Running WSL GUI Apps on Windows 10

Published Jun 27 2020 09:12 AM 339K Views
Microsoft

logo.png

 

 

 

In this post I will demonstrate how to run Linux GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications on Windows Desktop platform.

 

For now, it is necessary to install a third-party App to run the GUI Apps, but Microsoft announced on //build 2020 that they will release soon an improvement that will not require any third-party component to run Linux GUI Apps on Windows Desktop.

 

Pre-requirements:

  • Windows 10
  • WSL

 

If you want to know how to install WSL on Windows 10, please check the following post:

 

 

logo.pngUsing WSL2 in a Docker Linux container on Windows to run a Minecraft Java Server

 

 

It will be demonstrated the three ways to run the Linux GUI Apps on Windows 10 through:

  • VcXsrv Windows X Server (free)
  • X410 App available on Microsoft Store (paid app)
  • Kali App available on Microsoft Store (free)

 

First option: VcXsrv Windows X Server

The X server is a provider of graphics resources and keyboard/mouse events. I am using the VcXsrv Windows X Server that is open-source and is frequently update.

 

The first step is to install the third-part display manager called VcXsrv Windows X Server available at:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/vcxsrv/

 

During setup is important to disable the access control to avoid the permission denied error when trying to run a GUI application:

 

VcXsrv disable access control 2.png

 

 

To warranty that the “Disable access control” will be always checked, save the configuration and always launch VcXsrv using the configuration file (config.xlaunch) :

 

VcXsrv disable access control.png

 

 

NOTE: Don't forget to allow VcXsrv in the Windows firewall settings.

 

Windows Security -> Firewall & network protection -> Allow an app through firewall -> make sure VcXsrv has both public and private checked.

 

firewall.png

 

 

The next step is to set the DISPLAY environment variable on Linux to use the Windows host's IP address as WSL2 and the Windows host are not in the same network device. It is necessary to set the DISPLAY environment variable with the correct IP address on launch. There are different ways to set the DISPLAY variable, thank you @ZeevS and @Barry_Bazza for the updates.

 

Follows some ways that you can choose:

 

export DISPLAY="`grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | sed 's/nameserver //'`:0"

export DISPLAY="`sed -n 's/nameserver //p' /etc/resolv.conf`:0"

export DISPLAY=$(ip route|awk '/^default/{print $3}'):0.0

 

 

Running the following command, it is possible to see that the $DISPLAY environment variable now has the Windows Host’s IP set:

 

 

Echo $DISPLAY

 

 

display.png

 

 

To avoid having to run that command every time that WSL is launched, you can include the command at the end of the /etc/bash.bashrc file:

 

export display.png

 

 

UPDATE: I would like to thank @samuel_skeen for let me know that now it is also necessary to create a .xsession file in the user's home directory (/home/<user>/.xsession) with the content xfce4-session:

 

 

echo xfce4-session > ~/.xsession

 

 

Done! Now you can run the Linux GUI Apps on Windows desktop.

 

Let’s try this out!

 

Follows some Apps that you can use to test:

 

Install Chromium Dev :

 

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/chromium-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

 

 

Install GEDIT:

 

sudo apt install gedit
gedit

 

 

Install x11-apps:

 

sudo apt install x11-apps
xeyes
xcalc

 

 

 

Make sure that XLaunch is running and before calling the Linux GUI Apps on Windows Desktop environment.

 

apps running.png

 

run gui apps wsl.gif

 

 

What about running Windows 10 Apps and Linux GUI Apps in the same Desktop?

 

Run the following command to launch the xfce-panel:

 

xfsettingsd --sm-client-disable; xfce4-panel --sm-client-disable --disable-wm-check &

 

 

 

What about accessing the Linux Desktop Environment via RDP?

 

The first thing that you need to do is to install a Linux Desktop Environment. I will user Xfce as it is a lightweight one.

 

Run the following commands to install Xfce:

 

sudo apt install xfce4

 

 

The next step is to install the xrdp that provides a graphical login to remote machines using RDP (Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol).

 

sudo apt install xrdp

 

 

Type the following command to get the WSL IP address:

 

ip a

 

 

ip addr.png

 

Make sure that xrdp service is running:

 

start xrdp.png

 

Run the Remote Desktop Client (MSTSC) and type the WSL IP address to connect to xfce4:

 

mstsc.png

 

 

 

Done! Now you can access your favorite Linux IDE on WSL.

