How to Run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

Officially there is no way to run Linux apps in Windows 10, as Microsoft wouldn’t add support for graphical application in bash on Windows, but still it’s possible and in this article I will show you how to bypass this limitation of Bash.

Few days ago, Microsoft surprised lots of users when they announced that they are adding Bash support on Windows 10. It’s a command line program for a Linux-based operating system. After installing and running Bash on Windows 10, one can run their favorite Linux apps in Windows 10 in command line mode. In case, you also want to run your favorite GUI or Modern apps for Linux on Windows 10, officially it’s not possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Credit goes to Reddit user w2qw (developer) who originally shared this trick on the website. To run modern Linux apps on Windows 10 you need to download and install an application called Xming X Server on your Windows 10.

Note: You must be running Windows 10 14316 or above to take advantage of this trick.

After installation of Xming X Server,  create an X server session in the Windows 10 operating system, you can tell Ubuntu Bash to utilize it as the main X display. Check it out, how:

How to Run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

1. Download the latest version of Xming X server using this link, and install it on your computer.

How to Run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

2. Launch the Xming X server. Once its started, it will be visible in Notification area or system tray.

How to Run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

3. Run Ubuntu bash on Windows 10. You can search for the app Bash on Ubuntu on Window” using taskbar search or under All Apps. If you have not enabled it yet. Follow this steps in this article on how to enable and run bash on Windows 10.

How to Run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

4. Now install some GUI or modern apps in Windows 10 using bash. For example, let’s install light weight Liferea, which is a free RSS feed aggregator and reader.

How to run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

To run it, you need to execute the following command:

apt-get install liferea

5. After executing the command, you will be asked to get some additional package. Type Y to confirm the action and wait till the package is downloaded and installed.

6. Once done, launch the Liferea by executing the following command:

DISPLAY=:0 liferea

How to run Linux Apps in Windows 10 from Bash

7. In no second, a small calculator window will come up.

That’s it! You’ve successfully installed your first Linux app in Windows 10 using Bash

While installing Linux apps on my Windows 10 laptop I noticed that apps wouldn’t run smoothly as expected. No doubt it’s slower than native apps Linux/Windows application, but still better in comparison of VNC/X11 forwarding.

So this is how you can install and run Linux apps in Windows 10 using bash. Why don’t you play a little and let me know how it works for you.

3 Comments

  1. Victor Escobar

    Thank you for this tutorial. This method provides an interesting alternative to running apps using Bitnami or some of the other container technologies. Maybe you could write an article highlighting the pros and cons of running apps as outlined above versus installing a Bitnami container.

  2. Jas

    Hi I don,t know if you can help me, but when I run liferea with the above instructions I get this error:-

    (liferea:454): libnotify-WARNING **: Failed to connect to proxy
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/liferea/plugins/gnome-keyring.py:6: PyGIWarning: GnomeKeyring was imported without specifying a version first. Use gi.require_version(‘GnomeKeyring’, ‘1.0’) before import to ensure that the right version gets loaded.
    from gi.repository import GnomeKeyring

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