Windows Subsystem for Linux Revisited

2018-08-20 / All Blog posts

I've been using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) headless since it was first released with Windows 10 version 1607 in August 2016. The April 2018 release significantly improved WSL.

It is possible to work with Ubuntu graphically on a vanilla Windows machine. No special drivers are required. No special Linux or Ubuntu support is required from the computer vendor.

This is my setup for running an X client from WSL, accessed via an X server like XMing from Windows. These scripts assume Ubuntu 18.04 was installed under WSL.

Essential Scripts

Here are bash scripts to install everything:

Optional Scripts

The remaining scripts are all optional.


These bash scripts allow VNC to connect to a remote machine or to WSL on the local machine.

Packages and Programming Environments

Installation of various packages and programming environments follow.




Java Virtual Machine


Atom Editor


I would like to install wine to run a nice editor like Notepad++ and give it access to otherwise inaccessible paths, such as /usr/local/bin. Unfortunately, WSL only supports 64-bit programs, and 64-bit Wine has serious issues, and 64-bit Wine relies on some 32-bit libraries. So far I have been unable to make Wine work under WSL.

This overview provides a getting started experience once Wine is set up.

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