Graphical Linux apps are coming to Windows Subsystem for Linux | GeekComparison

This week, Microsoft rolled out support for graphics and audio Linux apps under the Windows subsystem for Linux, though the new feature is only available in the Dev channel of Insider builds for now. The new feature is nicknamed WSLg and includes both X and PulseAudio servers. We did some limited testing of WSLg today and it performed quite well.

After running apt install firefox in the WSL2/Ubuntu terminal, we ran an Ubuntu-flavored web browser and played several videos on YouTube. We don’t necessarily recommend basing your next HTPC on WSLg, but the videos were watchable, with a decent frame rate and non-skipping audio. (We tested WSLg with a Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U-powered Minisforum UM250 Mini-PC.)

More important, virt-manager worked very well on the small Minisforum – in a very short time we set up a “virt-ception” using virt-manager under WSL2/Ubuntu on Windows 10 to access a Windows VM running under ubuntu on a machine throughout the office. (You can also see a Hackintosh VM in the background.)

Microsoft’s Craig Loewen demonstrates GUI apps running on WSLg.

We are very much looking forward to WSLg going into production; run virt-manager running locally under WSLg is already a huge improvement over installing a remote X server for Windows – usually of questionable quality and support status – and running X11 forwarding over SSH to achieve much the same thing.

Download Windows 10 Insider Build 21364

If you’re not already a Windows Insider, you’ll need to become one to preview WSLg. The first step is to register (free) with

Once you become a Windows Insider, you can turn any existing Windows 10 installation into an Insider test flight. First, you need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and click Get Started. From there you need to select the Dev channel, after which you will be prompted to reboot. After rebooting, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and Check for updates.

From here your system will automatically download and update to the latest Windows 10 Insider build in the Dev channel, after which you will need to reboot. After That reboots, an Ubuntu console window opens and prompts you to enter a Linux username and password, and you’re good to go. No further steps are needed for WSLg support – everything “just works” from here.

Frame image by Jim Salter

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