 

 

wsl rdp.png

 

wsl rdp 3.gif

 

 

Second option: X410 App

The app is available on Microsoft Store:

https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NLP712ZMN9Q

 

X410.png

 

In the image below I am using the the X Server X410 App available in the Windows 10 store, that has a better graphic performance:

 

WinLinux.gif

 

 

Enabling Sound

X410 X Server App, as well as XLaunch, supports sound on Ubuntu (18;04 and 20.04). If you are using X410, please following the steps available at:

 

https://x410.dev/cookbook/wsl/enabling-sound-in-wsl-ubuntu-let-it-sing/

 

I only had to change the third step to use auth-anonymous instead of the auth-ip-acl:

load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=1

 

More details here: https://github.com/microsoft/WSL/issues/4205

 

I defined the PULSE_SERVER environment variable too, as:

 

export PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$(grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | awk '{print $2}')

 

 

Thank you @Barry_Bazza, for letting me know that the following Pulse Audio version also works: pulseaudio-5.0-rev 18 .

 

This is the code bat file that I am using to load X410:

 

@echo off
start /B x410.exe /wm
start "" /B "C:\wsl\pulseaudio\bin\pulseaudio.exe"

ubuntu2004.exe run "if [ -z $(pidof xfce4-panel) ]; then export DISPLAY=$(cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver | awk '{print $2; exit;}'):0;export PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$(grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | awk '{print $2}'):0;  cd ~; xfsettingsd --sm-client-disable; xfce4-panel --sm-client-disable --disable-wm-check; taskkill.exe /IM x410.exe;taskkill.exe /IM pulseaudio.exe /F; fi;"

 

 

For more details about how to enable the xfce-panel steps, please check:

https://x410.dev/cookbook/wsl/xidekick/ 

 

Follows a great thread about how to fix sound issues:

 

No sound in wsl2 · Issue #4205 · microsoft/WSL (github.com)

 

Third option: Kali App

Kali Linux Windows Application is available on Microsoft Store:

https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9PKR34TNCV07

 

Once installed, after having providing the credentials, run the following command to install Win-KeX to allow running GUI Linux Apps on KALI for Windows:

 

sudo apt update && sudo apt install kali-win-kex

 

 

Run the following command to run Kali:

 

kex wstart

 

 

 

kex wstart.png

 

The KALI environment will be loaded:

 

kali.png

 

With Kali, you don't have to worry about setting environment variables or starting services.

 

Follows the Kali page with more details:

Kali Linux in the Windows App Store | Kali Linux

Win-KeX Version 2.0 | Kali Linux

 

In this post we see how to run GUI Linux Apps using XServer on Windows Desktop environment and how to access the full WSL Linux desktop environment.

 

I hope you liked!

 

 

113 Comments
Microsoft

Thank you @UncleStone for your great feedback!

Microsoft

Thank you very much Marco @mrcgrg for contributing and documenting the issues and solutions!!!! 

Microsoft

Hi @steve_bovy , is it failing only for Synaptic?

 

Synaptic.gif

Senior Member

Hi, regarding the issue of starting service automatically at startup of the Wsl VM (without system that in not supported on Wsl), I think that the solution that uses bat and vbs script in the shell:startup folder is non optimal (https://gist.github.com/harleyday/76a103a1a0ca97c6f33706e4a8cc3307#file-wsl-ssh-server-md). It works just once for each login, so if you stop the Wsl instance and then restart it the script is not executed. Furthermore, I was able to run it just for SSH; I tried to replicate the configuration for xrdp, but it didn’t work.

 

So I use this approach:
Added the following two lines to /etc/sudoers:
%sudo ALL=NOPASSWD: /etc/init.d/ssh
%sudo ALL=NOPASSWD: /etc/init.d/xrdp
Added the following two lines to /etc/bash.bashrc
sudo /etc/init.d/ssh start
sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp start

 

With this configuration ssh and xrdp services start always when the Wsl instance start.

 

There is another issue regarding xrdp the annoy me, that is the dynamic IP address that change every time the Wsl instance start. It’s not a big problem, but it is annoying the change the IP address in the rdp file every time. So a devised the solution that you’ll see in the next post.
Thanks Marco

Senior Member

Hi, this is my solution for creating an Rdp config file automatically with the Wsl instance IP address.

