Building Visual Code in a Raspberry Pi

When I’m on the road without laptop I miss having something to compile Espressif boards. So I decided to document this a little bit.
Visual Code is the base for Platformio that is my IDE of choice when coding in C / C++

It turns out that for ARM like many other software you need to go the hard way to build it since there is no Debian package ready for this architecture. So to start with, you need to have latest version of Node for this arm version: uname -m
will tell you what version of ARM you are on. Then just follow Node instructions to get the latest version on your system. After node installation, there are some extra packages that are needed for the build:

sudo apt install libx11-dev libxkbfile-dev libsecret-1-dev

Then just follow this guide and get some cofee because it takes at least 20 minutes to build:
Building Visual Studio Code on a Raspberry Pi 3
Official repository: https://github.com/microsoft/vscode

I must say I’m really impressed at the stuff you can build using npm/nodejs this times. Combined with cross platform desktop apps like Electron it’s really amazing to see how the community is building software with this.

Using the Extension marketplace

It’s important to note that the build version of VSCODE does not support the official marketplace. So in order to install Platformio you will need to use the extended … menu in Extensions and use “Install from VSIX” and first install C/C++ :

1. https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode-cpptools/releases Select cpptools-linux.vsix
2. And then search for Platformio VSIX
Install them in this order since Platformio requires cpptools otherwise it won’t start. It’s a pity that Microsoft did not enable the Marketplace for VSCODE builds but at least there is a way to install extensions manually.

Some very useful out-topic commands in Debian/Raspbian

// List installed packages
sudo dpkg-query

// Create a list of all installed packages
sudo dpkg-query -f '${binary:Package}\n' -W > packages_list.txt

// Using apt
sudo apt list --installed | less