My Visual-Studio Code – Cheat Sheet

This is just a short collection of VSCode commands and tricks which I personally did not know after switching from Eclipse ID.

Install or Update on Debian

To install or update VSCode on Linux Debian just got to the Download page and download the latest .deb package.

Next switch into the download folder and just run

$ sudo apt install ./code_*.deb

If you already have installation an update will be installed.

Open Command Palette

Most things in VSCode can be controlled via the Command Palette:

Press Ctrl + Shift + P


Switch Remote Branch

To switch the remote branch of the current git repo you usually can click on the branch-icon on the lower-left corner:

But this only works if you already have the branch in your local git repo. If this is not the case use the command:

Git: Checkout to...

and select the corresponding remote branch.

Tag and Push

To tag the new release and push the tag to Github open the command palette and use

Git: Create Tag
-> choose your projec
-> enter teh tag name

Next you can push your new local tag to github with the command

Git: Push (Follow Tags)

Clean and Rebuild Java Projects

In some situations it may be helpful to rebuild all Java projects in your workspace

Java: Clean Java Language Server Workspace

Debug Jakarta EE Server

To use the Java Debugger to debug your code running in a Jakarta EE (or any Web Server) you need to create a so called launch-configuration first. Create or edit the project file .vscode/launch.json and add a configuration pointing to your remote server and project. The following example shows a configuration for Wildfyl in a project called ‘my-jakarta-app’

  // Wildfly Debug Configuration
  "configurations": [
      "type": "java",
      "name": "Debug my-jakarta-app",
      "request": "attach",
      "hostName": "localhost",
      "port": "8787",
      "projectName": "my-jakarta-app"

After creating the debug configuration you can launch the debugger:

Note: It is important that you enter the correct ‘projectName‘. If not, the debugger will not detect your sources correctly. You can see that the debug configuration is correct when the debug console print out something.

SSH Key – Github Pull hangs…

In case you run into a scenario that your build-in git pull command within VSCode hangs forever, this may be an issue related to the ssh-agent (find background here).

You can test if yoru ssh-agent is running (which is necessary for VSCode) by checking the following command in a terminal:

$ ssh-add -l
The agent has no identities.

The result here shows, that not SSH IDs are available and this causes the hang in VSCode.

To solve such a situation, you can open a Terminal and enter

$ eval `ssh-agent`
$ ssh-add

This will promt you for the password of your ssh private key and register the ssh-agent with the SSH id. Now you can start VSCode:

$ code

This way VSCode will inherit the environment variables it needs to get key services from ssh-agent, and therefore will not prompt for your passphrase so long as the ssh-agent process continues running.

To automate this you can add the following script into your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile file:

if [ -z "$SSH_AUTH_SOCK" ]; then
   # Check for a currently running instance of the agent
   RUNNING_AGENT="`ps -ax | grep 'ssh-agent -s' | grep -v grep | wc -l | tr -d '[:space:]'`"
   if [ "$RUNNING_AGENT" = "0" ]; then
        # Launch a new instance of the agent
        ssh-agent -s &> .ssh/ssh-agent
   eval `cat .ssh/ssh-agent`

Find details also here.

Compare .bpmn files with Text-Diff Editor

To compare different versions of .bpmn files in the text-diff editor, you first need to set the text editor as the default editor for .bpmn files.

  1. Choose the context menu ‘open with…’ on a .bpmn file
  2. Select the option “configure default editor for .bpmn…” and choose the option ‘Text Editor’

Now BPMN files will always be opened with text editor per default – also in the compare dialogues from Git.

Later you can switch back the default editor the BPMN.

Java Language Support – Redhat

The RedHat Java Language Support may cause problems on startup – the build task hangs. To solve this you can try to edit the java settings:

-> go to Setting and type and click Edit in settings.json.

Now you can edit the settigns file. Try to add the following Lines:

    "": "-Xlog:jni+resolve=off",
    "java.debug.settings.vmArgs": "-Xlog:jni+resolve=off",
    "": false

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