6 Must-Have Linux Tools for C# Development

6 Must-Have Linux Tools for C# Development


4 min read

Play this article

C# has become one of the most popular and powerful programming languages over the last decade. Initially constrained only to Windows environments, C# was ported to Linux and macOS in recent years, opening up whole new possibilities.

For programmers who want to harness the performance and capabilities of C# on Linux systems, having the right set of tools is crucial to enhance productivity. This article explores 6 of the best free open-source tools for C# developers on Linux.

Overview of C# Programming on Linux

C# is an object-oriented, strongly-typed programming language developed by Microsoft. It offers simple, modern syntax, type safety, dynamic capabilities, and excellent performance.

C# powers mission-critical enterprise applications and is the language of choice for .NET development. It can be used to build console apps, desktop GUIs, web applications, web APIs and mobile apps.

With Microsoft's pivot towards open-source and multi-platform tooling over the last few years, C# development is now fully supported on Linux. This allows developers to build C# apps directly on Linux, containerize them using Docker, and deploy them to cloud platforms like Azure.

Let's look at 6 indispensible tools for unlocking your C# potential on Linux.

1. .NET Core

.NET Core is the open-source, cross-platform implementation of Microsoft's .NET development framework. It provides the runtime engine and base class libraries needed to build and run C# applications on Linux.

The .NET Core SDK package includes everything you need to start coding C# on Linux - the .NET runtime, compiler, libraries, and command line tools. It supports building console, web, and GUI apps using C# or other .NET languages like F#.

.NET Core allows you to seamlessly develop and deploy C# apps on different platforms including Linux, Windows and macOS. It's the foundation for C# on Linux.

2. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a free lightweight but powerful source code editor for Linux. It provides an excellent experience for C# developers with features like:

  • C# extension for syntax highlighting, autocompletion and debugging

  • Integrated terminal for .NET CLI and tools

  • Git integration for version control

  • Extensive customization and theming

  • Rich ecosystem of C# extensions

VS Code is highly customizable to boost your productivity with C# on Linux. The editor is streamlined yet packs immense power and versatility.

3. Docker

Docker has become the standard for containerizing apps on Linux. .NET Core and C# integrate seamlessly with Docker allowing you to containerize your applications.

Benefits of using Docker for C# development include:

  • Package dependencies easily into containers

  • Standardize environments and configurations

  • Simplify deployment and app distribution

  • Achieve portability across Linux platforms

  • Leverage container orchestration systems

With Docker, you don't have to worry about environment inconsistencies. Your C# code will run the same way everywhere.

4. Azure Data Studio

Azure Data Studio is a free cross-platform GUI database tool for data professionals using the Microsoft family of database engines.

As a C# developer on Linux, Azure Data Studio allows you to seamlessly connect to MSSQL databases and run queries without needing SSMS. Key features include:

  • Connectivity to MSSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL and more

  • Multi-server queries and data management

  • Customizable dashboards and reports

  • Notebooks for running scripts

  • Extension ecosystem for added functionality

For managing data and databases efficiently with C#, Azure Data Studio is an indispensable tool.

5. LINQPad

LINQPad is a brilliant utility for quickly executing C# snippets and queries on Windows and now Linux too.

You can use LINQPad to easily test C# code fragments, query databases with LINQ, build proof-of-concepts, and much more.

For rapid C# prototyping directly from the command line, LINQPad boosts your productivity as a developer on Linux.

6. Rider

JetBrains Rider is a cross-platform IDE crafted specifically for .NET and C# development. It provides an efficient keyboard-driven workflow with robust project management capabilities.

While Rider is not free, it offers generous discounts for students and open source contributors. For professional C# developers on Linux, Rider provides an immensely powerful IDE experience.

Key Advantages of Using C# on Linux

Apart from the rich tooling ecosystem, here are some benefits of using C# for development on Linux:

  • Harness the stability, security and performance of Linux platforms

  • Take advantage of Linux package managers and repositories

  • Use lightweight Linux virtual machines for development

  • Leverage Docker and Kubernetes for deployments

  • Integrate with technologies like Apache Kafka and Node.js

  • Publish apps directly to Linux web servers

C# offers the perfect balance of rapid development through a modern, versatile language combined with the strengths of Linux - open source, stability and control.

Start Building Your Next App with C# on Linux

The incredible maturity and variety of tools makes C# development on Linux not just viable, but extremely productive. You can build anything from console utilities to enterprise web apps and services using C#.

Whether you are just getting started with C# or are a seasoned .NET developer, leverage the capabilities of the Linux ecosystem to create your next game-changing application with C#!