Microsoft unveils C# Dev Kit for Visual Studio Code


Microsoft is previewing an extension for Visual Studio Code to improve C# developer productivity in Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

The C# Dev Kit extension, unveiled June 6, brings an improved “editor-first” C# development experience to these operating platforms, according to a Microsoft blog post. C# Dev Kit borrows concepts from the Visual Studio IDE, with the goal of providing a more productive and reliable experience for tasks such as editing a C# file, learning the language, or debugging a back-end API.

The C# Dev Kit extension builds on C# language capabilities provided by the VS Code C# extension, which has been updated to use a new open source Language Server Protocol host, providing a tools environment to easily integrate new experiences into C# for VS Code. Microsoft will continue to maintain the C# extension independently of the C# Dev Kit.

Specific capabilities of C# Dev Kit include:

  • C# project and solution management through an integrated solution explorer.
  • A native testing environment to run and debug tests via the Test Explorer. Tests in XUnit, NUnit, MSTest, and bUnit will be discovered more easily for quick executions.
  • A Roslyn-powered language service for C# language features such as code navigation, semantic awareness, and refactoring.
  • AI-assisted development including whole line completions.

The C# Dev Kit automatically installs the C# extension and the IntelliCode for C# DevKit extension, which provides AI-assisted development features. This extension offers predictions of as much as a whole line of code, along with ranking methods and properties in the IntelliSense list for C# Dev Kit users. .NET 6 is required for the IntelliCode extension.

Microsoft asks developers to share their feedback regarding the C# Dev Kit through VS Code’s Help > Report Issue capability.

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