WSL :: How Windows is saving Linux

Linux GUI experience
Linux GUI experience

You might have installed WSL to check it out. You have ended up using it basically for everything that doesn’t work straight forward with CMD/PowerShell.

You have discovered at your own expenses that the File System is poorly managed. Sometimes you create files in WSL  that cannot be deleted from a Windows command prompt. WSL is completely stripped out of half of the command related to networking and nearly completely of all network interface configuration.

Every few years you install some basic distro like Debian, Ubuntu or Kali in order to see if something has changed. You install GIMP… and then you throw away everything.

So you basically end up using WSL for running a few good Linux commands and for all those Python libraries that are more compatibles with a Linux environment.

The mortifying GUI experience

You saw Linus Torvalds pontificate about how Linux is now running on 70% of the machines all over the World. Richard Stallman, dressed in a pyjama, talking about how glorious Unix systems are…

It doesn’t matter, you still cannot connect your Bluetooth mouse to most of the distros and you stopped trying connect your webcam in early years of 2000.

So no, you are not missing the GUI experience…

But still, in some particular cases you might need it. Let’s dive into that: two methods that will allow you to enable WSL GUI on Windows10. Bring on the pain…

First method: GUI on the fly

Execute these commands without asking why…

  1. First of all you need to install VcXsrv Windows X Server and during the installation you have to setup “Disable access control”

VcXsrv disable access control

2. When prompted don’t forget to tick both private networks and public networks

VcXsrv Windows X Server firewall

3. Now open bash and execute these 3 commands:

export DISPLAY="`grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | sed 's/nameserver //'`:0" 
export DISPLAY="`sed -n 's/nameserver //p' /etc/resolv.conf`:0" 
export DISPLAY=$(ip route|awk '/^default/{print $3}'):0.0

4. Go to /etc/bash.bashrc and append in the last line the command:

export DISPLAY="`grep nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | sed 's/nameserver //'`:0"

5. Then do:

echo xfce4-session > ~/.xsession

6. Now run xeyes:

xeyes, as well as thousands of other Linux commands has no meaning to exist.

You don’t pay a Windows license because it has more features, you pay a Windows license to cut the bullshit.

Second method: RDC to WSL

Execute these commands:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

Install XFCE:

sudo apt-get install xfce4 -y

Install and configure XDRP, and change the RDP port to 3390:

sudo apt-get install xrdp 
sudo cp /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini.bak 
sudo sed -i 's/3389/3390/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini 
sudo sed -i 's/max_bpp=32/#max_bpp=32\nmax_bpp=128/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini 
sudo sed -i 's/xserverbpp=24/#xserverbpp=24\nxserverbpp=128/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini

Enable Dbus:

sudo systemctl enable dbus 
sudo /etc/init.d/dbus start 
sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp start 
# check xrdp status 
sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp status

This should be the outcome:

How to RDC to WSL2 :: dbus

Now launch your Windows Remote Desktop Connection and connect to localhost:3390

How to RDC to WSL2

And now connect to it using your WSL user:

How to RDC to WSL2 :: xrdp

For once Linux works, I’m scared.

Conclusions

Windows saving Linux
Windows saving Linux

I’ve presented you these two horror scenarios because we will need WSL GUI for a post I’m going to write later on.

For now what we have discovered is that pretty much nothing has changed and Linux is still free if your time has no value. Some might say that “Every Operative System attempts to evolve until it become Unix”. We might definitely say that yes, Microsoft has embraced Linux. But Microsoft likes Linux like a snake likes eggs.

Canonical is today mainly supported by his first investor, Microsoft, and the reality is that this is a good news. In the near future we are going to like elites because at least they represent a security. When you download an .exe file from microsoft.com you feel safe. How do you feel installing an .exe file that comes from nowhere and ask Administrator privileges?

Students today don’t want to learn Assembley or C, they want to learn JavaScript and became the next Mark Zuckerberg before they are 25. Today Assembly and C are only teach widely in Chinese universities. I won’t be surprised to see Open Source software mainly maintained by dictatorship in the next 10-20 years.

Yeah, it looks like a Richard Stallman’s nightmare and makes the last SolarWinds’ hack look like a tiny problem.

So let’s cheer on Microsoft swallowing Linux, it looks like the last Linux I will use.

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