Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

Enabled Windows Subsystem for Linux

First step is to make sure you have Windows 10 Fall Creators Update installed. This can be found here. Complete this update then search for Ubuntu in the Microsoft Store. I recommend Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, as this will be supported for a number of years forward.

Once it’s installed launch Ubuntu, follow the on screen steps to complete setup.

Setup X-Server

You will need an X-Server to run the graphical environment from your WSL. For this article I choose VcXsrv. Any X-Server for Windows should work. Download and run the executable.

Startup screen for installing XcXsrv

For this example, I have chosen to use “One large window” your preferences may vary. Click Next.

Choose to “Start no client”

Select “Start no client” and click Next. We currently do not want to start any client.

Choose to “Disable access control”

Choose “Disable access control” for now to allow your connections.

Click Finish

Click Finish and you should now see a new window appear on your desktop.

XcXsrv Window

To have VcXsrv start automatically when you start your computer. Copy a shortcut to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp directory.

Next, we need to configure your .bashrc to use your Xserver display. Next we

echo "export DISPLAY=:0.0" >> ~/.bashrc

Enable D-Bus

Reddit user name ShaRose found how to enable D-Bus to use tcp instead of sockets. This provides a critical missing piece with having a Linux GUI on Windows 10. To do this run the following command:

sudo systemctl enable dbus

Installing Ubuntu’s Graphical system

The first step is to make sure your Ubuntu environment is fully updated. So run the following commands.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Installing Xfce4 as your Desktop

Now that your environment is all updated, we need to install xfce4 the Ubuntu Graphical Desktop. There are other desktop systems, try these at your own risk.

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Run the following command to start Xfce4.

startxfce4

Now look at your VcXsrv Window

Xfce4 on Windows 10

Congratulations you now have Linux Desktop on Windows 10.

By Jeffery Miller

I am known for being able to quickly decipher difficult problems to assist development teams in producing a solution. I have been called upon to be the Team Lead for multiple large-scale projects. I have a keen interest in learning new technologies, always ready for a new challenge.

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