Alexander Strizhakov
Alexander Strizhakov's blog


Alexander Strizhakov's blog

My VSCode setup for Elixir development

Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

My VSCode setup for Elixir development

Alexander Strizhakov's photo
Alexander Strizhakov
ยทSep 9, 2022ยท

2 min read

Hey, folks! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Today I want to write up my VSCode setup for Elixir/Phoenix development. I assume that you have already installed Elixir and Phoenix. If not, you can use these links:

I'm using asdf to keep several versions of Elixir/erlang and switch them among projects.


ElixirLS: Elixir support and debugger for VS Code

After installing, let's add some configuration. We will be adding the configuration directly to the settings JSON file. To do it type Cmd+Shift+P (or Ctrl+Shift+P) and type Preference: Open Settings (JSON). Add settings to enable auto-formatting on file save and support for emmet:

"editor.formatOnSave": true,
"emmet.includeLanguages": {
  "html-eex": "html"

To enable debugging, go to Run and Debug and create a launch.json file. Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 09.16.35.png

Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 09.16.54.png

For Phoenix applications, add a new configuration. Now it should be possible to run Phoenix applications and debug them inside VSCode by adding breakpoints.

    "version": "0.2.0",
    "configurations": [
        // other configurations
          // ...
            "type": "mix_task",
            "name": "phx.server",
            "request": "launch",
            "task": "phx.server",
            "projectDir": "${workspaceRoot}"

Phoenix Framework

Syntax highlighting support for Phoenix templates. Add "phoenix-heex": "html" to "emmet.includeLanguages" setting. Like this:

"emmet.includeLanguages": {
  "html-eex": "html",
  "phoenix-heex": "html"

Will change this Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 10.11.13.png to this Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 10.13.16.png

Elixir Test

Adds some improvements while working with elixir tests:

  • quick navigation between code file and test file
  • run all tests from the test file
  • run test at the cursor

Tailwind CSS IntelliSense

Enhances the Tailwind development experience in VSCode and adds autocomplete to phoenix template files.

"files.associations": {
        "*.css": "tailwindcss"
"editor.quickSuggestions": {
        "strings": true
"tailwindCSS.includeLanguages": {
    "elixir": "html",
    "phoenix-heex": "html"
"tailwindCSS.emmetCompletions": true

Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 11.18.38.png


Adds Vim emulator to VSCode. To enable key-repeating, execute in your Terminal. Command for VSCode Insiders

defaults write ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

Visual tweaks:

Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 14.08.16.png

Fira Code font:

"editor.fontFamily": "FiraCode-Retina",
"editor.fontLigatures": true,
"editor.fontWeight": "450"

Don't forget to add .elixir_ls and .vscode dirs to the .gitignore file.


Also, I remove some folders from file explorer:

"files.exclude": {
        "**/_build": true,
        "**/.elixir_ls": true

Now, your IDE should be ready. Happy cracking! ๐Ÿ’™

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