How To

How To: Install Visual Studio Code on Chrome OS

So you have a new Chromebook and want to start coding on it. With Chrome OS new support for Linux apps, it is actually pretty enjoyable developing on Chrome OS.

Switching to the Dev Channel

Depending on when you are reading this article, you may need to change your Chromebook from the stable channel to the dev channel. I would recommend backing up anything you will need since switching back to the stable channel will require you do to a factory reset.

To switch to the dev channel, simply click on the three dots on the top right of the chrome browser -> Help -> About Chrome OS -> Detailed Build Information -> Change Channel -> Select “Developer – unstable”. This will trigger Chrome OS to download the developer build and restart once its done installing.

Once Chrome OS finishes restarting, go into setting and enable Linux (Beta). This should install the Linux container as well as a terminal app that should show up in your launcher once it is done.

Installing Visual Studio Code

The first thing you are going to want to do isĀ download the DEB file for Visual Studio Code.

Next you will want to open the “Files” app and click on the download tab to find the file you just downloaded. Drag and drop the file you just downloaded to the “Linux Files” tab.

You are now ready to install the DEB file to your Linux container. Open up the “terminal” app and run the following command:

sudo dpkg -i NAME_OF_FILE.deb

You will probably get a message about a bunch of missing dependencies. If you do, run the following command:

sudo apt -f install

This will install any dependencies necessary to install vs code. Once the dependencies have been installed, rerun the previous command and vs code should install properly.

Running Visual Studio Code

Now that you have vs code installed, there are two main ways you can launch the app. One way is to go to the launcher and simply click on the visual studio code app icon. Another way is through the terminal itself. You can run:


to open up the app directly from the terminal.

There you have it. You now are able to use vs code within the Linux container. By default the Linux container also has git installed and you should be able to generate ssh keys and develop as if you were using Ubuntu.