 

o Create the Rdp file with the configuration that you want (screen size, user name, etc.) and save it.
o Remove the ip address line (full address:s:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) and copy the file content to a text file. Move this file to a folder on the Wsl instance (I created an xrdpsettings folder on the Desktop).
o Using gedit or another text editor copy the text file content to a new file and name it template.rdp (do not use the file copied from Windows because is in Unicode and this cause trouble with the following script).
In the same folder create a shell script (I named it xrdpsettings.sh, allow the file to run as a program) and add the following code (I borrowed the code that creates the variable with the IP address from https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/58825/assigning-ip-address-to-environment-variable, so the credit for this clever code goes to Gilles Quenot)

 

IP=$(
ifconfig eth0 |
perl -ne 'print $1 if /inet\s.*?(\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3})\b/'
)
echo $IP
VAR1="full address:s:"
VAR2=$VAR1$IP
echo $VAR2
#rm -f Ubuntu.rdp
cp template.rdp Ubuntu.rdp
echo $VAR2 >> Ubuntu.rdp
mv -f Ubuntu.rdp /mnt/c/Users/Marco/Desktop

 

You can change the path and the name of the rdp file according to your configuration (the echo $IP and echo $VAR2 are just for debugging purpose, just comment them out if the script succeed).

 

Add these lines the $HOME/.profile file (again change the path according to your configuration):
cd ./Desktop/xrdpsettings
./xrdpsetting.sh

 

If the configuration is right you will find an Ubuntu.rdp (or the name you choose) in the designed folder when you start the Wsl instance, with the Wsl instance IP address set.
Thanks Marco

Occasional Visitor

Hi,

 

Any update for 19042.541 build?

Occasional Visitor

Initially I had a connection refused problem. Was using Ubuntu 18.04 WSL2 and  VcXsrv

 

It turns out it's because the export DISPLAY="`grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | sed 's/nameserver //'`:0" command didn't grab the correct the IP address of my X server.

 

When I manually set the $DISPLAY variable to 127.0.0.1:0.0(the X server address that was showing in the X server log file, which you can find by right clicking x server icon in the task bar, and click 'show log'). It then worked for me.

Frequent Visitor

Thank you for the post. I can't wait to try.

Visitor

Hi @luisdem, I am trying to run xcalc on wsl2 (ubuntu). I have followed your instructions but I keep getting the following error message:

QXcbConnection: Could not connect to display 99.88.77.66:0

Any suggestions?

Occasional Visitor

Hi @luisdem , I am facing problems in connecting to the internet from MSTSC using xfce4.

 

I am using WSL 1 and Ubuntu 18.04. Every time I open the web browser (namely Firefox, the preinstalled one), it either cannot connect to the internet or crashes. I tried using the Network settings, but it says system information is not available.

 

The other apps which do not require internet connectivity seems to be running fine, though I haven't tested them all.

Microsoft

Hi @_Eyal ,

 

What is the tool that are you trying to run it?

 

  • VcXsrv Windows X Server (free)
  • X410 App available on Microsoft Store (paid app)
  • Kali App available on Microsoft Store (free)

 

Probably it is some step that is missing like enable the firewall exception rule.

 

My suggestion is to you try to use Kali, that is free and that has the X Server already implemented. You don't need to worry about having to define environment variable or start any service.

Microsoft

Hi @hrivu ,

 

That is interesting. Does the Internet command works on WSL? Like: curl?

Visitor

Hi @luisdem,

you're right, I ended up messing up the firewall step.

Thanks a lot for your help and for uploading this post!

Occasional Visitor

@luisdem 

Hey! I tried all the steps above but still getting Error: Can't open display: 172.26.32.1:0.0 again and again.

I have set the DISPLAY variable correctly and also allowed it through firewall.

Microsoft

Hi @purgaut , I am sorry that you are facing issues.

 

What is the value that is being returned when you type echo $DISPLAY?

 

Did you tried the KALI option?

Regular Visitor

Hey @luisdem, I need some help. I did everything to use a Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 18.04. The first time I tried everything was working fine, but now when I try to use the file manager on xfce4 it gives me this error. How can I solve it?

 

martrixx_1-1603992252553.png

 

Senior Member

Does chromium need admin access?

