Windows 10 Is Getting Graphical Linux Apps With GPU Support

Mascot Tux of Linux on Windows 10Larry Ewing

Windows 10 Windows Subsystem for Linux is already extremely powerful, including even an integrated Linux kernel with WSL 2.0. Microsoft is now making it even more powerful, enabling Linux desktop graphics applications and support for GPU hardware acceleration.

It all depends on the developers: support for Linux desktop graphics applications will allow developers to run their preferred integrated development environments for Linux on Windows. Support for the graphics processing unit (GPU) will allow hardware acceleration for GPU computing tasks such as parallel computing and machine learning workflows.

Technically, it was already possible to run Linux graphical desktop applications on Windows 10 by installation of a third-party X server. This will no longer be necessary, it will work on its own and Microsoft is trying to make the graphics applications work. GPU support is new and was not possible for Linux applications on Windows 10 until this last update.

There is also another new feature. Microsoft promises that it will be easier to install the Windows subsystem for Linux in a faster and more streamlined manner. You will only have to execute the wsl.exe -install command.

Microsoft announced these features at Build 2020. All of these new features will not be available immediately. We expect to see them added to Windows 10 insider versions soon, and they will come to stable versions of Windows 10 in the future after that.

For example, Microsoft has announced WSL 2.0 which will run a real Linux kernel on Windows 10 during build 2019 in May 2019. This feature is not yet available to everyone in a stable form and will only debut with the launch of Windows 10 May 10 Update later this month.

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