Best Free and OpenSource Alternatives to Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code, also known as VS Code, is a code editor for Linux, Windows and macOS. It's the kind of editor that walks the line between editing text and managing your entire codebase, as an integrated development environment (HERE).

It is extensible through plugins and has proven to be a reliable text editor that is easily outmatched by formidable unopened rival editors..

Microsoft released VS Code as open source, but the version you download from Microsoft is not open source. Nevertheless, you have several options to use VS Code as open source or select one of its open source alternatives.

Building VS Code as open source

VS Code source code is availableand GitHub . Nevertheless, when you download the VS Code appfrom Microsoft , You will find that your download is licensed under theMicrosoft software license . This is not an open source license. The difference is in the construction process.

The official release of the Microsoft brand is customized with specific Microsoft functionality, including a trademark, a gallery of extensions, a C debugger # patented and telemetry.

But when you clone and create the code yourself, none of these goals are set, so it generates a version “clean”, which is called Code – US (OSS stands for open source software).

In practice, the differences between VS Code and Code – OSS are minimal. In particular, VS Code includes telemetry, what is a tracking software. Microsoft is unlikely to be literally tracking your every move, and there is currently a lot of software available that collects usage data.

Whether or not you care about VS Code telemetry is up to you. If you prefer to do without usage tracking, here are some great alternatives (and open source) a VS Code.


Screenshot of Code OSS

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The easiest alternative to VS Code is VS Code, built without Microsoft's proprietary additions.

VSCodium project provides downloadable Code executables – US, created from the VS Code codebase.

VSCodium developers also go out of their way to disable all hard-to-find telemetry options, delivering the cleanest build from VS Code source that you can find without building it yourself.

VSCodium cautions that VS Code silently includes some proprietary tools that cannot be shipped with an open source build. This includes a C debugger # and some gallery extensions. If you need them, existdocumented solutions for these problems, but if you trust something very specific in VS Code, you should check it works in VSCodium.

You should also verify that alltelemetry is disabled .

Code – US

If you don't want to use the VSCodium build, cancompile VS Code from source yourself and end up with the same. The executable is called inCode - OSSinstead ofVSCode, and the license restrictions that apply to VSCodium also apply to its build, but so do the solutions.

If you create the application from source, must verify that alltelemetry is disabled when I start it for the first time.


Screenshot of Atom

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Atom is an open source IDE-like text editor that Microsoft acquired when it bought GitHub. Like VS Code, you can extend the Atom editor with plugins and customize it with themes and your unique combination of tools.

It's also cross-platform and has built-in GitHub integration. In summary, Atom is potentially whatever you need, as long as the extensions you need already exist or are willing to write them.

Also as VS Code, Atom includes the metric tracking by default . This can be disabled and, no arbitrary restrictions on extensions, so you don't have to change your workflow in exchange for your privacy.

Atom is certainly a useful tool for coders, but it's also a pretty good editor for anyone who uses a computer . If you are looking for a good general purpose text editor, pruebe Atom.

GNOME Builder

Screenshot of GNOME Builder

Developed as an IDE for the GNOME desktop, GNOME Builder is a code editor for Linux, specifically for building GNOME applications.

If you are building applications for Linux and want an easy path to compatibility, Builder is the easy option. Install Builder from ; when you start a project, It will even ask you to install the GNOME SDK if you miss it.

Nevertheless, you can use Builder for much more than just GNOME applications. Supports dozens of programming languages, including Python, Rust, C y C ++, Java, Go, JavaScript, TypeScript, VB.NET, various markup languages ​​and markdown, and more.

Some of them have full support with autocomplete and pop-up function definitions, while others just have simple conveniences like syntax highlighting and automatic parenthesis matching


Geany screenshot

Geany is a powerful editor, stable and lightweight with useful features to help you write good bashes, Python, take, XML, HTML, LaTeX and more.

There is a lot of support for 50 different programming and scripting languages, various markup languages ​​and file types (like .diff and .po).

Geany is a modest little editor, but through plugins, you can add features like a panel for a project view, file system tree, depuration, a terminal, etc. until it looks and acts like an IDE. THE, If you prefer, you can keep it simple and unobtrusive.

If you can't run VS Code on a computer due to CPU or RAM limitations, Geany is the obvious alternative. It starts up quickly and its memory footprint is negligible. While Geany is a bit heavier than running Vim in a terminal, it's fast and agile even on a Raspberry Pi.


Screenshot of brackets

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Brackets is a text editor and IDE aimed at web developers. Has strong support for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and even Python. Nevertheless, like VS Code, has a rich ecosystem of extensions, so you can expand it to serve as your workbench for whatever language you work in the most.

There are extensions to help analyze languages, run scripts and even compile and run code. Brackets has a traditional interface that anyone can understand, whether you are familiar with an IDE or even a text editor beyond just a simple notepad.


Screenshot of Che

It is a cloud-based IDE, so it runs by default as a Software as a Service (SaaS), but it's open source, so it can be run as his own SaaS, as long as you have a Kubernetes instance.

Nevertheless, more than just an online IDE, Che is an IDE created for cloud development. Doesn't make assumptions that you expect or want to see your local file system. Live and work in the cloud, so you can too. In fact, if you have a git server, you can treat it as your filesystem and work on a project directly from your repository. Of course, you can also download any work you do, if you want to have a local backup.

But its main feature, and the only one that excites cloud developers, is that Che is a full-featured open source IDE, Kubernetes aware. If you are creating applications, sites or containers (or a combination of all three) for the cloud, so Che is a must-try editor.

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