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VS Code Live Share Now Works on Linux, the Most-Requested Feature

Linux support, the most-requested feature for Visual Studio Code Live Share -- which allows real-time collaboration among developers on different machines and platforms -- was announced this week.

Live Share extensions are available in the marketplace for both the full-fledged Visual Studio IDE and the lightweight, open source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor.

For the latter, the most-requested feature to fulfill the tool's cross-platform promise was the ability to collaborate with Linux-based machines. "Linux support is a must for me and hundreds of others where I work," said one of dozens of like-minded comments on the issues/recommendations site.

Two days ago, that Linux support was announced by the team's Chuck Lantz. "I am happy to let you know that we just released v02.399 of the VS Code extension and as our most requested feature, this is the first release to introduce support for VS Code on Linux," he said in a post on the issues section of the GitHub project.

Visual Studio Live Share, announced as a limited preview during last fall's Connect conference, allows dev teams to interactively collaborate via sharing code for editing/debugging, troubleshooting, iteration or optimizing apps.

Based in Azure, we reported at the time, the new Visual Studio Live Share lets remotely distributed developers create live sessions in which they can interactively share code projects to troubleshoot problems and iterate in real time, while working in their preferred environment and setup. Visual Studio Live Share aims to do away with the current practice by many remote development teams of exchanging screen images with one another via email or chat sessions using Slack or Teams, instead enabling live code sharing sessions.

For the VS Code Marketplace extension, Linux support was requested on Sept. 21, 2017, with dozens of developers piling onboard.

Speaking to the wide-ranging demand, developers said they wanted Linux support for collaborative work on Laravel, TypeScript, Angular, C++, Dart, Vue, Webpack, NodeJS, Julia, PHP, Python, Go, Rust, React, JavaScript and more projects.

Now they've got it, though Lantz cautioned that some prerequisites need to be installed (pointing to installation documentation) and some shortcomings are still being worked through.

The VS Code Live Share extension has been installed 52,661 times as of this writing, earning an average 4.4 rating (scale to 5) from seven reviewers. The Visual Studio IDE extension, meanwhile, has been installed 10,423 times as of this writing and has earned an average 4.8 rating from five reviewers.

Still in a limited, private preview, interested developers can sign up to be included in the Visual Studio Live Share project.

"Visual Studio Live Share enables you to achieve greater confidence at speed by streamlining collaborative editing, debugging, and more in real-time during development," the VS Code extension description states. "You get real-time sharing in tools you love, can share the full context of your code, collaboratively edit while still navigating files independently, securely share local servers, and even collaboratively debug while still retaining the ability to inspect on your own."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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