 

barry@Serenity:~$ chromium-browser
Failed to move to new namespace: PID namespaces supported, Network namespace supported, but failed: errno = Permission denied
Trace/breakpoint trap (core dumped)

Thanks for any help with this.

 

Barry

Senior Member

@martrixx You have Xrdp installed; it creates thinclient_drives.

 

Edit /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini. Update the allow_channels setting to say allow_channels=false

sudo umount $HOME/thinclient_drives

 

Shared drives do not seem to work in WSL1/2 anyway.

Visitor

Anyone aware of how we can make the icons show in the taskbar? Mine current has the default XLaunch icon. 

Microsoft

Hi @Magatame ,

 

You can right click on the taskbar and choose for add a new items or panel preferences. 

Occasional Visitor

Thanks @luisdem for this detailed guide!

BTW, a bit simpler way to set the DISPLAY environment variable is

 

export DISPLAY="`sed -n 's/nameserver //p' /etc/resolv.conf`:0"

 

 

Senior Member

@ZeevS  I use the following:

 

export DISPLAY=$(ip route|awk '/^default/{print $3}'):0.0
Microsoft

Hi @ZeevS and @Barry_Bazza , thank you very much for sharing it.

 

I will update the post with those options!!!! :)

Senior Member

@luisdem A later version of Pulse Audio can be downloaded: pulseaudio-5.0-rev 18 

Occasional Visitor

Hi @luisdem , 

Thanks a lot for useful guidance. Using the first method, I've reached the point to get the login screen using Remote Desktop Connection. But whenever I give the credentials which I set up in wsl, it simply crashes and gone away (vanish) and I get the RDC prompt again. 

Farrukhw_0-1606294205846.png

However, providing the Windows Logon Password or any other would simply make the login failed.

Farrukhw_1-1606294309748.png

 

Please note that 'ip addr' gave me 172.18.247.248, but 

 

export DISPLAY="`grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | sed 's/nameserver //'`:0"

 

returned 172.18.240.1 and in /etc/resolv.conf, it was setup as 

nameserver 172.18.240.1

 I even tried to update it as

nameserver 172.18.247.248

, but no luck.

 

Any idea where I'm doing wrong?

Best regards

Farrukh

Senior Member

Sadly (and I do not know why it is, but I am on a Windows Preview, so maybe because of that?), none of the above solutions work for me at all on WSL2.  So, for me, what I now am doing (and it works well, no matter what happens to my host IP address), is I put the following at the end in my ~/.bashrc file:

 

# Get the IP Address of the Windows 10 Host and use it in the Environment.
HOST_IP=$(host {YOURHOSTNAME} | grep 192. | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r')
export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1
export DISPLAY=$HOST_IP:0.0
export NO_AT_BRIDGE=1
export PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$HOST_IP
export GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Yaru-dark/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

Put your own hostname (without braces) and the first number of your own network's range of private IP Addresses.  That's it!

 

I get Ubuntu's dark themed GUI apps in most instances, and also get sound and X11 forwarding, no matter what my Host IP ends up because of changes in Windows 10 builds (sometimes I have to reset networking and that resets the address to a DHCP address).  It should work in any version of Windows 10 running Windows Subsystem for Linux.  So far, I have had no issues, no matter what happens to my Windows 10 host's IP address.  Hope this helps someone, if none of the other solutions above work, as was the case for me.  Here is a screenshot of both Windows apps and a Linux app working side by side.

 

image.png

 

Another way to do the above is to run the host command against the hostname command, like the following (though it adds a few msecs to execution time), and using a filter to grep the IP address of the Windows host from the host command's output from the hostname command:

 

HOST_IP=$(host `hostname` | grep -oP '(\s)\d+(\.\d+){3}' | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r')

This way it is not even necessary to know the IP address range of your local network, and should work across any IPv4 network.

 

One even can create desktop and/or Start Menu/Screen shortcuts to run GUI and other Linux apps.  Following are a few examples of shortcuts I have created, namely, their targets.  These can be tweaked for each individual's case, as needed (as above, put in your Windows Host's hostname and the first numbers of your range of IP addresses on your network).  As will be seen in the last example, some apps are really wonky, requiring the use of 'export' and use of semi-colons to run individual commands before the apps will launch.  You don't have to put in the PULSE_SERVER variable if you don't want or need sound, or the theme variable if you don't want to theme the apps to match better with Windows' dark theme.

