Two days after releasing Visual Studio 2019 for Windows and Mac, Microsoft today made Visual Studio Code available for Linux as a Snap. Microsoft launched the free Visual Studio Code for Windows, Mac, and Linux in April 2016, but making Snap support finally brigs seamless auto-updates for Linux users. You can download the Snap now from snapcraft.io/code and grab insider builds from snapcraft.io/code-insiders.
Developed by Canonical, Snaps are containerized software packages that work natively on most popular Linux distributions. They feature automatic updates and rollback functionality, enhanced security, and greater flexibility for developers working within Linux environments. Snaps can run universally across over 40 Linux distribution variants. Visual Studio Code as a Snap means Microsoft can spend less time working on packaging and managing builds across Linux distros.
Community versus Official Support
If Visual Studio Code as a Snap seems familiar, that’s because the Ubuntu community created one back in May 2017. Today’s Visual Studio Code Snap meanwhile is officially supported, built, and endorsed by Microsoft.
“The automatic update functionality of Snaps is a major benefit,” João Moreno, Visual Studio Code engineer, said in a statement. “It is clear there is a thriving community around Snaps and that it is moving forward at great pace. The backing of Canonical ensures our confidence in its ongoing development and long-term future.”
Canonical has seen decent Snap adoption since it added support for multiple Linux distros in June 2016. Amazon, Google, Slack, and Spotify have all adopted the packaging format for their Linux software, and now the company can add Microsoft to the list.
“Visual Studio Code is hugely popular, and it’s fantastic that we’re able to help it extend its reach into the Linux ecosystem,” Canonical engineering manager Evan Dandrea said in a statement. “Developers are the lifeblood of Snaps and it is great to see this recognition from Microsoft as they join a host of others who can now provide their users with the latest updates seamlessly, and with assurance of rollbacks and containment.”