VS Code extensions

Gitpod already comes well equipped for most development tasks, and provides language support for the most popular programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, Go, Rust, C/C++, Java, Ruby, and many more out of the box.

Still, you may wish to customize Gitpod, or to extend it with new features. You can do this by installing VS Code extensions.

Installing an Extension

To install a VS Code extension in Gitpod, simply go to the left vertical menu, and open the Extensions view. There you can search for an extension and install it with one click.

For VS Code Browser, we use the Open VSX registry. If you can’t find an extension you use in your local VS Code, please read the ”Where do I find extensions?” section below.

If the extension is helpful to anyone who works on the project, you can add it to the .gitpod.yml configuration file so that it gets installed for anyone who works on the project. To do that:

  1. Visit the extension page (where you installed it from)
  2. Click the settings icon
  3. Select “Add to .gitpod.yml” from the menu

Your project’s .gitpod.yml is updated automatically and lists the given extension. You can also directly edit this file to install or remove extensions manually.

Here is an example of what a .gitpod.yml with installed extensions may look like:

language icon yml
        - svelte.svelte-vscode
        - bradlc.vscode-tailwindcss@0.6.11
        - https://example.com/abc/releases/extension-0.26.0.vsix

You can share the installed extensions with your organization by committing the .gitpod.yml change and pushing it to your Git repository.

Extensions are installed in the /workspace/.vscode-remote/extensions/ directory.

User Extensions

You have two options to install extensions for yourself only:

  1. For the current workspace only - if you don’t want extensions to be synced across workspaces, select Install (Do Not Sync) instead of Install when installing new extensions.
  2. For all your workspaces - can be useful for extensions that you want to have in all your projects (for example a custom theme), and this doesn’t require changing every project’s .gitpod.yml configuration. All manually installed extensions are synced across workspaces by default.

You can read more about why and how extensions are synced on the Settings Sync page.

Built-in Extensions

Gitpod already comes with a number of commonly used VS Code extensions pre-installed by default.

You can view all pre-installed extensions by navigating to VS Code’s Extensions section on the left-hand side. In the “Search Extensions in Marketplace” input field, type @builtin to see the built-in extensions.

Use of Microsoft-owned extensions in Gitpod

You can only use extensions available on the Open VSX registry with VS Code Browser on Gitpod. Microsoft only permits use of their marketplace via “Microsoft’s publicly supported interfaces” (see their ToS section 1f), and this restriction applies to the Gitpod VS Code Browser integration. If you wish to use extensions from Microsoft’s VS Code Marketplace, you must use VS Code Desktop.

The following extensions are therefore not available in VS Code Browser:

Install VS Code extensions from a VSIX file

It is possible to develop, install and test your own custom VS Code extensions in Gitpod. While developing the extension, you can test it by uploading the .vsix file to your Gitpod workspace.

Please note:

  • You can install any private extensions using manual VSIX installation.
  • Installing a .vsix in Gitpod does not list that extension anywhere public.
  • Any .vsix referenced in the .gitpod.yml must be publicly accessible.

Open VSX

Open VSX is an open source VS Code extensions registry. For VS Code Browser in Gitpod, Gitpod uses a self-hosted mirror of the public Open VSX instance provided by the Eclipse Foundation, open-vsx.org. Any extensions published to Open VSX are immediately reflected in the Gitpod OpenVSX mirror.

Why do we need Open VSX?

VS Code Browser is prohibited from accessing the Microsoft VS Code Extensions marketplace.

See Use of Microsoft owned extensions in Gitpod for more.

Where do I find extensions?

If you cannot find an extension by searching in Gitpod using VS Code Browser, the extension, in many cases, was not yet added to the Open VSX registry.

In that case, please reach out to the extension author and politely ask them to publish their extension to the vendor-neutral, open-source Open VSX registry. The “how to Publish an Extension” docs provide step-by-step instructions.

Note: .vsix files downloaded from the Visual Studio Marketplace should not be installed in Gitpod.

See Use of Microsoft owned extensions in Gitpod for more.

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