C# Development Environment Setup Tutorial

In this tutorial we learn how to set up a development environment on a Windows or Mac system to develop C# applications.

Here's a table of contents of what you'll learn in this lesson:
(click on a link to skip to its section)

Let's jump right in.

C# Integrated Development Environment

For this tutorial series we’re going to use Microsoft’s free community version of Visual Studio as an IDE.

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment and supplies a user with all they need to write code in a specific language or set of languages. A text editor, compiler, debugger etc.

If you already have another IDE setup for C#, you can skip directly to the next lesson .

If you prefer a different IDE, you can find the relevant links below (click on a link to skip to that section):

Otherwise, continue to the sections below to setup Visual Studio Community on Windows or Mac.

Environment setup on Windows

We will provide a short setup tutorial. However, you can find more in-depth setup instructions at Microsoft’s official documentation page for installing Visual Studio on WindowsOpens up in a new page .

To set up MS Visual Studio Community, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the official download page for Visual StudioOpens up in a new page . From the Download Visual Studio dropdown menu, select Community 2019.
  2. Run the downloaded bootstrap installer. If you receive a User Account Control notice, choose Yes.
  3. You’ll be asked to accept the Microsoft Terms and Privacy Statements. Choose Continue.
  4. The bootstrap installer will download the necessary installation files. When the installation has completed, you will be able to choose a workload.
  5. From the Workloads tab, check the .NET desktop development checkbox. This option includes everything you need to develop C# applications.
  6. In the bottom right corner of the dialog box, choose Install. The installer will download and install all the necessary files on your computer.

That’s it, you’re ready to start programming in C#. You can skip to the next lesson .

Environment setup on Mac

We will provide a short setup tutorial. However, you can find more in-depth setup instructions at Microsoft’s official documentation page for installing Visual Studio on MacOpens up in a new page .

To set up MS Visual Studio Community, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the official download page for Visual StudioOpens up in a new page and click on the Download Visual Studio for Mac button.
  2. When the download has finished, click on the VisualStudioforMacInstaller.dmg image file to mount the installer. Double-click the arrow logo to run it.
  3. You’ll be asked to accept the Microsoft Terms and Privacy Statements. Choose Continue.
  4. A dialog box will open up with a list of available workloads. Check the .NET Core checkbox. Optionally, you can choose macOS too, but you will then need to install XcodeOpens up in a new page in that case).
  5. In the bottom right corner of the dialog box, choose Install. During the installation, you may be promted to enter you password for the privileges necessary for installation.

That’s it, you’re ready to start programming in C#. You can skip to the next lesson .

List of alternative IDE’s for C# development

The following list provides helpful links to set up a development environment in alternative free editors.

Visual Studio Code

Download Visual Studio Code here: code.visualstudio.com/downloadOpens up in a new page

VSCode Installation Instructions:

VSCode C# Addon:

Atom

Download the Atom IDE here: atom.io/Opens up in a new page

Installation instructions:

C# Packages: