How to install Vscode in Tails


Vscodium launcher in Tails

Vscode or Vscodium?#

Vscode is a powerful text editor, coming with hundreds of extensions, widely used and actively developed. The code is open-source, but the official package is generated by Microsoft, which adds arbitrary code and telemetry.

That’s why we’ll use Vscodium instead, which is built directly from the open-source code. The binaries are licensed under the MIT license and telemetry is disabled.

Overview#

We will first set up Tails to keep our installation persistent. Then we’ll see how to install Vscodium and create a persistent launcher.

Setup Persistence in Tails#

Tails is amnesic by design. To save our configuration across reboots, we need to set up a persistent storage and persistent dotfiles. Then restart Tails and activate the persistence

Download and install Vscodium#

  • Visit the release page of Vscodium
  • Download the package named VSCodium-linux-x64-XXX.tar.gz (where XXX is the last version number - make sure to select the package ending with .tar.gz)
  • Once the download is finished, move the archive to the Persistent folder
  • Right-click on the file and select Extract here
  • Rename the created folder in vscodium

Add a launcher#

We’ll create two files: a bash script and a launcher:

Create a bash script#

Open a terminal and paste gedit ~/Persistent/vscodium-start.sh (Hint: to paste in the Terminal, use Ctrl+Shift+v). Hit enter.

Gedit is now open, paste the following two lines:

#!/bin/bash
/home/amnesia/Persistent/vscodium/codium --no-sandbox

Save and close

Back in the terminal, make the script executable: chmod u+x ~/Persistent/vscodium-start.sh

Create the launcher#

Create the persistent folder

mkdir -p /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles/.local/share/applications

Create and edit the launcher with Gedit

gedit /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles/.local/share/applications/code.desktop

and paste the following lines

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Terminal=false
Exec=/home/amnesia/Persistent/vscodium-start.sh
Name=Code
Icon=/home/amnesia/Persistent/vscodium-icon.png

Last step, save the following icon in your Persistent folder:

vscodium-icon

You’re done, congratulations! You now have a fancy launcher in your Applications menu:

vscodium launcher

What’s left to improve?#

You know how to do that? in the context of Tails?
→ Please take a minute and give me a hint!


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