Edit and debug with VS Code

Installing the Python extension (and additional tools)

Click on hello.py to open it for editing. You will be prompted with an extension recommendation, in this case to install the Microsoft Python extension, which will give you rich editing and debugging experiences. Go ahead and select Install and reload if prompted.

Python extension recommendation

To prove that the extension is installed in WSL, open the Extensions view again (⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X)). You will see a section titled WSL – Installed and you can see any extensions that are installed on the WSL side.

WSL installed extensions

Upon reload, you'll also get prompted telling you that the pylint linter is not installed. Linters are used to show errors and warnings in source code. Go ahead and select Install.

pylint not installed notification

Now, when you edit your code, you get rich colorization and completions.

Python IntelliSense

And when you save your file (⌘S (Windows, Linux Ctrl+S)), you'll get linting errors and warnings on the file.

pylint error


With your tools set up, let's take this one step further. Set a breakpoint on line 1 of hello.py by clicking in the gutter to the left of the line number or by putting the cursor on the line and pressing F9.

set breakpoint

Now, press F5 to run your application. You will be asked how to run the application, and since this is a simple file, just choose Python File.

select debug configuration

The app will start, and you'll hit the breakpoint. You can inspect variables, create watches, and navigate the call stack.

Press F10 to step and you'll see the output of the print statement in the debug console.

VS Code debug view

You get the full development experience of Visual Studio Code, using the Linux instance installed in WSL.

If you want to open another folder in WSL, open the File menu and choose Open Folder. You'll get a minimal file and folder navigator for the Linux file system, not the Windows file system.

open folder navigator

If you want to switch back to the Windows, select the Show Local option and you'll get the standard Windows File Open dialog.

Ending your WSL connection

You can end your session in WSL and go back to running VS Code locally with File > Close Remote Connection.


Congratulations, you've successfully completed this walkthrough!

Next, check out the other Remote Development extensions.

Or get them all by installing the Remote Development extension pack extension pack.

I'm Done!