Initial preview of GUI app support for the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Craig Loewen


A yr ago at BUILD 2020 we launched our arrangement to mumble Linux GUI features to the House windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to race Linux GUI features. We’re proud to allege the first preview of this extremely anticipated and beginning source feature! We’ve given this option the nickname: “WSLg”. Please investigate cross-check the video below or assist reading to search what that it’s essential to perhaps use this option for, the scheme in which it works, and the scheme in which to put in it.

What can I use GUI utility make stronger for?

WSL lets you race a Linux atmosphere, and up till this point has mad by enabling mumble line instruments utilities and features. GUI app make stronger now lets you use your favourite Linux GUI features as correctly. WSL is broken-down in a wide diversity of features, workloads, and use cases, so in a roundabout scheme, it’s as much as you on what you’d take to use GUI app make stronger for. Below, we’ve highlighted some key scenarios to assist you fall in like with running features in a Linux atmosphere.

Use your IDE of possibility to manufacture Linux tasks

Visual Studio Code has an astounding expertise the utilization of VS Code Remote to manufacture a methodology for you to have a tubby-fledged Linux IDE straight for your House windows machine, assist extensions and settings all the scheme in which thru both House windows and varied WSL distros (that it’s essential to perhaps be aware our getting started with VS Code tutorial right here. WSLg will mean that it’s essential to perhaps race varied IDEs akin to gedit, JetBrains primarily primarily based editors, gvim, and so forth., to take a look at, get, and debug your Linux features in a performant formulation.

Right here’s an example of running gedit and gvim to edit Linux recordsdata straight in WSL.

GUI Apps Editor GIf

Urge Linux handiest features, or Linux particular use cases like testing

That that it’s essential to perhaps perhaps also use this choice to race any GUI utility that could perchance also handiest exist in Linux, or to race your have features or testing in a Linux atmosphere. This is able to perhaps well also be extremely precious for developers who wish to take a look at their substandard-platform app, as they’ll now race it straight on House windows 10, and then without problems interior of Linux without ever needing to trade machines or deal with a virtual machine.

Let’s peep at an example of running TestCafe Studio in WSL to whole some net testing from a Microsoft Edge browser running in Linux.

Linux GUI apps testing

Invent, take a look at and use Linux features that use audio or the microphone with built in audio make stronger

Linux GUI features on WSL will also consist of out of the field audio and microphone make stronger. This thrilling element will let your apps play audio cues and use the microphone, top for constructing, testing, or the utilization of movie avid gamers, telecommunication apps, and more.

Right here’s an example of the utilization of Audacity running on Linux to file some audio and play it relieve.

Audio Linux GUI apps

Bonus: Leverage WSL’s GPU entry to race Linux features with 3D acceleration

As allotment of this option, now we have also enabled make stronger for GPU accelerated 3D graphics! Due to work that was finished in Mesa 21.0, any features which could very correctly be doing advanced 3D rendering can leverage OpenGL to race up these the utilization of the GPU for your House windows 10 machine. This is able to perhaps well also construct about a of your more advanced features race smoothly, akin to running Gazebo, a robotics simulation machine. This expertise will rapidly be integrated by default with varied WSL distributions, however that it’s essential to perhaps abolish entry to it lawful away by following the instructions in this blog post to get the lawful graphics driver and to make sure your distro has a correctly matched Mesa model..

Below that it’s essential to perhaps interrogate the Gazebo utility simulating a robot exploring a virtual cave, as correctly because the Rviz utility visualizing the camera feed of the robot and its laser self-discipline sensor’s output. Due to GPU accelerated 3D graphics we are able to race this demo at 60 FPS!

Image GUIAppsBlogPostDemo GIF4 ROS

How does this option work?

From the demos above, you have seen we didn’t must launch an X server manually. That’s due to with this option we’re robotically starting a partner machine distro, containing a Wayland, X server, pulse audio server, and every little thing else wished to construct Linux GUI apps communicate with House windows. After you’re performed the utilization of GUI features and discontinuance your WSL distribution the machine distro will robotically raze its session as correctly.

Like with the remaining of WSL plumbing, our arrangement is for this ingredient to be entirely managed and seamless for customers. Our intentions are for this methodology distro to be as invisible to the actual person as likely, and right here’s why you received’t interrogate this methodology distro whilst you race wsl -l -v. Lastly, we’re mad to illustrate that we’re the utilization of Microsoft’s CBL-Mariner distribution for this methodology distro! CBL-Mariner is an interior Linux distribution broken-down historically for Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and edge companies and products, and we at the 2nd are extending its use to make stronger GUI apps interior of WSL. That that it’s essential to perhaps perhaps also be aware the map below to search an overall summary of the structure of this option.

Image WSLg ArchitectureOverview

For a tubby broad be aware of what we did to construct this option likely and the deep technical crucial aspects, please be aware this blog post written by the developers who made this option likely.

Getting started with this option

We’re starting the rollout of this option as an initial preview old to we entirely roll it into the WSL expertise. To get started the utilization of Linux GUI app make stronger, you’ll must calm be sure you’re on House windows 10 Insiders preview get 21364 or larger. If you happen to already have WSL installed, all it is a ways a must-wish to whole is race wsl --update and also you’ll be web protest online to use GUI apps. If you happen to don’t have WSL enabled, running wsl --install will install WSLg robotically as allotment of the initial WSL setup.

That that it’s essential to perhaps perhaps also bag the tubby install instructions at the GitHub repositories’ README: . We also extremely suggest that you just will want GPU compute make stronger enabled in WSL for one of the top performance, please interrogate this allotment of the install instructions to search the methodology that it’s essential to perhaps also be sure that feature is enabled.


Please file any technical disorders, or feature requests for GUI utility make stronger on the WSLg Github repository. For customary WSL disorders, please file them at the WSL repository. That that it’s essential to perhaps perhaps also furthermore be aware up with me on Twitter @craigaloewen and all WSL personnel individuals which could very correctly be on Twitter the utilization of this checklist. Please dangle tuned to this blog for more thrilling WSL bulletins, and we are able to’t wait to hear what you assemble about this new feature.

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