Visual Studio Code

From ArchWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform proprietary text editor (licensed under an End-User License Agreement) developed by Microsoft, built on top of a free and open-source project named Codium (licensed under the MIT License), written in JavaScript and TypeScript – the relationship between Codium and Visual Studio Code is more or less the same as the one between Chromium and Google Chrome; for an explanation of the mixed licensing, see this GitHub comment. Visual Studio Code is built on the Electron framework and is extensible using extensions, which can be browsed on the web or from within the text editor itself.


The following packages provide VSCode:

  • code (open-source release)
  • code-gitAUR (in-development open-source version)
  • visual-studio-code-binAUR (Microsoft-branded release)
  • visual-studio-code-insiders-binAUR (Microsoft-branded release, updated daily)
  • vscodium-binAUR (community-driven fully open-source version of VSCode, with all Microsoft telemetry stripped out - latest release, binary package)
  • vscodiumAUR (community-driven fully open-source version of VSCode, with all Microsoft telemetry stripped out - latest release, git build)
  • vscodium-gitAUR (community-driven fully open-source version of VSCode, with all Microsoft telemetry stripped out - latest commit on branch master, git build)

The Microsoft ptvsd (Python Tools for Visual Studio Debug) server/module is available at python-ptvsdAUR.


Run code to start the application (or if you are using other releases, run code-git for code-gitAUR or codium for vscodium-binAUR/vscodiumAUR/vscodium-gitAUR).

If for any reason you wish to launch multiple instances of Visual Studio Code, the -n flag can be used.


code stores settings in ~/.config/Code - OSS/User/settings.json.

visual-studio-code-binAUR stores settings in ~/.config/Code/User/settings.json.

vscodiumAUR and related packages store their settings in ~/.config/VSCodium/User/settings.json.

When migrating from Code to Codium (or vice versa), the settings directory can be copied or moved, since they share most of their codebase, the settings are compatible.

Integrated Terminal

View > Integrated Terminal or Ctrl + ` opens up an integrated terminal. By default, Bash is used with no additional arguments, although this can be changed. sets the default shell to be used and terminal.integrated.shellArgs.linux sets the arguments to be passed to the shell.


"": "/usr/bin/fish",
"terminal.integrated.shellArgs.linux": ["-l","-d 3"]

You might face weird prompts after setting the integrated shell arguments with external terminal, remove the line to solve the problem or use an external terminal.

External terminal

If you are using Terminator as default terminal for Arch and you have an error on Visual Studio Code: Unable to launch debugger worker process (vsdbg) through the terminal. spawn truecolor ENOENT, you can change the terminal that will be used by Visual Studio to another terminal (e.g. gnome-terminal).

"terminal.external.linuxExec": "Your alternative terminal" sets the default terminal to be used for exec debug.


"terminal.external.linuxExec": "gnome-terminal"

Running natively under Wayland

If you are using a Wayland-based WM or DE, you can force Visual Studio Code to run natively under Wayland (instead of under XWayland) by adding command-line options --enable-features=UseOzonePlatform --ozone-platform=wayland. For example, you can try launching VSCode using

$ code --enable-features=UseOzonePlatform --ozone-platform=wayland

These options can be automatically applied every time Visual Studio Code is launched by adding them to the file ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/electron-flags.conf. (See Wayland#Electron.)


Global menu not working in KDE/Plasma

Visual Studio Code uses DBus to pass the menu to Plasma, try installing libdbusmenu-glib.

Unable to move items to trash

By default, Electron apps use gio to delete files. kioclient5 is automatically selected instead if Plasma is detected. Different trash implementations can be used by setting the ELECTRON_TRASH environment variable.

For example, for deleting files using trash-cli:

$ ELECTRON_TRASH=trash-cli code

At the time of writing, Electron supports kioclient5, kioclient, trash-cli, gio (default) and gvfs-trash (deprecated). More info is available at this documentation page.

Unable to debug C#

If you want to debug C#.NET (using the OmniSharp extension) then you need to install the Microsoft branded release (from the AUR). This is apparently because the .NET Core debugger is only licensed to be used with official Microsoft products - see this github discussion.

When using the open-source package, debugging fails fairly quietly. The debug console will just show the initial message:

You may only use the Microsoft .NET Core Debugger (vsdbg) with
Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio or Visual Studio for Mac software
to help you develop and test your applications.

For debugging with the open-source package netcoredbgAUR can be used. To run it in VS Code, add this configuration to .NET Core launch configuration of the project:

"configurations": [
    "pipeTransport": {
        "pipeCwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
        "pipeProgram": "/usr/bin/bash",
        "pipeArgs": ["-c"],
        "debuggerPath": "/usr/bin/netcoredbg"

Unable to open .csproj with OmniSharp server, invalid Microsoft.Common.props location

You have to switch from mono to proper SDK version props.


