By now those who care know that Windows 10 includes the ability to run a Linux subsystem. With the latest updates to the OS, you can now download a few Linux distributions right through the Microsoft Store

 
 

 
 

I’ve been playing with this on and off for various things, shuffling certificates around using OpenSSL, testing things for work, etc. I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to launch a graphical application and was not terribly surprised when I was greeted with an error.

 
 

There is no graphical system available from the Linux subsystem in Windows but there is a workaround if you want to do this. At a high level you need to redirect the graphical calls to a X system that runs in Windows. One such tool to do this is called Xming – https://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/.

 
 

After installing Xming you can head back to the Linux console and launch graphical applications by prefacing them with:

 
 

DISPLAY=:0

 
 

…as shown below.

 

Voila! Your application launches right in Windows.

 
 

Unfortunately, because the display calls are being redirected through what is considered a “remote” X server, performance is OK but not adequate for things like video or photo editing. Still, it’s a neat trick for people that have this kind of niche requirement for work or pleasure.