 

C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe -e htop

 

C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=Yes IP=$(host {YOURHOSTNAME} | grep 192. | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r') DISPLAY=$IP:0.0 PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$IP GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Yaru-dark/gtk-2.0/gtkrc firefox

 

C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=Yes IP=$(host {YOURHOSTNAME} | grep 192. | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r') DISPLAY=$IP:0.0 PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$IP dbus-launch --exit-with-session nautilus

 

C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe IP=$(host {YOURHOSTNAME} | grep 192. | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r') ; export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=Yes export DISPLAY=$IP:0.0 ; cd /mnt/c/Users/{YOURUSERNAME}/Desktop ; /usr/bin/perl ~/wget-gui.pl

Occasional Visitor

Something I'd note is that this guide is really good, but I found that my xrdp would not work properly--I'd hit the login screen and after I entered my credentials correctly, I was shown a black screen for a second and then the remote desktop client would return to the setup screen.  The thing that I found somewhere else (and the source escapes me, so sorry if you posted it elsewhere) that fixed it was creating a file called `.xsession` in your user's home directory (e.g. /home/<username>/.xsession) and then putting as the only contents of that file `xfce4-session` (of course, without the backticks).  It magically worked for me once I added that.

 

Thanks for setting up this great guide!  It worked well for me!

Microsoft

Thank you very much @samuel_skeen for your feedback and for let me know. :grinning_face::oncoming_fist:

 

You are right, when I wrote the post the .xsession file wasn't necessary, but now it seams to be.

I will update the post!

Occasional Visitor

You can also use GWSL :) It automates lots of this and is free and open source!

Senior Member

Hello  @samuel_skeen , the .xsession file with 'xfce4-session' content works if you leave these lines uncommented in /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh file:

test -x /etc/X11/Xsession && exec /etc/X11/Xsession
exec /bin/sh /etc/X11/Xsession

 

But of you comment out these lines (with #) and add the command startxfce4 at the end of the file, it works fine as well. On my Ubuntu 20.04 Wsl vm both ways gave the same result. 

 

Thanks, Marco

Regular Visitor

Hi, thanks for this guide, it's very helpful and simple and has streamlined my work routine wonderfully. 

I managed to launch my IDE (WebStorm) installed on WSL via the first method using vcxsrv and everything is working smoothly, but when I turn my VPN on Windows on, the IDE becomes laggy and the experience deteriorates sharply. Has anyone else encountered this problem?

 

Is there a fix to make the remote connection steady via VPN as well? my VPN client is Pulse Secure, and my WSL distro is Ubuntu 20.04.

Graphics-wise, I only have the IDE installed, not a full remote desktop experience, if that makes a difference.

Frequent Visitor

I thought I'd add my thoughts to this since I regularly use WSL2 to access, manage and configure my Linux servers usually via a terminal session but sometimes using a GUI however I don't generally wish to launch a complete X desktop -

WRT exporting DISPLAY and the issue of picking up the loopback address and not the WSL2 bridge IP, a better way to set this is to use SSH port forwarding - 

Assuming you have a display running on your windows machine like VcXsrv or similar, add -X to your session launch from within a WSL shell

some-desktop:~$ ssh -X <targethost>

...then you will find that $DISPLAY is correctly set and GUI apps will launch and display correctly on your Windows machine - xterm, chromium etc.

To simplify and secure your sessions use SSH keys to access your remote hosts-

From a WSL shell execute ssh-keygen and accept defaults for all the answers, the public + private keys automatically are saved to your .ssh directory.

Copy  the public key to the target host - 

some-desktop:~$ ssh-copy-id <targethost>

default answer (yes) to confirm adding the hosts fingerprint to your .ssh/known-hosts and enter your targethost password at the login prompt

now you can automatically login to that host without username or password prompts.

