First Steps

Jamie Taylor2 comments
C# Visual Studio Code extensionC# Visual Studio Code extension

What Do I Need?

The first thing you’re going to need is a computer, it can be a Mac or a PC. As long as it runs either:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X
  • Ubuntu 14.04

If your computer is running any of those, then it can run the .NET Core SDK.

Some other Linux distributions are supported too, but you have to compile from the source, so your experience might now be great.

This is correct at the time of writing (5th October 2016)

So you have a computer and it runs one of those operating systems? Great, go make sure that your OS is up to date and come back.

Installing .NET Core

Head on over to the .NET Core download page:

Download the correct installer for your OS and install it.

Once that’s done, open a terminal or command prompt and issue the following command:

dotnet --version
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And if all went well, you should get something like this:

$ dotnet --version
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That is literally all you need. We’re going to install more software, but not much.

What Now?

So, if you’re on Windows you have three options:

  • Use Notepad (or a better text editor)
  • Use Visual Studio Community (or higher, if you want to pay)
  • Use Visual Studio Code

If you’re using Mac OS or one of the supported Linux distributions then you have two choices:

  • Text editors
  • Visual Studio Code

I use Visual Studio Code for several reasons:

  1. It’s free and open source (here’s the source code:
  2. It’s cross platform, so I can install it wherever I am
  3. It’s light and very fast (something that Visual Studio isn’t)

Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code are two very different beasts. If you want a fully fledged IDE with support for Resharper and the like, but don’t mind that you’re tied to Windows then use that.

I like my IDE to be lightening quick, so I use Visual Studio Code as it strikes a nice balance between a text editor and an IDE.

Either way, let’s install Visual Studio Code.

Installing Visual Studio Code

Head on over to the Visual Studio Code website:

Download the correct installer for your OS and install it.

Once it’s installed, run Visual Studio Code and you’ll see something like this:

Visual Studio Code
Here is what Visual Studio Code might look like when you load it without a project

The last thing that we need to do is install the C# extension, this will allow us to get Intellisense (or as it’s known in Visual Studio Code, Omnisense) and some extra syntax highlighting.

You can do this in two ways:

  • Press F1, then type “ex install” and press enter
  • Click the Extensions button (bottom of the four on the far left in my screen shot)

Then searching for “C#” and installing the official C# extension, it’s the one that looks like this:

C# Visual Studio Code extension
C# Visual Studio Code extension

And We’re Done?

Yup. That’s all that you need to install onto your computer to be able to develop .NET Core applications, in C#.

Next time, I’ll show you how to write the classic “Hello, World” application and a few more things too.

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Jamie Taylor
A .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for his non-dev blog, or writing for a blog about video games (which he runs with his brother)