I'm trying to use Visual Studio Code (VSC) as IDE for my QGIS plugins with the Python extension, but something doesn't work as expected. I've been reading about the PyCharm config from Gary S. but I couln't apply it to VSC.

Should I use an .env file? What should I set in the settings.json? How to call batch files when VSC starts?

  • All ide's i know, a batch file is used to start them. The starting procedure is analoque to the batch file to start qgis. There are also differences between qgis2 and qgis3. Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 19:21

7 Answers 7


We didn't want to use a script to open our workspace, so we finally found out how to configure Visual Studio Code through the settings.json file: https://github.com/isogeo/isogeo-plugin-qgis/blob/master/.vscode/settings.json

The requirement is to have QGIS LTR installed with OSGeo4W on the computer. We automated this step with the command-line: https://gist.github.com/Guts/6303dc5eb941eb24be3e27609cd46985

  • 1
    This changes settings of workspace or for everything else as well? I only want QGIS python for one of VS code's projects. Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 4:34

Create an empty file named visual_studio_code_for_qgis.bat

Paste this:

@echo off
path %PATH%;C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\bin
path %PATH%;C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\apps\grass\grass-7.4.1\lib
path %PATH%;C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\apps\Qt5\bin
path %PATH%;C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\apps\Python36\Scripts

set PYTHONPATH=%PYTHONPATH%;C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\apps\qgis\python
set PYTHONHOME=C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.2\apps\Python36   

start "VisualStudioCode for QGIS" /B "C:\Users\Zoran\AppData\Local\Programs\Microsoft VS Code\Code.exe" %*

Update paths if necessary.

Run the visual_studio_code_for_qgis.bat

More details can be found here: http://gis-expert.com/wp/2018/10/15/how-to-setup-qgis-3-and-visual-studio-code-plugin-development-windows/

  • I've read your answer and your article (sorry for the delay) but I can't make it work following your instructions. Paths are really different, especially because I've both 2.18 and 3.4 versions installed through the OSGeo4W installer (64 bits). Otherwise, in your article, you should not advise to install packages in the Python system installation, especially with admin level (use of --user option is preferred). For example, PyQt5 is already included into QGIS installation (try to import it into the python-qgis interpreter launched from OSGeo4W Shell).
    – Guts
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 6:15
  • You've chosen to install QGIS differently than Zoran suggests in his instructions. Osgeo4w organizes things differently than if you use QGIS standalone installer which is how Zoran suggests.
    – cndnflyr
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 22:59
  • Works great, thanks a lot! Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 7:02

Here I explain how configure Visual Studio Code for running alone scripts in Python that executes funcions of Qgis.

In the file "Visual_Studio_Code_Qgis\Work_Space_Configuration.code-workspace" is my file configuration that set the envoirment of operatig system.

With this configuration if you run your aplication from Visual Studio code there will be no errors with Python and Qgis.

For use this information: 1.- Goto to the configuration of workspace (Control+) 2.- Select workspace 3.- In right upper square click to Open Configuration Json 4.- Paste my code insight changing Directories.

In my configuration file I have a envoirment, if you don't want or don't have, delete the last lines.

This do the same like file "C:\Program Files\QGIS 3.12\bin\python-qgis.bat".

So if you run this file in CMD, and after that in the same CMD window, you write "set" and enter, you will have a list with the configuration of your system.


Since it's 2022 now and some things that were mentioned here have changed, I decided to create a repository with a test example here:


The full explanation can be found here:

Looking for manual on how to properly setup standalone PyQGIS without GUI


This works for me Edit your settings.json with the variables below. It can be your workspace settings only, or you global settings. Basically it informs VSCode where to locate for QGIS packages.

Also, I have made a tutorial video showing how to set these variables from the console, without changing settings.json https://youtu.be/qobogVuXtJU

    // Replicate the QGIS environment
    "terminal.integrated.env.windows": {
        "OSGEO4W_ROOT": "C:\\OSGeo4W", 
        "GDAL_DATA": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\share\\gdal", 
        "GDAL_DRIVER_PATH": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\bin\\gdalplugins", 
        "GS_LIB": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\gs\\lib", 
        "JPEGMEM": "1000000", 
        "OPENSSL_ENGINES": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\lib\\engines-1_1", 
        "SSL_CERT_FILE": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\bin\\curl-ca-bundle.crt", 
        "SSL_CERT_DIR": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\openssl\\certs", 
        "PROJ_LIB": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\share\\proj", 
        "QT_PLUGIN_PATH": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\Qt5\\plugins", 

        "O4W_QT_PREFIX": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5", 
        "O4W_QT_BINARIES": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/bin", 
        "O4W_QT_PLUGINS": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/plugins", 
        "O4W_QT_LIBRARIES": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/lib", 
        "O4W_QT_TRANSLATIONS": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/translations",
        "O4W_QT_HEADERS": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/include", 
        "O4W_QT_DOC": "C:/OSGeo4W/apps/Qt5/doc", 

        "PYTHONHOME": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\Python39", 
        "PYTHONPATH": "C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\qgis-ltr\\python;C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\qgis-ltr\\python\\plugins",
        "PYTHONUTF8": "1",

    "python.autoComplete.extraPaths": ["C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\qgis-ltr\\python","C:\\OSGeo4W\\apps\\qgis-ltr\\python\\plugins"],
    "python.pythonPath": "c:\\OSGeo4W\\bin\\python.exe",
    "python.analysis.extraPaths": [

Try this batch file for an Osgeo4w QGIS install.


  • Does running this script means my python interpreter will be using QGIS python for everything? Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 4:28

For windows the simplest method is:

First copy all the paths using OSGeo4W shell. In this shell type:


This will spit out all the paths. Copy these paths and paste inside environment variables. In windows search type env and inside environment variables click on path, edit and paste all the paths there.

The python command will start working within

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