Once you have Ubuntu and X410 installed from Microsoft Store, you’re ready to run Linux GUI apps.

X410 supports two display modes: Desktop and Windowed Apps. In this example, we’ll be using the Desktop mode as it gives more immersive and genuine Linux GUI experience.

STEP 1 Install Xfce desktop environment

There are numerous desktop environments for Linux. However, it seems Xfce provides the most hassle free experience for WSL. To install Xfce, execute the following command lines:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade
sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-terminal

STEP 2 Create a batch file for launching X410 and Xfce

@echo off
start /B x410.exe /desktop
ubuntu1804.exe run "if [ -z $(pidof xfce4-session) ]; then export DISPLAY=127.0.0.1:0.0; xfce4-session; pkill '(gpg|ssh)-agent'; fi;"

For more information about creating a batch file, please visit:
Creating a shortcut for directly opening WSL GUI desktop (Kali Linux)

Unlike the Xfce package in Kali Linux, the xfce4-session in Ubuntu seems to automatically launch xfwm4 (Window Manager); hence we don’t need the "xfwm4&" command for Ubuntu.

STEP 3 Double-click the batch file and start Ubuntu


Customizing Xfce Desktop

In case you’re curious about the theme and icons used for transforming the default Xfce to something like the above screenshot, here are the ingredients:

1. Adapta Theme

If you’re using Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic), you can install the theme from its official PPA repository:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:tista/adapta
sudo apt update
sudo apt install adapta-gtk-theme

For Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial), you need to download and install a *.deb package file. The last known working version can be installed with the following command lines:

wget https://launchpad.net/~tista/+archive/ubuntu/adapta/+files/adapta-gtk-theme_3.93.0.11-0ubuntu1~xenial1_all.deb
sudo apt install ./adapta-gtk-theme_3.93.0.11-0ubuntu1~xenial1_all.deb

You can share Windows fonts with Ubuntu. But if you want to install the Roboto and Noto fonts mentioned in Adapta theme, you can install them via Ubuntu packages:

sudo apt install fonts-roboto
sudo apt install fonts-noto

After installing the theme, you need to change the following options:

  • [ Applications ] » [ Settings ] » [ Appearance ] » [ Style ] » Adapta-Noto
  • [ Applications ] » [ Settings ] » [ Window Manager ] » [ Style ] » Adapta-Noto

2. Papirus Icons

Papirus team has their official Launchpad repository and their icons can be installed from that PPA. However, installing Papirus icons takes unexpectedly too long (20+ minutes) in WSL. Hence we recommend directly downloading and installing the icons from a *.deb package. It still takes long time to install but Ubuntu won’t try to upgrade the icons every time Papirus team publishes a new package (which happens quite often).

For example, after locating a package from the Launchpad page:

wget https://launchpad.net/~papirus/+archive/ubuntu/papirus/+files/papirus-icon-theme_20180512-2389+pkg18~ubuntu14.04.1_all.deb
sudo apt install ./papirus-icon-theme_20180512-2389+pkg18~ubuntu14.04.1_all.deb

If you really want to use the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:papirus/papirus
sudo apt update
sudo apt install papirus-icon-theme

To remove the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:papirus/papirus

3. Tilix Terminal Emulator

There are an endless number of terminal emulators for Linux. Tilix is used for this example as we wanted to try something new. If you’re using Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic), an official Tilix package is already available:

sudo apt install tilix

To Install it on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial), you need to use a PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/terminix
sudo apt update
sudo apt install tilix

4. Background image

Tips and Tricks

• Remove / Disable Screensaver

Xfce assumes it’s running on a real machine hence it tries to enable power saving features such as screensaver. But in fact those features interfere with the actual power saving functions of Windows. You can completely remove the screensaver by executing the following command:

sudo apt purge xscreensaver

• Adding a startup terminal

If you want to open a terminal when Xfce desktop loads up, you can add an item for launching a terminal in [ Applications ] » [ Settings ] » [ Session and Startup ].