One of the most surprising new features coming to Windows 10 this summer is “Ubuntu on Windows,” which basically brings a complete Ubuntu Linux file system to Microsoft’s operating system and allows developers to run Bash and command-line apps. But what about desktop apps with a graphical user interface?

Officially Windows 10 doesn’t support those. Unofficially, it looks like it works.

ubuntu on windows

Redditor w2qw found a way to run an X server outside of Bash, which allows you to install and run desktop apps like Firefox and VIM. Of course, you could also just run a Windows text editor or Windows version of Firefox, and you’d probably have better performance. But for some apps that may only be available for Linux, this could provide a way to run them on a Windows PC.

It also opens the door to running alternate desktop environments if you’re not a fan of the Windows user interface (although the method described in that link uses Cygwin  rather than Ubuntu on Windows.

Note that all of this currently requires the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316 or later running in Developer Mode with Bash downloaded and installed.

via NeoWin

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17 replies on “Yes, you can run desktop Linux apps in Windows 10 thanks to Ubuntu on Windows”

  1. I think getting the SteamOS working in windows could be fun or android maybe.

  2. So now we have LINE (LINE IS Not an Emulator) running Linux apps on Windows.

  3. I don’t see the advantage of this to running linux in a virtual machine.

    1. No emulation overhead. If shared memory can be worked out it should be possible to run X applications at very respectable speed.

      And no emulation overhead as in having to install a full machine, boot it up when needed and such. You simply launch applications.

      That said, there is still work to be done. Recent benchmarks show I/O performance is terrible vs traditional Linux hosted Ubuntu. Unknown how much of that is unfixable performance gaps between the underlying NT tech and Linux and how much is problems in the translation layer added in this product.

    2. With Windows as the based operating system Linux will finally be in the same league with regards to exploitability.

      1. Windows in a virtual machine on Linux would be better but more complicated…

  4. Windows would be better if I could run Xfce instead of the Win GUI.

  5. Great. but I prefer running Windows app on my Linux machine, using Wine.

    1. i think its more to stop developers from leaving the windows platform. It is clever and I think is geared towards keeping businesses tied to MS. Only MS can properly deliver a windows experience. I would still get pissed if a company told me I had to run windows on my dev box though.

    2. I guess you believe whatever people tell you. The “privacy issues” are a joke.

      1. “joke” mocked the clown, until some people in black suits ordered him to turn his red nose black too else he will be put / locked down.

      2. I reckon it’s more likely that YOU believe whatever people tell YOU.

    3. My reason is that only maybe 10-20% of my games work in Linux, so I spend most of my time in Windows. If I can spend more time in Windows using Ubuntu, then it’s less painful. Plus, there’s Spybot Anti-Beacon for Windows 10, so I feel a little better about privacy.

  6. Apparently it works pretty well. Especially considering it is still Beta.

Comments are closed.