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Operating System

All Bitwarden developers are issued with a MacBook. The tooling recommendations and instructions in this documentation assume that you’re using macOS. This may require some adaptation if you’re using a different operating system.

The following tools are strongly recommended as part of the “standard” developer setup. We recommend that any new Bitwarden developer install all of them as part of setting up their local development environment.


Local environment

  • Homebrew - package manager for macOS
  • Iterm2 (available via Homebrew) - a better terminal emulator
  • Various browsers - It’s nice to have a slew of browsers ready to test the extension in a host of scenarios. You can also use multiple browsers to have different browser extension version installed to compare them.
  • Docker - required for server development only
  • PowerShell (available via Homebrew: brew install powershell)
  • NodeJS v20 (preferably using a node version manager)
  • NPM v10 (included with Node)
  • Rust latest stable version - (preferably installed via rustup)
  • Git



Visual Studio Code Extensions

There are some vs code extensions that are life-savers in our line of work. A list of highly recommended ones include the following:

Optional tools

The following tools may be useful depending on your preferences or what you’re developing.