Announcing C# Dev Kit for Visual Studio Code
We are thrilled to announce the preview release of C# Dev Kit, a new Visual Studio Code extension that brings an improved editor-first C# development experience to Linux, macOS, and Windows.
The C# Dev Kit is designed to enhance your C# productivity when you’re working in VS Code. It works together with the C# extension, which has been updated to be powered by a new fully open-source Language Server Protocol (LSP) host, creating a performant, extensible, and flexible tooling environment that easily integrates new experiences into C# for VS Code. The source repo for this extension is in the process of being migrated and will be available later this week.
Try out C# Dev Kit for your C# web and cloud-native projects and share your feedback today!
What is C# Dev Kit?
C# Dev Kit borrows some familiar concepts from Visual Studio to bring a more productive and reliable C# experience to VS Code. This ensures a great experience whether you are quickly editing a C# file, learning C#, or debugging a backend API. The C# Dev Kit consists of a set of VS Code extensions that work together to provide a rich C# editing experience, AI-powered development, solution management, and integrated testing. As shown in the graphic below, C# Dev Kit consists of:
- The C# extension, which provides base language services support and continues to be maintained independent of this effort.
- C# Dev Kit extension, which builds from the foundations of Visual Studio to provide solution management, templates, and test discovery/debugging.
- The IntelliCode for C# Dev Kit extension (optional), which brings AI-powered development to the editor.
Manage your projects with a new solution view
Customers often praise the power of project management with C#, so like Visual Studio, C# Dev Kit adds a new Solution Explorer view that works alongside the VS Code existing workspace view. This addition provides a curated and structured view of your application for effortless, central project management. This lets you quickly add new projects or files via templates to your solutions and easily build all or part of your solution.
Test your projects with expanded Test Explorer capabilities
With C# Dev Kit, your tests in XUnit, NUnit, MSTest, and bUnit will be discovered and organized for you more easily for fast execution and results navigation. The extension will discover and surface your tests in the Test Explorer pane just like for your other languages. It can also be run via the command palette.
Experience improved performance and reliability
C# Dev Kit is powered by the recently updated open-source C# extension, now powered by a Language Server Protocol (LSP) Host, also open source. The C# extension is built on the incredible foundation started with OmniSharp by the amazing OSS community. Both extensions integrate with components like Roslyn and Razor to deliver superb performance for tools such as IntelliSense, definition and symbol navigation, syntax highlighting, refactoring, and code formatting.
|Previous Time to IntelliSense||New Time to IntelliSense||Percentage Improvement|
|38 seconds||3.5 seconds||91%|
Benchmarked using a 2GB sized solution with 40 projects and 500,000 lines of source code.
In addition to the performance and reliability gains provided by the updated C# extension, C# Dev Kit lets you enjoy these same performance improvements with the solution, debugging, and testing features.
Write your project faster with AI-powered C# development
Auto-installing as part of C# Dev Kit, the IntelliCode for C# Dev Kit extension enhances the AI-assisted support beyond the basic IntelliSense code-completion found in the existing C# extension. It brings powerful IntelliCode features, such as whole-line completions and starred suggestions, putting what you’re most likely to use at the top of your IntelliSense completion list to your C# projects, all based on your own personal codebase.
Develop C# apps from anywhere
It’s never been easier to create modern .NET applications while working on your favorite operating system. As a VS Code extension, C# Dev Kit lets you work on C# projects with Linux, macOS, Windows, and even a dev container. You can also enjoy these same capabilities in a cloud-based developer environment like GitHub Codespaces!
Getting started with C# Dev Kit
C# Dev Kit makes it easy for developers of all experience levels to set up a C# environment in VS Code. Install the C# Dev Kit extension and follow the step-by-step VS Code walkthrough to configure your workspace. Today, C# Dev Kit lets you create and work with web apps, console apps, class library projects, and testing projects.
If you currently use the VS Code C# extension (powered by OmniSharp), installing C# Dev Kit extension will upgrade C# extension to the latest pre-release version compatible with C# Dev Kit. Check out the Getting Started documentation to learn more.
Given C# Dev Kit builds on the same foundations as Visual Studio for some of its functionality, it uses the same license model as Visual Studio. This means it’s free for individuals, as well as academia and open-source development, the same terms that apply to Visual Studio Community. For organizations, the C# Dev Kit is included with Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise subscriptions, as well as GitHub Codespaces. For additional details see the license terms.
Share your feedback on C# Dev Kit!
C# Dev Kit was developed based on feedback we’ve received from VS Code users regarding their C# development process. As we regularly update C# Dev Kit and its features, we encourage you to provide feedback so we can continuously improve and deliver the best possible experience for everyone.
Please share your feedback on any of these upcoming updates, report issues, or propose and feature suggestions through VS Code’s Help > Report Issue. Select whether it is a bug, feature request, or performance issue on “An Extension” and select C# Dev Kit from the list of extensions,
To learn more about how to get the most out of C# Dev Kit, explore our updated C# VS Code documentation and Get Started docs. Try out the new C# environment with C# Dev Kit today!
More about the Visual Studio product family
Visual Studio continues to be our premier C# development tool, supporting the full range of .NET workloads and project types. C# Dev Kit is an exciting step for us to bring .NET development productivity to other parts of the Visual Studio product family. For more information on the latest features added to Visual Studio, check out the Visual Studio 17.6 release announcement.