A few months ago, Anaconda, Inc., creator of the world’s most popular Python data science platform, announced a partnership with Microsoft that included providing Anaconda Distribution users easy access to Visual Studio Code (VS Code). We are pleased to announce that, with the February 15th release of Anaconda Distribution 5.1, this goal is now a reality.  

VS Code is a free, open source streamlined cross-platform code editor with excellent support for Python code editing, IntelliSense, debugging, linting, version control, and more. Additionally, the Python Extension for Visual Studio Code tailors VS Code into a Python IDE.

For Anaconda users, VS Code is a great IDE choice on Windows, macOS, or Linux. Free for private or commercial use, VS Code is lightweight and fast, yet still offers debugging, code completion, and Git integration. It is also openly extensible—users can choose from a long list of additional extensions to tailor it to their specific needs. VS Code provides developers with the tools they need for a quick code-build-debug cycle.

When installing Anaconda Distribution for the first time, users will have the option to install VS Code, which will feature a special Anaconda extension including the Python Extension for Visual Studio Code. This offers Anaconda users a powerful IDE to get the most out of the Python packages included in the Anaconda Distribution, as well as the ability to easily edit conda configuration.

Further, Anaconda Navigator, the Anaconda desktop graphical user interface, allows users to launch applications and easily manage conda packages, environments, and channels without the need to use a command line interface. Anaconda users with Anaconda Navigator v1.7 or later will be able to easily install and launch VS Code from the home screen.  When a user launches VS Code from Navigator, VS Code will be configured to use the Python interpreter from the selected environment.

Anaconda, Inc. is excited to be able to make installation of Microsoft Visual Studio Code and the Python Extension for Visual Studio Code a more seamless experience for our Anaconda users.  For those who historically have used Spyder, Jupyter Notebook, or other IDEs that work well with Anaconda Distribution, we encourage you to give Microsoft VS Code a try. But don’t worry—we will continue to fully support Spyder, Jupyter Notebook, and other IDEs!

Download and install Anaconda Distribution 5.1 now.