Set up the Quantum Development Kit (QDK)

Learn how to set up the Quantum Development Kit (QDK) to develop quantum computing and optimization applications on your environment.

The QDK consists of:

  • The Q# programming language
  • A set of libraries that abstract complex functionality in Q#
  • APIs for Python and .NET languages (C#, F#, and VB.NET) for running quantum programs written in Q#
  • A Python SDK to handle use optimization solvers on Azure Quantum
  • Tools to facilitate your development

Set up the Quantum Development Kit to develop quantum computing applications in Q#

Q# programs can run as standalone applications using Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio, through Jupyter Notebooks with the IQ# Jupyter kernel, or paired with a host program written in Python or a .NET language (C#, F#). You can also run Q# programs online using Codespaces, MyBinder.org, or Docker.

Options for setting up the QDK for quantum computing

You can use the QDK in three ways:

Install the QDK for quantum computing locally

You can develop Q# code in most of your favorites IDEs, as well as integrate Q# with other languages such as Python and .NET (C#, F#).

    VS Code
VS Code
(2019 or later)
Visual Studio
Visual Studio
(2019 or later)
jupyter install
Jupyter Notebooks
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Command line
  OS support: Windows, macOS, Linux Windows only Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux
QDK Q# standalone Install Install Install Install
python install Q# and Python Install Install Install Install
dotnet install Q# and .NET (C#, F#) Install Install Install

Use the QDK for quantum computing Online

You can also develop Q# code without installing anything locally with these options:

Resource Advantages Limitations
Visual Studio Codespaces A rich online development environment Requires an Azure subscription and plan
Binder Free online notebook experience No persistence

Use the QDK for quantum computing with Docker

You can use our QDK Docker image in your local Docker installation or in the cloud via any service that supports Docker images, such as ACI.

You can download the IQ# Docker image from https://github.com/microsoft/iqsharp/#using-iq-as-a-container.

You can also use Docker with a Visual Studio Code Remote Development Container to quickly define development environments. For more information about VS Code Development Containers, see https://github.com/microsoft/Quantum/tree/master/.devcontainer.

The workflows for each of these setups are described and compared in Ways to run a Q# program.

Set up the Quantum Development Kit to manage optimization solvers in Azure Quantum

You can use the Python SDK of the Quantum Development Kit to solve optimization problems using Azure Quantum solvers.

To set up the Python SDK, follow the steps in Install and use the Python SDK for optimization.