Modify import to look like this:


Error from OmniSharp that MSBuild cannot be located

It is noted in the OmniSharp introduction that Arch Linux users should install the mono-msbuild package. Without it, you might get an error like:

OmniSharp Log
[info]: OmniSharp.MSBuild.Discovery.MSBuildLocator
        Registered MSBuild instance: StandAlone 15.0 - "~/.vscode/extensions/ms-vscode.csharp-1.18.0/.omnisharp/1.32.11/omnisharp/msbuild/15.0/Bin"
            MSBuildExtensionsPath = /usr/lib/mono/xbuild
            BypassFrameworkInstallChecks = true
            CscToolPath = ~/.vscode/extensions/ms-vscode.csharp-1.18.0/.omnisharp/1.32.11/omnisharp/msbuild/15.0/Bin/Roslyn
            CscToolExe = csc.exe
            MSBuildToolsPath = ~/.vscode/extensions/ms-vscode.csharp-1.18.0/.omnisharp/1.32.11/omnisharp/msbuild/15.0/Bin
            TargetFrameworkRootPath = /usr/lib/mono/xbuild-frameworks
System.TypeLoadException: Could not load type of field 'OmniSharp.MSBuild.ProjectManager:_queue' (13) due to: Could not load file or assembly 'System.Threading.Tasks.Dataflow, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a' or one of its dependencies.

You might be able to build anyway (possibly depending whether you have mono installed too).

Omnisharp ships with its own mono version, so, if it is unable to locate the installed one, if you want to tell omnisharp to look for a "global" mono installed in your machine, put this in your settings.json:


Saving with "Retry as Sudo" does not work

This feature does not work in the code package, because Microsoft does not support the way the Arch package is packaged (native instead of bundled Electron). See FS#61516 and the upstream bug report for more information.

The binary release visual-studio-code-binAUR does not have this issue, and the feature works there.

Keyboard variants or keymappings do not map

As per the wiki on GitHub:

Switching keyboard layouts under some Linux window managers does not result in a change in the low level X window APIs VS Code uses to read the current keyboard layout. This means that VS Code ends up sometimes reading one of the other configured keyboard layouts and not the current active one. PR welcome...

Per the wiki, there are two possible solutions:

  1. make sure setxkbmap -query returns as the first keyboard layout the one you want to work with in VS Code.
  2. use "keyboard.dispatch": "keyCode" in your settings and restart VS Code. This will prevent VS Code from trying to determine your keyboard layout whatsoever.

Command "..." not found

In the official build of VS Code, a product.json file lists the extensions that are allowed to use certain proposed APIs accessed by extensions. However, the product.json is absent in the OSS build code. [1]

In the related issues below, some flags may be required to enable certain APIs. [2] You may either run code with these flags, or you can add the relevant entries to the extensionAllowedProposedApi section in the product.json file (code installs this to /usr/lib/code/product.json).

"extensionAllowedProposedApi": [

This can also be resolved by installing the code-featuresAUR package, which installs a pacman hook that patches the file on every package update. Alternatively, you may also consider installing the Microsoft branded packages: visual-studio-code-binAUR, visual-studio-code-insiders-binAUR.

VS Live Share missing API

Use either the solution above by editing the product.json, or open VS Code with:

$ code --enable-proposed-api ms-vsliveshare.vsliveshare

Command 'remote-containers.openFolder' not found

Open VS Code enabling remote-containers API as commented in FS#63374:

$ code-oss --enable-proposed-api ms-vscode-remote.remote-containers

Command 'GitHub Pull Requests: Configure Remotes...' resulted in an error (command 'pr.configureRemotes' not found)

Open VS Code with:

$ code --enable-proposed-api GitHub.vscode-pull-request-github

Git: ssh_askpass: exec(/usr/lib/ssh/ssh-askpass): No such file or directory

This error is a result of an encrypted ssh-key, and can be solved by installing a dialogue provider like SSH keys#x11-ssh-askpass or the alternatives listed there like ksshaskpass for KDE.

One thing to note is that for e.g. ksshaskpass you would need to link it from /usr/lib/ssh/ssh-askpass to get VSCode to find it:

# ln /usr/bin/ksshaskpass /usr/lib/ssh/ssh-askpass

No extensions found

There exist several differences between "vscode" (open-source) and "Visual Studio Code" (Microsoft product based on vscode), see: Differences between the repository and Visual Studio Code. The usage of Microsoft marketplace for extensions is restricted to products of the Visual Studio Code's family. Consequently, it cannot be used by vscode (see FS#67780). The code and vscodium-binAUR/vscodiumAUR/vscodium-gitAUR packages are configured to use the Open VSX registry instead of the Microsoft one. This explains why some extensions are missing from the vscode explorer while they appear to be listed online.

The workaround is to either install the visual-studio-code-binAUR package instead, manually download and install the .vsix file from the web marketplace page, or ask the maintainer to upload its extension to OpenVSX.

Technically, one could also edit the product.json as shown in this Github comment, but that would not comply with the Microsoft Marketplace Terms of Use. Additionally, the changes would be overwritten during package update. This can be overcome by installing code-marketplaceAUR/vscodium-bin-marketplaceAUR/vscodium-marketplaceAUR package, which installs a pacman hook that patches the file on every package update.

Cutoff characters in integrated Terminal

Characters that are too wide can end up clipping. For example the italic bold text of Deno stack-traces.

This can be avoided by setting "terminal.integrated.rendererType" to "experimentalWebgl".

Blurry text under Wayland

Visual Studio Code defaults to run under XWayland, which may cause blurry text if you are using HiDPI screens. To fix this issue, try forcing Electron to run under Wayland—see #Running natively under Wayland.

No such interface“org.freedesktop.Secret.Collection”

See settings-sync#_troubleshooting-keychain-issues

Authentification with Github failed while using VSCodium

When connecting a Github account, change "vscodium" to "vscode" in the URL as seen in this comment. Then copy the identification token into VSCodium. Should it still fail, install a keyring like gnome-keyring or create a new keyring as mentioned here in the Visual Studio Code docs and here on Github.