How to Install VSCodium on Debian 12, 11 or 10

VSCodium is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. While both applications are built on the same codebase, several key differences set VSCodium apart from its counterpart:

  • Licensing and Telemetry: VSCodium is distributed under the MIT License, whereas Visual Studio Code’s binaries are distributed under a Microsoft License. VSCodium aims to provide a more privacy-focused environment by removing all telemetry, tracking, and data collection features present in Visual Studio Code.
  • Open Source: VSCodium is fully open-source, providing developers with the opportunity to review, modify, and contribute to its development. This transparency helps maintain the trust of the developer community.
  • No Microsoft Branding: VSCodium removes all Microsoft branding and logos, offering a neutral interface that does not favor any particular company or ecosystem.
  • Community Driven: VSCodium is a community-driven project that welcomes contributions from developers around the world. This collaboration helps ensure that the software continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of its users.
  • Extensions Compatibility: VSCodium is compatible with Visual Studio Code extensions, allowing users to easily access a wide range of plugins and tools to enhance their development experience.
  • Cross-platform Support: Just like Visual Studio Code, VSCodium is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, enabling users to leverage the same powerful features and interface across multiple platforms.

VSCodium is an excellent choice for developers who value privacy and open-source principles. The application offers a similar experience to Visual Studio Code while prioritizing user privacy and fostering a collaborative development environment. The guide will demonstrate how to install VSCodium on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster release series using the official VSCodium apt repository for the latest versions and to keep it up-to-date.

Step 1: Pre-Installation Preparations

Before diving into installing VSCodium, it’s essential to ensure that your system is up-to-date with all existing packages.

Update your system with this command:

sudo apt update

Next, upgrade any outdated packages with the following command:

sudo apt upgrade

Install Dependencies

You will need to install the following dependencies. Most of these packages are likely already on your system, but running this command will ensure they’re installed:

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

Step 2: Import VSCodium Repository on Debian

First, you will need to import the GPG key and the repository. Fortunately, this process is simple, and you’ll always have the most up-to-date version available on your Debian system.

Import the GPG key with the following command:

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

Next, import the repository:

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

Step 3: Install VSCodium on Debian

With the repository added, you can now install VSCodium by updating the package list:

sudo apt update

Now you can install VSCodium using the following command:

sudo apt install codium

Alternatively, you can choose to install codium-insiders, which is the equivalent of the Visual Studio Code Insiders build. This version provides a preview or beta build of the software with the following command:

sudo apt install codium-insiders

You can install both the standard VSCodium and the codium-insiders versions side by side, as they have separate installations and do not interfere with each other. This allows you to experience the latest features and improvements while still maintaining a stable development environment.

Step 4: Launch VSCodium on Debian

Now that the installation is complete, you can launch VSCodium in a few different ways.

If you prefer using the command line terminal, you can quickly open the software with the following command:




For desktop users who would rather not use the command line terminal, you can access the VSCodium application through the graphical user interface by following this path:

Activities > Show Applications > VSCodium

Example of VSCodium Application icon on Debian:

Step 5: Getting Started with VSCodium on Debian

After successfully installing VSCodium on your Debian system, it’s time to explore its features and learn how to use it efficiently. In this section, we’ll cover general tips, customizations, and other helpful suggestions to enhance your experience with VSCodium.

General Tips

  1. Explore VSCodium’s Interface: Familiarize yourself with the user interface, including the sidebar, status bar, and the various menu options.
  2. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts: VSCodium has numerous keyboard shortcuts to increase productivity. You can find a complete list in the official documentation or access the shortcut list by pressing Ctrl + K, Ctrl + S.
  3. Access the Command Palette: Use Ctrl + Shift + P to open the command palette and search for available commands quickly.


  • Themes: Personalize your VSCodium experience by choosing from a variety of built-in themes or installing new ones from the extension marketplace. Access theme options by navigating to File > Preferences > Color Theme.
  • Fonts: Customize the editor’s font by modifying the settings. Press Ctrl + , to open the settings, and search for “Font” to adjust the font family, size, and ligatures.
  • Keybindings: Tailor keyboard shortcuts to your preferences. Go to File > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts to modify existing keybindings or create new ones.

Extensions and Integrations

  • Extensions: Enhance VSCodium’s functionality by installing extensions for various programming languages, debuggers, and other tools. Open the Extensions sidebar by clicking on the square icon or pressing Ctrl + Shift + X.
  • Version Control: VSCodium has built-in support for Git, allowing you to manage your code repositories within the editor. Connect your version control system by clicking on the Source Control icon in the sidebar.
  • Integrated Terminal: Access the built-in terminal by pressing Ctrl + ` or navigating to View > Terminal. The integrated terminal allows you to execute commands without switching to a separate terminal window.

Optimizing VSCodium

  1. Configure Settings: Fine-tune your VSCodium experience by adjusting various settings. Access the settings by pressing Ctrl + , or navigating to File > Preferences > Settings.
  2. Enable Auto-Save: Prevent losing unsaved work by enabling the auto-save feature. Go to File > Auto Save to turn on automatic saving of your files.
  3. Use Multi-Cursor Editing: Improve productivity by using multiple cursors for simultaneous editing. To add an additional cursor, press Alt + Click at the desired location.

Example of VSCodium on Debian desktop:

Additional Tips

Update VSCodium on Debian

To keep your VSCodium installation current, you should regularly check for updates. Use the following command to perform a comprehensive check for updates across all APT packages, including VSCodium:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Since VSCodium updates its binaries frequently, it’s a good idea to run this command often if you prefer manual update checks.

Remove VSCodium on Debian

If you decide that you no longer want VSCodium on your system, follow these steps to remove it completely:

  1. Remove VSCodium: Use the following command to uninstall the software:
sudo apt remove codium
  1. Delete the Repository: Remove the VSCodium repository by running this command:
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscodium.list
  1. Remove the GPG Key: As a final step for maintaining a clean and secure system, delete the GPG key with the following command:
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/vscodium.gpg

By following these additional tips, you can ensure that your VSCodium installation remains up-to-date or uninstall the software entirely if it no longer meets your needs.


In conclusion, installing VSCodium on Debian is a straightforward process that provides users with a powerful, open-source alternative to Visual Studio Code. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set up VSCodium quickly and efficiently, allowing you to take advantage of its extensive features and customizations to enhance your development experience.

Additional Resources and Links

To help you get the most out of your VSCodium experience, we’ve compiled a list of helpful resources and official links:

  • VSCodium Official Website: Visit the VSCodium homepage for the latest news, updates, and information on this open-source project.
  • VSCodium Documentation: Access the comprehensive official documentation for detailed guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting tips.
  • VSCodium on GitHub: Contribute to the project, report issues, or review the source code on the VSCodium GitHub repository.

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