Last week, Microsoft officially launched Visual Studio 2019 on Windows and Mac. Those who love some open source needed to wait a little longer, but Microsoft has also brought Visual Studio Code to Linux. VS Code is available on the Linux platform as a Snap, which improves updating on open source.

If you are unfamiliar with Snaps, they are created by Canonical and are essentially software packages in a container. Users can leverage Snaps on most Linux distributions and get automatic updates and the ability to rollback versions.

Microsoft has been running Visual Studio Code on Linux since back in 2016, but never as a Snap. By bringing Snap support allows that seamless automatic updating which means Microsoft no longer needs to package separate Linux builds.


As you may expect, Microsoft is late to this party and third-party developers on the Ubuntu community already created a VS Code Snap in 2017. It seems Redmond took note and brought official Snap support for VS Code.

“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.”

Growing Snap

Gaining VS support from Microsoft also helps Canonical as it aims to grow Snap adoption across Linux distrbitions. Microsoft is the latest major company to join the movement. Spotify, Slack, Google, and Amazon have all already created Snap packaging.

“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.”