Extensions for Microsoft Visual Studio Code - Open Source

To manage extensions, this IDE uses one of these Open VSX registry instances:

  • The public, primary open-vsx.org registry.

  • The embedded instance of the Open VSX registry that runs in the plugin-registry pod of Che to support air-gapped, offline, and proxy-restricted environments. The embedded Open VSX registry contains only a subset of the extensions published on open-vsx.org. This subset can be customized.

  • A standalone Open VSX registry instance, deployed on a network accessible from Che workspace pods.

Selecting an Open VSX registry instance

The Open VSX registry at https://open-vsx.org is the default if resolved from within your organization’s cluster. If not, then the embedded Open VSX registry within the Che plugin-registry pod is the default.

If the default Open VSX registry instance is not what you need, you can select another Open VSX registry instance as follows.

  • Edit the openVSXURL value in the CheCluster custom resource:

          openVSXURL: "<url_of_an_open_vsx_registry_instance>"
    • The default openVSXURL value is https://open-vsx.org.

    • To select the embedded Open VSX registry instance in the plugin-registry pod, use openVSXURL: ''. See the next section for how to customize the list of included extensions.

    • You can also point openVSXURL at the URL of a standalone Open VSX registry instance if its URL is accessible from within your organization’s cluster and not blocked by a proxy.

Adding or removing extensions in the embedded Open VSX registry instance

You can add or remove extensions in the embedded Open VSX registry instance deployed by Che to support offline and proxied environments.

This will create a custom build of the Open VSX registry, which can be used in your organization’s workspaces.

To get the latest security fixes after a Che update, rebuild your container based on the latest tag or SHA.

  1. Get the publisher and extension names of each chosen extension:

    1. Find the extension on the Open VSX registry website and copy the URL of the extension’s listing page.

    2. Extract the <publisher> and <extension> names from the copied URL:


      If the extension is only available from Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace, but not Open VSX, you can ask the extension publisher to also publish it on open-vsx.org according to these instructions, potentially using this GitHub action.

      If the extension publisher is unavailable or unwilling to publish the extension to open-vsx.org, and if there is no Open VSX equivalent of the extension, consider reporting an issue to the Open VSX team.

  2. Download or fork and clone the plugin registry repository.

  3. For each extension that you need to add or remove, edit the openvsx-sync.json file:

    • To add extensions, add the publisher and extension names to the openvsx-sync.json file.

    • To remove extensions, remove the publisher and extension names from the openvsx-sync.json file.

    • Use the following JSON syntax:

              "id": "<publisher>.<extension>"
      • The latest extension version on open-vsx.org is the default. Alternatively, you can add "version": "<extension_version>" on a new line to specify a version.

      • If you have a closed-source extension or an extension developed only for internal use in your organization, you can add the extension directly from a .vsix file by using a URL accessible to your custom plugin registry container:

                "id": "<publisher>.<extension>",
                "download": "<url_to_download_vsix_file>",
                "version": "<extension_version>"
      • Read the Terms of Use for the Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace before using its resources.

  4. Build the plugin registry container image and publish it to a container registry like quay.io:

    1. $ ./build.sh -o <username> -r quay.io -t custom
    2. $ docker push quay.io/<username/plugin_registry:custom>
  5. Edit the CheCluster custom resource in your organization’s cluster to point to the image (for example, on quay.io) and save the changes:

              - image: quay.io/<username/plugin_registry:custom>
          openVSXURL: ''
  1. Check that the plugin-registry pod has restarted and is running.

  2. Restart the workspace and check the available extensions in the Extensions view of the workspace IDE.