Visual Studio Code for IBM i: A Resource Guide

Code for IBM iUPDATED 9/11/2023

VS Code for IBM i offers an alternative to RDi, the heavy-duty, fee-based graphical IDE for IBM i, and SEU, the native greenscreen IDE. It’s faster than RDi and easier to learn than either RDi or SEU. It supports development in RPGLE, COBOL, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Node.js and other languages.

Thanks to Liam Allan and other IBM i community members for creating this IBM i extension to the popular Visual Studio Code.

Code for IBM i Official Resources

Visit the Code for IBM i page on the Visual Studio Marketplace. From there you can:

VS Code for IBM i Training

For the most efficient way to get your entire team up and running with VS Code for IBM i, talk to us about training.

Code for IBM i Articles by Seiden Group

VS Code for IBM i: Introduction

Introducing Code for IBM i, a free extension for Visual Studio Code that makes it easy and efficient to develop RPGLE and COBOL applications for IBM i. Read more…

Code Coverage for RPG

How to implement Code Coverage within Code for IBM i so you can see how many lines/blocks/arcs of code are executed when you run unit or functional tests. Read more…

Viewing SQL Results, Comparing Source, Finding Content

How to use Code for IBM i (RPG, COBOL) with Visual Studio Code so you can view SQL results inline, compare sources, and search file content. Read more…

Editing PHP

How VS Code for IBM i helps IBM i developers edit PHP on IBM i with quick setup and fast loading/saving, at no cost and with time-saving developer productivity features. Read more…

RPG Linting and Content Assist

How to get started with the Code for i linter, a static code analysis tool used to flag programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors and suspicious constructs. Read more…

5250 Terminal and PASE Shell

How to open your choice of a 5250 terminal or a PASE shell right in the editor. Read more…

Source Date Settings

Source dates are supported in Code for IBM i, but not by default. Here’s how you can enable them. Read more…

Debugging RPGLE and COBOL

New as of February 2023, Code for i includes an ILE debugger. This video and related docs show how to get started with it. Read more…

January 2022 Update

An overview of all of Code for IBM i’s extensions, including RPGLE Language Tools, RPGLE free, IBM i Code Coverage, IBM i Testing, and the IBM i Git client. Read more…

Language Tools to Make Coding Easier

An overview of Code for IBM i features, highlighting support for both fixed-format and free-format RPGLE. Read more…

Project Mode

How RPGLE developers can navigate their code—and understand it—all while editing remotely in Code for i. Read more…

Edit IFS Files Using Visual Studio Code for IBM i

Follow these seven quick steps to install VS Code and its Code for IBM i extension to access and work with IFS files stored on your IBM i. Read more…

How to Update the Code for i Extension

Updating Code for i requires only a restart of VS Code, but here the details to clarify the process. Read more…

How to Report an Issue with VS Code for IBM i

If you encounter a bug or issue with Code for IBM i, installing the latest update may resolve it. If not, follow these instructions to report it. Read more…

Using SSH keys with VS Code for IBM i

This article explains how to configure VS Code for IBM i to use SSH public key authentication, a more secure alternative to passwords. Read more…

Future Resources

We will do our best to keep this list up to date, so if we miss something good, let us know!


14 replies
  1. Mario Salgado
    Mario Salgado says:

    If i have a list of Source Physical members and I want to find a string or a word in any of my programs? How you do that?

    • Amy Lantz
      Amy Lantz says:

      Patrick Behr suggests that if you right-click on the source PF name, you’ll see an option “Search Source File.”

  2. Allen Wollenberg
    Allen Wollenberg says:

    Hello again – one more question. I am trying to use VS Code debug and it doesn’t work with pub400. The only viable alternative I can find so far is iDevCloud for $100.00 a month. That seems pretty steep for trying to learn and experiment. Can you recommend any other low cost alternatives to PUB400 that will allow using debug with Code for IBMi ?

    • Patrick Behr
      Patrick Behr says:

      There are a couple of user groups that allow members access to IBM i (MAGiC and OCEAN are the two that I am aware of, maybe others). I think membership is about $100/year.

  3. Allen Allen
    Allen Allen says:

    Hello. I am using VS Code with PUB400 and am finding that when I use a special character such as !, it is converted to a different character when I view the code from the green screen. It is the same problem if I write the code on the green screen and then view it in vs code. Is there something I need to do in the settings of VS CODE to fix this? Or maybe an extension I’m missing?

  4. Davide Galloni
    Davide Galloni says:

    Hi All,
    I’m starting to use Visual Studio, I think is a great tool to write RPG program.
    I have a problem on connection to iSeries.
    I set up my user name and password but, when I try to connect, I receive this error:
    Not connected to! Handshake failed: no matching client->server cipher

    I don’t found information about this error. Someone can help me to solve this issue??
    Many thanks

    • Alan Seiden
      Alan Seiden says:

      Hi, Davide, something seems wrong with your SSH connection. I suggest you test your SSH connection from a terminal or the SSH program in Windows. Troubleshoot your connection there. Once it works, then you can use it again with Code for i. From a terminal, you can use ssh -vvv to get verbose logging information.

    • Amy Lantz
      Amy Lantz says:

      Very glad that you found it useful! If you run across other great resources that would flesh out this list, please let us know.


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