Microsoft Aiming For A Linux Development Workflow Around WSL + VS Code Remote

Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 6 July 2019 at 07:23 AM EDT. 36 Comments
Not a particularly new feature itself, but recently Microsoft has begun promoting a workflow for developers of encouraging them to use Windows 10 to do Linux development by leveraging Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Visual Studio Code Remote.

Visual Studio Code, their lightweight IDE, has a "VS Code Remote" extension to allow WSL/containers/remote-systems to be used for execution. So from the confines of your Windows 10 desktop you can be developing/testing Linux code on the system under WSL.

"When using VS Code Remote in WSL, commands and extensions are run directly in the Linux distro, so you don’t have to worry about pathing issues, binary compatibility, or other cross-OS challenges. You’re able to use VS Code in WSL just as you would from Windows. VS Code Remote and WSL are game changers when it comes to developing with Linux on Windows. These tools let you develop, run, and debug tons of Linux applications directly on your Windows machine, giving you the best of both a Windows and Linux environment."

It doesn't sound particularly compelling unless you're locked into using Windows to begin with. If so you can learn more via their dev blog post from earlier this week and the associated recent YouTube video. There's also still the I/O limitations of WSL or if using WSL2 CPU slowdowns in general as we've noted in our benchmarks.

Yay or nay - what do you think of the WSL and VS Code Remote workflow?
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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