Use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

What is WSL?

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) lets you run a Linux environment, including command-line tools and applications, directly on Windows, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dual boot setup.

WSL especially helps web developers and those working with Bash and Linux-first tools (for example, Ruby and Python) to use their tools on Windows and ensure consistency between development and production environments.

Get started with WSL in VS Code

To get started with using WSL in VS Code, you'll need to download the WSL extension from the Extension Marketplace.

WSL extension

You'll also need WSL and a Linux distribution installed. We recommend using WSL 2, which is the newest version of WSL, as you will benefit from significant performance advantages over WSL 1.

Check out the WSL extension in action:

The typical flow is you'll open a Linux command prompt, navigate to a folder of your choosing, and type code . to launch a new instance of VS Code connected to WSL. From there, you get the full experience of using VS Code as if you were developing on Linux, except you're on a Windows machine!

Next steps

We highly recommend checking out the step-by-step WSL tutorial to learn more.