What you need to know
- Linux GUI app support is now shipping.
- It's available as part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.
- Enables the ability to run graphical Linux apps on Windows.
Update: Microsoft has since clarified that Linux GUI support for WSL2 is still in preview and not yet generally available.
At Build 2021, Microsoft has today announced the general availability of Linux GUI application support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. The feature was announced and shipped in preview in the last handful of months, but the today it's now generally available for all Windows Developers to download, install, and utilize.
Linux GUI app support allows developers to run graphical applications built for Linux using the Windows Subsystem for Linux container technology. Linux apps will install to the Windows Start Menu and can be launched with the click of a button. It's a feature built specifically for developers who may be building cross-platform apps or IT pros managing content on Linux-based platforms.
A Microsoft blog post detailed the following:
To support our developers who build on Windows, we are excited to announce new features in our developer tool offerings that provide increased satisfaction and productivity. You can now use GUI app support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) so that all the tools and workflows of Linux run on your developer machine. Windows allows you to work with seamless integrations with any workflow with GUI apps, Linux and GPU-accelerated ML training.
With the Windows Subsystem for Linux, developers no longer need to dual-boot a Windows and Linux system, as you can now install all the Linux stuff a developer would need right on top of Windows instead.