How to Install Visual Studio Code on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Visual Studio Code, commonly referred to as VSCode, stands out as a premier code editor in software development. Its versatility and rich features have made it a favorite among developers globally. This guide is meticulously crafted to walk you through the Visual Studio Code installation on Debian versions, including Debian 13 Trixie, Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, and Debian 10 Buster. By opting for Microsoft’s official VSCode repository, you ensure your software remains consistently updated with the latest version.

Key Attributes of Visual Studio Code on Debian:

  • Extensibility: One of VSCode’s most notable strengths is its vast array of extensions. These extensions enhance functionality, allowing developers on Debian to tailor their environment to specific needs.
  • Integrated Terminal: VSCode boasts an integrated terminal that facilitates seamless code execution, debugging, and version control, all within the same window. For Debian users, this means a more streamlined development process.
  • Language Support: Visual Studio Code is not limited by language barriers. It supports many programming languages, ensuring that Debian developers can work on diverse projects without needing multiple editors.
  • Git Integration: With built-in Git commands, VSCode simplifies version control. This integration is especially beneficial for Debian developers who prioritize efficient code management.

In essence, Visual Studio Code represents a harmonious blend of functionality and user-friendliness. Its installation on Debian platforms can significantly elevate the coding experience. With its unparalleled features and the advantage of consistent updates from the official repository, VSCode remains a top choice for many in the Debian developer community.

Step 1: Pre-installation Steps for VSCode on Debian

Before diving into the installation process, ensuring your Debian system is updated with the latest packages is essential. This will help prevent any potential conflicts during the installation of Visual Studio Code.

Update Your System

To update your system, open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt update

After updating the package list, proceed to upgrade any outdated packages with the following command:

sudo apt upgrade

Install Required Packages for VSCode on Debian

Next, you’ll need to install a few required packages to ensure a smooth installation of Visual Studio Code. These packages are standard across most Linux distributions and help manage repositories and securely download files.

Run the following command to install the necessary packages:

sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https curl -y

Following these pre-install steps, you’ve prepared your Debian system to install Visual Studio Code. In the next steps, you’ll learn how to add the official Microsoft repository and install the latest version of Visual Studio Code.

Step 2: Import Visual Studio Code Repository on Debian

In this step, you’ll learn to import the official Microsoft repository for Visual Studio Code to ensure you get the latest version from a trusted source.

Import Microsoft GPG Key on Debian

First, you need to import the Microsoft GPG key, which allows your system to verify the authenticity of the Visual Studio Code installation package. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:

curl -fSsL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/vscode.gpg >/dev/null

This command downloads the GPG key from Microsoft’s server and adds it to your system’s keyring.

Add Microsoft Visual Studio Code Repository on Debian

Now that you’ve imported the GPG key, the next step is to add the Visual Studio Code repository to your system. This lets you install and update Visual Studio Code directly from Microsoft’s official repository.

Run the following command in your terminal to add the repository:

echo deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/vscode.gpg] stable main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list

This command adds the repository to your system’s list of package sources, making it accessible when searching for packages to install or update.

With the repository imported, you’re now ready to install Visual Studio Code on your Debian system.

Step 3: Install Visual Studio Code on Debian

You can install Visual Studio Code after successfully integrating the official Microsoft repository into your Debian system. However, before diving into the installation process, it’s essential to understand the distinction between Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Code Insiders, as each offers unique benefits tailored to different user needs.

Distinguishing Visual Studio Code from Visual Studio Code Insiders

Visual Studio Code

This is the stable release of the editor. It culminates in rigorous testing and refinement, ensuring users enjoy a seamless and dependable coding experience. It’s ideal for developers prioritizing stability and reliability in their work environment.

Visual Studio Code Insiders

As the beta or “preview” version, the Insiders edition provides a sneak peek into Visual Studio Code’s upcoming features and enhancements. It’s a dynamic platform, constantly updated with the latest innovations. While this version offers an exciting glimpse into what’s next, it’s worth noting that it might not have undergone the same level of exhaustive testing as the stable version. As a result, it could exhibit occasional hiccups or bugs. Adventurous developers or those keen on staying ahead of the curve often opt for this version.

A noteworthy aspect is that these two versions aren’t mutually exclusive. They are designed to coexist harmoniously on your system, each with its own separate installation, allowing developers to switch between stable and beta environments as needed.

Update Package List

Before proceeding with the installation of Visual Studio Code, it’s a best practice to ensure your system’s package list is current, especially after adding a new repository:

sudo apt update

Install Visual Studio Code on Debian

For those who prioritize a stable and reliable coding environment, the following command will install the standard version of Visual Studio Code:

sudo apt install code

Install Visual Studio Code Insiders (Beta) on Debian

If you’re inclined towards exploring the latest features and don’t mind the occasional bug, the Insiders version is for you. To install, use the command:

sudo apt install code-insiders

It’s worth reiterating that Visual Studio Code’s standard and insider versions are designed to operate concurrently on your Debian system. This dual-installation feature ensures developers can effortlessly transition between a stable environment and a beta testing ground, depending on their project requirements.

