Installing C++ and Java Development Tools for FRC

Install instructions for C++ and Java development tools are provided below. Click the arrow to expand the instructions for your specific platform.


Offline Installer


Windows 7: You must install the NI Update or .NET Version 4.62 (or later) before proceeding with the install of VSCode for FRC. The NI Update installer will automatically install the proper version of .NET. The stand alone .NET installer is here:

Download the appropriate installer for your Windows installation (32 bit or 64 bit) from GitHub. If you're not sure, open the Control Panel -> System to check.

Double click on the installer to run it. If you see any Security warnings, click Run (Windows 7) or More Info->Run Anyway (Windows 8+).

Installation Type

Choose whether to install for All Users on the machine or the Current User. The All Users option requires Admin privileges, but installs in a way that is accessible to all user accounts, the Current User install is only accessible from the account it is installed from.

If you select All Users, you will need to accept the security prompt that appears.

Download VSCode

For licensing reasons, the installer cannot contain the VSCode installer bundled in. Click Select/Download VSCode to either Download the VSCode installer or select a pre-downloaded copy. If you intend to install on other machines without internet connections, after the download completes, you can click Open Downloaded File to be taken to the zip file on the file system to copy along with the Offline Installer.

Execute Install

Make sure all checkboxes are checked (unless you have already installed 2019 WPILib software on this machine and the software unchecked them automatically), then click Execute Install.

What's Installed?

The Offline Installer installs the following components:

  • Visual Studio Code - The supported IDE for 2019 robot code development. The offline installer sets up a separate copy of VSCode for WPILib development, even if you already have VSCode on your machine. This is done because some of the settings that make the WPILib setup work may break existing workflows if you use VSCode for other projects.
  • C++ Compiler - The toolchains for building C++ code for the roboRIO
  • Gradle - The specific version of Gradle used for building/deploying C++ or Java robot code
  • Java JDK/JRE - A specific version of the Java JDK/JRE that is used to build Java robot code and to run any of the Java based Tools (Dashboards, etc.). This exists side by side with any existing JDK installs and does not overwrite the JAVA_HOME variable
  • WPILib Tools - SmartDashboard, Shuffleboard, Robot Builder, Outline Viewer, Pathweaver
  • WPILib Dependencies - OpenCV, etc.
  • VSCode Extensions - WPILib extensions for robot code development in VSCode

What's Installed - Continued

The Offline Installer also installs a Desktop Shortcut to the WPILib copy of VSCode and sets up a command shortcut so this copy of VSCode can be opened from the command line using the command "frccode2019"

Both of these reference the specific year as the WPIlib C++\Java tools will now support side-by-side installs of multiple environments from different seasons.


When the installer completes, you will now be able to open and use the WPILib version of VSCode. If you are using any 3rd party libraries, you will still need to install those separately before using them in robot code.

Mac OS

The tools (except the Driver Station and the roboRIO Imaging Tool) will run natively on a Mac.

Note: if you have the alpha release of VSCode for FRC installed, you should uninstall it before proceeding or create a new VSCode install. Failing to do this will have both versions installed at the same time causing things to not operate properly.

To install it follow these steps.

Getting Visual Studio Code

VSCode is the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that is used for 2019 and beyond. It needs to be installed on any development computer. It can be downloaded here:

The downloaded file will be "" (1)

Once downloaded, double-click on the zip file to expand it and copy the new file: "Visual Studio Code" to the Applications folder (2).


Download the WPILib release and move the directory

Download the software release by navigating to this page: and downloading the Mac release.

Unzip and untar the file by looking at the file in the explorer and double-clicking on it, once or twice to unzip (remove the .gz extension) and again to untar it (remove the .tar extension). When finished it should like like the folder shown below.

Using Finder (or command line) copy the contents of the folder to a new folder in your home directory, ~/frc2019 as shown below.

Run the script

To update all the additional tools WPILib tools, open a terminal window and change directory to ~/frc2019/tools and run the script with the command:


This should populate the tools directory with all of the WPILib tools (Shuffleboard, Robot Builder, PathWeaver, etc.)

Installing the extensions for WPILib development

Before using VSCode for WPILib development there are a number of extensions that need to be installed. Start up VSCode and type the shortcut Cmd-Shift-P to bring up the list of commands available. Start typing "Install from VSIX into the search box. Choose that command. In the file selection box select Cpp.vsix.

You should see a message confirming the install and asking to reload vscode. Click the reload button then repeat the vsix installation for the rest of the vsix files in this order:

  1. Cpp.vsix
  2. JavaLang.vsix
  3. JavaDeps.vsix
  4. JavaDebug.vsix
  5. WPILib.vsix

Setting up VSCode to use Java 11

The WPILib installation includes a JDK, however you need to point VS Code at where it is. To do this:

  1. Open VS Code
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + P and type WPILib or click on the WPILib icon in the top right to open the WPILib Command Palette
  3. Begin typing Set VS Code Java Home to FRC Home and select that item from the dropdown

Installing VS Code

  1. Download the Linux .deb file from
  2. Double-click on the .deb file in the file explorer
  3. Click the "Install" button to install VSCode

Download the WPILib Release

Download the latest Linux release from

Right-click on the downloaded archive, click "Extract Here"

Moving to FRC2019

  1. Create a directory in your home directory called frc2019 - either from the file manager or with $ mkdir ~/frc2019
  2. Drag the contents of WPILib_Linux-2019.1.1 directory to ~/frc2019 or run $ mv -v WPILib_Linux-2019.1.1/* ~/frc2019

Running Tools Updater

To extract the WPILib tools (Dashboards, Robot Builder, etc.), run:

  • $ cd ~/frc2019/tools
  • $ python3

Installing the extensions for WPILib VS Code

  1. Start VSCode ($ code or search "Visual Studio Code" in your application launcher)
  2. Control+Shift+P to bring up the command palette, type "Install from VSIX"
  3. Select Extensions: Install from VSIX...
  4. Navigate to ~/frc2019/vsCodeExtensions and select Cpp.vsix
  5. Repeat for JavaLang.vsix, JavaDeps.vsix, JavaDebug.vsix, and WPILib.vsix in that order

Setting up VSCode to use Java 11

The WPILib installation includes a JDK, however you need to point VS Code at where it is. To do this:

  1. Open VS Code
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + P and type WPILib or click on the WPILib icon in the top right to open the WPILib Command Palette
  3. Begin typing Set VS Code Java Home to FRC Home and select that item from the dropdown