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VScode vs VScodium: Which Code Editor Should You Choose?

If you’re confused between VScode and VScodium, in this article, I’ll be comparing them side by side to let you know which one is better for you. Let’s get started with the comparison

What is VSCode?


Visual Studio Code, commonly referred to as VSCode is an open-source, powerful, and lightweight code editor developed by Microsoft.

It supports multiple programming languages and is preferred by developers for its ease of use, extensibility, and performance. Its launch in April 2015 marked Microsoft’s commitment to the development community, providing an editor that caters to modern development workflows.

Key Features of VSCode:

  • Intellisense: Provides smart completions based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules.
  • Debugging: Integrated debugging support with a feature-rich experience for many languages.
  • Extensions: A vast marketplace for extensions that augment the capabilities of the editor, adding linters, language support, themes, and more.
  • Built-in Git Commands: Direct integration with Git for source control operations, right out of the box.
  • Customizability: Offers a high level of customization for user preferences through settings, keyboard shortcuts, and editor themes.
  • Portability and Cross-Platform: Runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS, ensuring a seamless experience across platforms.
  • Language Support: Support for a multitude of programming languages, with more being added regularly through community extensions.

How to Get VSCode?

VSCode can be downloaded from its official website, where versions for different operating systems are readily available. Installation is straightforward, and due to its open-source nature, it’s also possible to build from the source, which can be found on its GitHub repository.

VScode Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of using Visual Studio Code (VSCode):

Powerful, versatile, and free coding toolCan have performance issues with very large files/projects
Supports a wide range of programming languagesCan be overwhelming for beginners with its multitude of features and customization options
Extensive library of extensionsDue to being built on Electron, it can be resource-intensive
High user satisfaction due to performance, feature set, and usability
Integrated Git control for better code management and collaboration

What is VSCodium?

VSCodium is a community-driven binary distribution of Microsoft’s VS Code. This build of VSCode’s source code disables any telemetry, thus ensuring that it remains fully open source. Additionally, it’s an alternative to VSCode that’s based on the same codebase, licensed under the MIT license.

Key Features of VSCodium:

  • Fully Open Source: Unlike VSCode, which includes some proprietary features, VSCodium is completely open source.
  • Disabled Telemetry: Unlike VSCode, VSCodium disables any telemetry or tracking. This could be seen as an advantage if users have concerns about privacy or data usage.
  • Functionality: VSCodium looks and works exactly like VSCode. Developers would find the user experience nearly identical.
  • Supports VS Code Extensions: Aside from proprietary extensions, VSCodium supports VS Code extensions, making it a flexible tool for developers.

How to Get VSCodium?

Navigate to the VSCodium website and download the latest release. Alternatively, you can follow a step-by-step video tutorial on how to install VSCodium on YouTube:

VSCodium Pros and Cons

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of using VSCodium:

Completely open-source and community-drivenFewer features due to the exclusion of proprietary extensions and services
Does not include telemetry/data collection by default, ensuring better privacyMight not have the most up-to-date features and bug fixes as quickly as VSCode
Supports the same wide range of programming languages and extensions as VSCode with slight adjustmentsCompatibility issues with some extensions meant for VSCode due to branding and licensing restrictions
Frequent updates and a growing communityMight require manual setup for features that are out of the box with VSCode, like the marketplace
Provides a similar look and feel to VSCode without Microsoft’s customizations

VScode vs VScodium: Comparison

Here’s a comparison between VScode and VSCodium:

  • Licensing: VSCode is licensed under Microsoft’s license, which permits users to use the product but restricts modifications and redistribution. As for VSCodium, it’s licensed under the MIT license, granting users more freedom. They can use, modify, and distribute the software sans restrictions.
  • Telemetry: Unlike VSCode, VSCodium doesn’t track your activity. This means it doesn’t send any usage data to Microsoft.
  • Proprietary Extensions and Features: Proprietary features like Debugging Tools and Remote Development, as well as the proprietary marketplace of VSCode, are not available in VSCodium.
  • Extensions: VSCodium supports VSCode extensions and looks and works similarly to VSCode.
  • Open Source: VSCodium is fully open source, whereas VSCode is a mix of open-source code sprinkled with some proprietary components.

How to Choose Between VSCode and VSCodium?

Choosing between VSCode and VSCodium should be based on the following priorities:

  • Support and Features: Opt for VSCode if you want the full set of features, including those that are proprietary, and official support from Microsoft.
  • Data Privacy: Choose VSCodium if you prefer a code editor with disabled telemetry and a stronger stance on privacy.
  • Open-Source Principle: Go with VSCodium if you are committed to using entirely open-source software.
  • Extension Marketplace: Stick with VSCode if accessing the official Visual Studio Code Marketplace directly is important to you.

In summary, if privacy and open source are your top concerns, pick VSCodium. If you prefer a broader feature set, official support, and direct access to the marketplace, choose VSCode. Performance-wise, they are the same.

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