Linux installation details

Linux is a highly variable environment and with the sheer number of desktop environments and distributions can be complicated to get working. If you stick to supported versions of Ubuntu Desktop (16.04+), CentOS 7, or Fedora Workstation (27+) and only use official distributions of VS Code, you should find the process straight forward. However, in the event that you are using a non-standard configuration or downstream distribution, you may or may not run into some hiccups. This document provides some information on requirements and some troubleshooting details that might help you get up and running even if your configuration is only community supported. Note that Live Share only supports 64-bit Linux.

VS Code OSS Issues

Arch Linux/Manjaro Users: Use the visual-studio-bin AUR package to avoid this problem.

Packages of Visual Studio Code that are either vanilla or modified versions of VS Code OSS can be missing a critical value in product.json file that prevents Visual Studio Live Share from activating.

A quick way to see you might be hitting this problem is to go to Help > "Toggle Developer Tools" and see if you find a stack trace indicating the Live Share extension did not activate because it was using a "proposed API."

To verify this is your issue, check the contents of product.json. The file's location does vary by package, but it is usually in one of the following locations:

  • /usr/share/code/resources/app/product.json
  • /usr/share/vscode/resources/app/product.json

If the extensionAllowedProposedApi property is missing or you do not see "ms-vsliveshare.vsliveshare" referenced, you are using an OSS version with this problem.

As a workaround, you can add the following into the product.json:

"extensionAllowedProposedApi": [

Linux browser integration

Visual Studio Live Share typically does not require additional installation steps to enable browser integration on Linux.

To accomplish this, Live Share automatically places a desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications and the required launcher itself in ~/.local/share/vsliveshare when the extension first initializes. No action is required on your part if this succeeds.

In some cases, distributions either do not support this location or require tweaks to get it to work with their vanilla installs. In these cases, Live Share falls back to using /usr/local/share instead. As a result, you may be notified that your admin (sudo) password is required to complete the installation process. A terminal window will appear telling you where the browser launcher will be installed. Simply enter your password when prompted and press enter once the installation completes to close the terminal window.

If you'd prefer to run the command yourself instead, you can click "Copy instead" which will copy the terminal command to the clipboard instead.

Finally, if you opt to skip this step entirely, you can still join collaboration sessions manually, but you will not be able to join by opening an invite link in the browser. Note that you can always access the command again later, by hitting Ctrl+Shift+P / Cmd+Shift+P and selecting the "Live Share: Launcher Setup" command.

See also

Having problems? See troubleshooting or provide feedback.