Using Cursor and VS Code in parallel?


This is my first post here: thanks a lot to the team who developed Cursor!

Would you say that it is save to work on the same code base at the same time with both Cursor and VS Code? I noted that it is seemingly possible in principle. I currently have both Cursor and VS Code attached to the same Docker container.

Just wonder whether such a workflow could cause issues, e.g., whether Cursor and VS Code could perhaps overwrite each others configuration files in such a way that it could corrupt one of them such that they stop working.

I read the whole Cursor documentation before even installing it: I just mention that to underline that I really like what you are trying to do with the Cursor project! Anyway, I now installed Cursor and started playing with it on a real-live repro, and I noted various minor issues (could share issues I saw in a later message, but others do that here too).

I am certainly not complaining, I understand that you are a small team, working on a larger project. However, for a smoother workflow it would help me, if I can perform some tasks with VS Code that currently are not fully working in Cursor.

I have used VS Code and Aider in parallel for some time now (actually, together with Github Copilot). So, I am already used to a somewhat similar workflow.

Thanks a lot for your help!

PS: I am aware that VS Code can struggle if an open file is changed outside it – in particular if that file is opened in multiple tabs in the app. I learnt to deal with that…

It seems that it is possible. I’m using the Cursor AppImage released version on Linux, and after importing my other settings from ~/.config/Code, and extensions + argv.json from ~/.vscode, it looks like it places config files in separate directories:

  • ~/.config/Cursor: Most user settings, configuration, caches, and VSCodium db files
  • ~/.cursor: The main argv.json config file, plus all unpacked Extensions under: extensions directory.

So, it appears that Cursor (and VSCodium under the hood) is using separate locations to store these files. Therefore, it should be safe to run each concurrently or in parallel, with a few caveats:

  1. If any extensions are automatically triggered by file change or inode / inotify events, then you may run into issues with concurrent file access if writing to the same files. (This also heavily depends on how your OS handles concurrent writes). Most extensions seem to trigger on a manual Ctrl+s or Save within the application, so using VSCode and Cursor in separate instances of VSCodium should not trigger each other. However, just be aware that if the same project is opened in both at the same time, you could theoretically run into some issues if files change outside the purview of each editor instance. An example might be some auto-formatting extension that triggers on file inotify events, and then writes formatting changes to same the file from both editors at the same time.
  2. Similar to the above mentioned file concurrency issues, If you are using extensions or features that access cloud-based services, you could run into concurrency issues when each editor tries to save data to the cloud or send similar requests at the same time to those services. I’m mainly thinking of the GitHub-based settings backup for VSCodium, but this could apply to any number of other extensions depending on the implementation details.

Other than those two caveats, it seems that both VSCode and Cursor can run fine in parallel. I didn’t run into any noticeable issues in my testing so far.