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Author: Tianle Yuan

VS Code-Docker for editing Swift on Win10⚓︎

As a student who is also confused about using Swift on Windows10, I can understand how hard you are if you cannot afford a Macbook 😂. Let's get started and prove that we can do the same thing as a Windows pioneer!

There are several steps here for you to reach a slightly friendly interface:

  1. Software preparation.

  2. Set up Swift image on your local machine.

  3. Use Docker Container in your VS Code.

  4. Edit Swift code and do testing. [Not enough syntax highlighting and no autocomplete]

  5. An updated way to do Swift code editing and testing. [syntax highlighting and autocomplete]

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Please feel free to extend the content of the page. Window10 students need your contributions! 🧠🧠

1. Software Preparation⚓︎

By default, make sure your system has already been installed:

(1) Git Bash (; This requirement is optional. Since this course requires you to use the git command, Git Bash is the incident software for installing git on windows. You can also use your cmd or PowerShell.

(2) VScode (

Then download and install:

(3) Swift ( x86_ 64). This step will help you automatically set up a swift command in your terminal.

(4) Docker desktop (

2. Set up Swift image on your local machine⚓︎

After installing Swift and Docker desktop, you create a swift image described in Docker.

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### Try it now :point_down:

In your hw folder, run the following:

`cd MyLibrary/`  
`swift package init -- type library`  
`cd ..`  
`docker-compose run --rm dev`
You probably will see the picture shown below:

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At this moment, you are running an image in Docker.
Let’s check your Docker desktop and click the item that is running:

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#### Try it now (Optional) :point_down:

Let’s decorate the bad terminal interface! Here we will use “oh-my-zsh“.

Follow the steps:

`apt update`  
`apt install zsh`  
`apt install curl`  
`apt install vim`  
`sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"`

Then go to edit the format plug-in in the `.zshrc` file:

`cd ~`  
`vim .zshrc`

Then change `ZSH_THEME="agnoster"`.

Restart your terminal in Docker and run `zsh`

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A better way is do as shown in [A good model of Docker Image]( , so you do not have to set the environment everytime!
After the decoration, you will see the terminal as shown below:

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This beautiful terminal highlight will also be seen in the VS Code terminal later. :thumbsup:
3. Use Docker Container in your VS Code

To make VS Code your swift code editor, install the extensions: swift, Docker, and dev containers.

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#### Try it now :point_down:
1. Now you run your docker desktop;

  1. Go back to VS Code and click the docker logo on the left sidebar:

  2. Make sure your local terminal is running docker-compose run --rm dev. Run the image in the VS Code terminal and also open the swift image in your terminal by:
    (a) ctrl + shift + p
    (b) in the command window at the top, enter: Docker Containers: Attach Shell

    © zsh:

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    You see! The terminal shows the same beautiful highlighting as we saw in the docker desktop terminal. :thumbsup:
    4. Edit Swift code and do testing

Finally, let’s see how I use the VS Code to edit Swift codes.

Firstly, git fork the code from the repo ( ).

Then git clone the forked folder into your code folder in the terminal:

Checkout to async-await branch:

Open swift files by clicking the content on the left side directory:

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#### Try it now :point_down:
Let’s do the testing of the test folder:

Check the code coverage llvm-cov report ...:

5. An updated way to do Swift code editing and testing⚓︎

I think you have found that using the extension in the Docker logo can not help us realize the full function of syntax highlighting and there is no autocomplete. Here I provide a way to furtherly realize the function of editing Swift code on VS Code.

Rather than using the extension of the whale (squared by red), we are going to use the remote extension (squared by green) as shown above.

Choose the Containers in the remote explorer:

Right-click the image that is running and chooses Attach in New Window:

In the new window, 📂 Open Folders in the parent directory / (not the /root), then Enter using your keyboard.

Now you can see your files:

We still cannot see the full highlight. Let’s open the extension window in the remote interface. Click the Install in Container swiftlang/swift-nightly-focal (.....) button and install it in your container:

Now you can see the variables that can show up in the extension. Also, click the Conical flask extension and run the Test codes:

Here is the result (with variable detection, definition tracking, autocomplete, and testing):

Nice nice!!!! There are no differences between Windows VS Code and macOS Xcode now!! Bazinga 🍻

💪 Now you're a pro in Windows 10 swift programming… Feel free to add more cool stuff here!

Tianle Yuan – 10/14/2022

Last update: December 4, 2022 05:57:23
Created: November 3, 2022 06:58:10