How to install Visual Studio Code on your Chromebook

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Visual studio is a free integrated development environment or IDE software. It helps software developers to create code more efficiently and productively. VS Code supports multiple programming languages ​​including Python, Java, C/C++, C#, PHP, JavaScript/HTML/CSS among others.

Okay, before we start;

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  • Activate Linux on Chromebook. You can install Linux on any Chromebook released in the last 2-3 years. I am currently using a Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go. To activate Linux on your Chromebook, go to Settings > Advanced > Developers > Enable Linux Development Environment. We have already published an article on setting up Linux on Chromebook.
  • Update the list of Linux packages. You can also install the optional (but highly recommended) gnome-keyring dependency. GNOME keychain is a collection of components in GNOME that store secrets, passwords, keys and certificates. So run the following commands;
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install -y gnome-keychain

If you’ve done that, you’re now ready to install and configure Visual Studio on your Chromebook. To get started, download the appropriate file from the Visual Studio website https://code.visualstudio.com/download. There are different files for Windows, Mac and Linux. Since you will be installing Visual Studio on a Linux container running on your Chromebook, check the Linux files. Here you will see .deb file for Ubuntu Where DebianName-based on Linux distributions and .rpm for Redhat, Centos or Susa distributions. So you need to know the Linux container you have installed on your Chromebook. The default is penguin which is based on Debian.

Next, you need to know your Chromebook’s processor architecture. Chromebooks are equipped with 64-bit Intel/AMD processors and ARM processors. So for Intel/AMD Chromebooks go for the 64 bit file while for ARM processors you will need to download the ARM64 file.

Run the command dpkg – print architecture in the Linux terminal to discover our CPU variant.

So in combination, if you have a Debian-based Linux container running on an Intel-based Chromebook, you should download 64-bit .deb file.

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Chromebook Linux Package Installer

Once you’ve downloaded the correct file to your Chromebook, simply double-click it. A Linux package installer will appear. Click install to start the process. Within seconds, the Visual studio code will be installed on your Chromebook. You can start it by searching for it in the application launcher.

Chromebook App Launcher

You are now ready to write code. To start developing applications in your programming language of choice, you will need to install additional dependencies specific to that language. For example, to start developing Javascript applications, you will most likely need Node.js.

Visual Studio app on Chromebook

To install Node.js, you need to install Node Package Manager (nvm) which should help you install the correct version of Node.js. If you want to develop Python applications, you will need to install Python3, PIP and other libraries suitable for your needs. You can read the documentation on how to install additional Visual Studio plugins or dependencies for your language.

Related Article: How to Install Linux Apps on a Chromebook

Alright, so this is how you can turn your Chromebook into a coding machine. You can follow my Youtube video tutorial for step by step instructions.

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