Microsoft has announced it is supporting Linux GUI apps in its upcoming WSL 2.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) “is an environment in which users can run their Linux applications from the comfort of their Windows PC.” WSL supports running Linux apps via the console, but WSL 2 will support full GUI apps without requiring a third-party X server.
“At //build we announced that support for Linux GUI applications is coming to WSL,” writes Microsoft’s Steve Pronovost, Partner Development Lead. “While today WSL is a console only experience, soon you’ll be able to use your favorite Linux IDE or other GUI application alongside your other Windows applications on your Windows desktop.
“How are the pixels going to flow between Linux applications and the Windows desktop hosting them and how are the various window going to be integrated into unified and seamless experience? That’s going to be a story for another time 😊.”
As an added bonus, Linux applications will benefit from GPU acceleration. This is good news for Windows and Linux users alike and represents a monumental shift from Redmond in their attitude toward what was once considered a rival operating system.