Step 4: Launch Visual Studio Code on Debian

With Visual Studio Code successfully installed on your Debian system, you can launch the application using various methods. Choose the approach that best suits your preferences and workflow.

Launching from the Command Line

For those who enjoy using the terminal, you can launch Visual Studio Code quickly by entering the following command:

For the stable version:


Those that want to install the insiders (beta) version:


Launching from the Graphical User Interface (GUI)

If you prefer using the desktop environment to launch applications, you can find Visual Studio Code in your system’s application menu:

  1. Click on Activities in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Show Applications (usually represented by a grid icon).
  3. Locate Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio Code Insiders in the list of applications, or use the search bar to find it.

Example of Visual Studio Code application icon on Debian:

Screenshot showing the launch interface of VSCode on Debian 13, 12, 11, or 10.Pin
Launching VSCode on Debian’s popular versions.

Step 5: Getting Started with Visual Studio Code on Debian

Now that you’ve installed Visual Studio Code on your Debian system, it’s time to explore some general tips, customizations, and other helpful information to help you get started with this powerful code editor.

General Tips

  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Learning and utilizing keyboard shortcuts can significantly improve your productivity. Visual Studio Code has a variety of built-in shortcuts to help you navigate, edit, and manage your code more efficiently. You can find a list of shortcuts by selecting Help > Keyboard Shortcuts Reference from the menu bar.
  • Multi-cursor editing: VSCode supports multi-cursor editing, allowing you to make changes in multiple places simultaneously. Hold the Alt key and click on different locations to create multiple cursors.
  • Integrated terminal: Visual Studio Code features an integrated terminal, enabling you to execute commands directly within the editor. To open the terminal, select View > Terminal from the menu bar or press Ctrl + ~.


  • Themes: Personalize your editor’s appearance by choosing from a wide range of themes or creating your own. To change the theme, select File > Preferences > Color Theme from the menu bar, and pick the one that suits your taste.
  • File icons: Improve file navigation by customizing the file icons displayed in the editor. To change the file icon theme, select File > Preferences > File Icon Theme from the menu bar, and choose your preferred theme.
  • Settings: Customize your editor’s behavior by modifying settings. You can access the settings by selecting File > Preferences > Settings from the menu bar or pressing Ctrl + ,. Settings can be configured on a user or workspace level, allowing for different configurations per project.


Visual Studio Code’s true power lies in its extensibility. Thousands of extensions are available in the VSCode marketplace to enhance your editor’s functionality, add new features, or provide support for additional programming languages and frameworks. To explore available extensions, select View > Extensions from the menu bar or press Ctrl + Shift + X.

Some popular extensions to consider include:

  • Live Server: Automatically launch a local development server with live reload feature for static and dynamic pages.
  • Prettier: Automatically format your code using Prettier, a widely used code formatter supporting various languages.
  • ESLint: Detect and fix problems in your JavaScript code by integrating the ESLint linter into your editor.
  • Python: Enhance your Python development experience with rich language support, debugging, and testing features.
  • GitLens: Supercharge your Git capabilities with advanced features like blame annotations, commit search, and detailed commit information.
Confirmation screen of Visual Studio Code installation on Debian versions 13, 12, 11, and 10.Pin
Visual Studio Code is now fully operational on Debian 13, 12, 11, and 10.

Additional Tips for Visual Studio Code on Debian

Removing Visual Studio Code on Debian

If you remove Visual Studio Code from your Debian system, follow the steps below to uninstall the software, remove the repository, and delete the GPG key.

Uninstall Visual Studio Code

To uninstall Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio Code Insiders, run the corresponding command in your terminal:

sudo apt remove code
sudo apt remove code-insiders

Remove the Repository

After uninstalling the software, remove the Microsoft Visual Studio Code repository from your system with the following command:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list

Delete the GPG Key

Removing the GPG key associated with the Visual Studio Code repository is a good practice for enhanced security and proper system maintenance. To do this, run the following command:

sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/vscode.gpg

Following these steps, you’ll have successfully removed Visual Studio Code, its repository, and the GPG key from your Debian system.


This guide teaches you how to install Visual Studio Code on Debian using the official Microsoft repository. Following the steps ensures you have the latest software version and can keep it up-to-date. Additionally, you’ve explored some tips and customizations to help you start with Visual Studio Code and learned how to remove the software if needed.

Comments are closed.

Share to...