If like me you use terminal sessions to launch and monitor processes or to edit files then you may notice that the default typeface/size used by terminal or xterm are sometimes difficult to read because they are rendered using X11 default settings - to prettify them -

Within WSL

install  x11-xserver-utils and fontconfig

then e.g. list the fonts currently installed -

fc-list

and choose one you like - to try you can launch xterm -fs "font family name"

then edit/create a file .Xresources and e.g. put

xterm*faceName: Terminus
xterm*faceSize: 10:antialias=true
XTerm.vt100.reverseVideo: true

 then merge these changes into the currently running DISPLAY -

xrdb -merge .Xresources

Next create a symlink named Xdefaults pointing to .Xresources - because historically some X-apps use Xdefaults whereas the later standard is to use Xresources -

some-desktop:~$ ln -s .Xresources .Xdefaults

Now whenever you launch xterm or as I frequently do - xterm& it will read the appropriate config file and render according to your chosen style - in my case mimicking the default shell style you see if you install one of the Ubuntu variants as your default shell.

 

Every X-app usually has it's own set of configurable options and to see what they are and how to configure check out their man pages.

A useful resource for those who want to customise these settings can be found here

Senior Member

Hello @imri29, I tried vcxsrv but the graphics was bad, so I choose XRDP. Regarding the VPN, I don't kwow what your problem could be, but I tried once to use the Norton Security VPN on my PC and it slowed down la connession speed dramatically, latency of about 5 seconds, and speed reduced at one third. Check the difference between VPN on and VPN off with some Network Speed app (I use the one offered by Windows 10). If the problem is the VPN, maybe is better to leave the VPN off.

 

Thanks, Marco

Occasional Visitor

Hi!

 

Thank you for this article.

I setup WSL2 and Kali distro. I followed your commands and set up the GUI. But when I launch with kex wstart the viewer is launched, but I get a black screen. And I can only access the Context menu using F8. 

Any solution for this?

 

 

Senior Member

Hello @AdityaNarendra, I never used Kali, but since the Kali default user interface is Xfce, I suggest that you use it.

 

The easy way is to use the default startwm.sh file, and add the .xsession file in your home:

echo xfce4-session > ~/.xsession

 

I hope this will help.

Thanks, Marco

 

Occasional Visitor

Hi,

Thank you for this tutorial.

I have strange issue - I do not get any error, but nothing shows. It runs in theory, but no window is visible. Cannot find any clue about something like this...

Visitor

Hi @marekurbanowicz - I had a similar issue I assume xsrv is running in your tray? If you mouse over it you should see a tooltip it should be your PC name or IP followed by :0:0 - If it's anything other than :0:0 you'll have to update your config to match it

Occasional Visitor

@luisdem how could you get multiple ubuntu programs running through VcXsrv using the same ubuntu terminal without stuck itself? 

I could get one ubuntu program running through VcXsrv but the terminal just hangs until you close that GUI program!

What's the magic here?

Frequent Visitor

Put an ampersand at the end of whatever cmdline string you wish to launch and it will launch it and immediately put it into a background process e.g.

$ chromium &    

... then in the terminal window hit return and you'll be at your previous cmd prompt -

$ _

You can carry on launching as many windows/processes you like until either your host or client runs out of resources!

Occasional Visitor

@Pollywockerdum Thanks a lot for the prompt reply, mate! It worked!

 

Senior Member

One can do as above for launching multiple programs from the command line.  Or, one can make permanent shortcuts for Linux programs like I do.  Then I can run as many as I want without using a terminal window.  Here is an example (one can use bash.exe or wsl.exe to launch Linux programs in Windows, but the syntax will differ slightly):

 

 

C:\Windows\System32\bash.exe -c 'NO_AT_BRIDGE=1 DISPLAY={Your IP address}:0.0 PULSE_SERVER=tcp:{your IP address} dbus-launch --exit-with-session nautilus'

Just substitute your IP address for "{Your IP address}" in your shortcuts.  If, however, your IP address always changes on your host system, you should use the following example instead (using wsl.exe instead of bash.exe):

 

 

 

C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe IP=$(host `hostname` | grep -oP '(\s)\d+(\.\d+){3}' | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r') NO_AT_BRIDGE=1 DISPLAY=$IP:0.0 PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$IP dbus-launch --exit-with-session nautilus

This example will grab your Host's IP address and insert it into the proper locations.  For some programs, you will have to experiment a bit to get them to work properly.

 

Senior Member

Forgot to post a screenshot.  Here is a screenshot of me running several Linux programs at once, using shortcuts.

dcharlespyle_0-1614532668812.png

Everything but the Microsoft Edge window on the center screen is a running Linux program.

