the command:
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/visual-studio-code-bin.git
Build the package
To update the package enter the package directory and use the command makepkg -si to build it.
cd visual-studio-code-bin makepkg -si
The makepkg enters the chroot environment to install VSCode along with its dependencies( for building and running the package). You will be prompted for the root password for making the final changes. After the installation you can type code in the terminal to launch VSCode
Installing other versions of VS Code on Arch Linux
If you are a pro-open-source person or you just want to be on the bleeding edge, you might be tempted to install the insider’s version or the open-source versions. The installation process is quite similar to that of the Microsoft stable VS Code on Arch. The stable open-source build – code is available in the official repositories so you can install it just by using Pacman.
For other binaries and repositories, you can just replace the visual-studio-code-bin with the repository of your choice. For example, if you want to install the development branch of code which is code-git, you can just use the command
paru -S code-git
Note: The VS Code versions conflict with each other. So you cannot normally have two different versions/build of VS Code on the same machine concurrently.
After the installation, Visual Studio Code should be running perfectly without any complications. If you face any issues regarding program execution, extension, ssh etc. you can check out the Arch Wiki common issues in Visual Studio Code.