Regular Visitor

Your METHOD  for getting the  Host X-Serv   IP  is excellent most   tutorials and web sites get it wrong

 

bovy@:~$ host `hostname` | grep -oP '(\s)\d+(\.\d+){3}'

 

172.18.64.1

172.22.224.1

172.26.112.1

172.30.0.1

192.168.50.219

 

192.168.50.219

bovy@:~$ host `hostname` | grep -oP '(\s)\d+(\.\d+){3}' | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r'

 

192.168.50.219

 

BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH DBUS

 

DBUS WAS DESINGED TO WORK WITH ONE ROOT INIT PROCESS

 

DBUS   was not designed  to  invoke  single applications   AND  when you combine that

With  no single  ROOT   INIT  WSL  PROCESS  DBUS BECOMES REDICULOUSLY UN-MANAGEBLE

 

Your current methods  will  create multiple  dbus instances.    No single shared dbus

Instance is possible with your methods.  

 

If you are a stickler for performance then the following could be one way to solve the

Dbus-problem

 

if [ -z \""$(pidof dbus-daemon)\"" ]; then dbus-launch --sh-syntax > /tmp/save-dbus

; fi; . /tmp/save-dbus;

 

 

Senior Member

I found that some apps crashed and generated DBus errors before crashing.  But the system DBus is launched by a separate script on my rig.  The reason is that I run keep the Linux instance running and run GUI apps using Windows shortcuts rather than from the command line.  This is what I have in a Windows script for DBus:

 

 

:TRY

REM - Start WSL System-wide DBus service.
C:\Windows\System32\wsl.exe -e sudo /etc/init.d/dbus start

REM - Allow Sys-wide DBus Service time to start.
timeout /t 10 /nobreak >NUL

REM - Check and show result.
wsl pgrep -a 'dbus-daemon'
IF %ERRORLEVEL% NEQ 0 (GOTO TRY)

I also do the same for the CUPS service, too, which I keep running so that I also can print from Linux apps.  I have the following at the ends of the target lines in the shortcuts that generated the errors (without the ellipses, or course):

 

... dbus-launch --exit-with-session nautilus'

I have zero errors or excess DBus instances once the apps are closed.  Here is the process with nautilus running:

 

dcharlespyle_0-1615419881549.png

And here is seconds after closing Files/nautilus app:

 

dcharlespyle_1-1615419979529.png

 

But if what you suggest will add increase performance, I'm willing to try that.  I may just do it anyway, if the performance difference is noticeable.

 

 

Occasional Visitor

Thank you @luisdem for this tutorial, it was really helpful. I had a problem running xeyes, but I found that right after modifying /etc/bash.bashrc the value of $DISPLAY was different, so I ran

 

source /etc/bash.bashrc

and that solved my problem.

Microsoft

Hi @SaulLeal, thank you for your great feedback and I am really happy that it worked! 

Occasional Visitor

Error

kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ Echo $DISPLAY

Command 'Echo' not found, did you mean:

command 'echo' from deb coreutils (8.30-3ubuntu2)

Try: sudo apt install <deb name>

Occasional Visitor

kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ gedit
Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused

(gedit:1475): Gtk-WARNING **: 13:17:44.145: cannot open display:
kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ gedit
Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused

(gedit:1477): Gtk-WARNING **: 13:18:21.151: cannot open display:
kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ echo $DISPLAY

kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ echo xfce4-session > ~/.xsession
kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ gedit
Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused

(gedit:1479): Gtk-WARNING **: 13:19:27.182: cannot open display:
kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$ echo $DISPLAY

kng@WINDOWS-NK3LQGJ:/mnt/c/Users/User$

Senior Member

"The Echo not found" error is fixed by:

 

sudo apt install coreutils

Or,

 

sudo apt-get install coreutils

Senior Member

"Unable to init server" looks like the bug I got hit with. See my method above to get around that.  Put the following at the end in your ~/.bashrc file:

 

# Get the IP Address of the Windows 10 Host and use it in the Environment.
HOST_IP=$(host `hostname` | grep -oP '(\s)\d+(\.\d+){3}' | tail -1 | awk '{ print $NF }' | tr -d '\r')
export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1
export DISPLAY=$HOST_IP:0.0
export NO_AT_BRIDGE=1
export PULSE_SERVER=tcp:$HOST_IP
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Last update:
‎Jan 15 2021 03:49 PM
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