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I installed Ubuntu 20.04 (server/terminal) from the Windows 10 app store, and then after launching the Ubuntu Terminal via WSL2 (Windows Subsystems for Linux) , I installed Ubuntu Desktop and did several steps to try and get a desktop instance of Ubuntu 20.04 launched. In short, the steps involved editing the .bashrc file, installing Xming, and then attempting to open the Ubuntu desktop in Xming with the "startxfce4" command. However, "startxfce4" just doesn't open the desktop for me. I can get programs to open with "grun" and the file explorer to open with "gopen" though, so it is working partially.

Does anyone have any alternative suggestions to how I might get the terminal to open up the full Ubuntu Desktop? Obviously, this wasn't what Windows had in mind with WSL2 so this is kind of a reach, but any input would be helpful. Could I somehow do this from the file explorer or with a program that could opened from "grun" or "gopen"?

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  • Yeah I have Linux Mint installed in VirtualBox, I have just been seeing if I can get Ubuntu Desktop running with WSL2, just out of convenience. Like I said, I'm able to get file explorer opened up, just not the desktop screen, so I feel like I'm close. – wizzlestyx Jun 19 '20 at 22:28
  • "startxfce4" starts the xfce4 or xubuntu desktop. If you installed ubuntu desktop it will not open that I think. I run Xubuntu and start the desktop with "startxfce4". – Bengt Olsson Nov 15 '20 at 16:01
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I managed to get the full Ubuntu 20.04 Unity desktop GUI running using VcXsrv by installing the GNOME Desktop the ubuntu-wsl2-systemd-script and then appending the following to my ~/.bashrc file.

Initially, Ubuntu is root access only, so create a normal account with sudo privilages;-

sudo adduser username
sudo usermod -aG sudo username
exit

From now on, start WSL using that account.

wsl.exe -d distroname -u username

NOTE:
The ubuntu-wsl2-systemd-script calls systemd using --system-unit=basic.target thus does not start the gdm or lightdm service, so edit the enter-systemd-namespace and start-systemd-namespace files and change --system-unit=basic.target to --system-unit=default.target prior to installation.

# runs only if 1st level shell
if [ $SHLVL = 1 ] &&
   [ -d "${srv_path="/mnt/c/Program Files/VcXsrv"}" ] &&
   [ -f "${srv_exec="$srv_path"/"${srv_name=vcxsrv.exe}"}" ] &&
   [ -d "${sys_path="/mnt/c/Windows/System32"}" ] &&
   [ -f "${tasklist="$sys_path"/tasklist.exe}" ] &&
   [ -f "${taskkill="$sys_path"/taskkill.exe}" ]; then
   # find a Windows Process ID
   function find_wpid {
     echo $("$tasklist" | grep "$1" | awk '{print $2; exit}')
     }
   # kill a Windows Process ID
   function kill_wpid {
     "$taskkill" /PID $1 /F /T >/dev/null
     }
   # export the Windows %UserProfile% path in Linux Format
   export WIN_HOME="$(wslpath "$($sys_path"/cmd.exe" /c "<nul set /p=%UserProfile%" 2>/dev/null)")"
   # Find the current WSL2 local IP address
   srv_addr="$(ip route | awk '{print $3; exit}')";
   # shutdown old instance of VcXsrv if running
   if [ "${gfx_wpid=$(find_wpid $srv_name)}" ]; then
     kill_wpid $gfx_wpid
     unset gfx_wpid
   fi
   # start a new instance of VcXsrv
   "$srv_exec" :0 -ac -wgl -fullscreen -notrayicon -dpms &
   # wait for startup success
   while [ -z $gfx_wpid ]; do gfx_wpid=$(find_wpid $srv_name); done
   # Start Windows Pulse Audio if installed
   unset srv_exec srv_name 
   if [ -f "${srv_exec="$srv_path"/pulse/bin/"${srv_name="pulseaudio.exe"}"}" ]; then
      # shutdown old instance of Pulse if running
      if [ ${snd_wpid=$(find_wpid $srv_name)} ]; then
        kill_wpid $snd_wpid
        unset snd_wpid
      fi
      # delete the expired Pulse config
      if [ -d "${snd_conf=$WIN_HOME"/.config/pulse"}" ]; then
        rm -r "$snd_conf"
      unset snd_conf
      fi
      # Start a new instance of Pulse
      "$srv_exec" --use-pid-file=false --disable-shm=true --exit-idle-time=-1 &
      while [ -z $snd_wpid ]; do snd_wpid=$(find_wpid $srv_name); done
      export PULSE_SERVER=tcp:"$srv_addr";
   fi
   # setup Ubuntu Desktop
   export DISPLAY="$srv_addr":0; 
   # setting below: 0 = llvmpipe (faster), 1 = software rasterizer
   export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=0
   export XDG_CONFIG_HOME=$HOME/.config
   export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=/etc/xdg/xdg-ubuntu:/etc/xdg
   export XDG_SESSION_DESKTOP=ubuntu
   export XDG_SESSION_TYPE=x11
   export XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=ubuntu:GNOME
   export XDG_SESSION_CLASS=user
   export XDG_DATA_DIRS=/usr/share/ubuntu:/usr/local/share/:/usr/share/:/var/lib/snapd/desktop
   # cleanup expired vars
   unset tasklist sys_path srv_path srv_exec srv_name srv_addr
   # script stays here until gnome-session logout or failure
   gnome-session
   # shutdown VcXsrv
   if [ $gfx_wpid ]; then
     kill_wpid $gfx_wpid
     unset gfx_wpid 
   fi
   # shutdown Pulse
   if [ $snd_wpid ]; then
     kill_wpid $snd_wpid
     unset snd_wpid
   fi
   unset taskkill
   # shutdown the shell
   exit 0
fi

NOTE:
When all is up and running, go to Ubuntu's Settings -> Privacy -> Screen Lock and turn off the screen lock options. Trying to log back in after a screen lock for some reason results in an infinite loop when asking for your password. If that happens, just shutdown the WSL distro and on next start all is OK again.

Optional Audio Support

Download and unpack mingw64-pulseaudio-13.0.7z. Edit the \mingw\etc\pulse\default.pa file and replace line 38 containing load-module module-waveout sink_name=output source_name=input with:

load-module module-waveout sink_name=output source_name=input record=0
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp listen=0.0.0.0 auth-anonymous=1

Save the changes, rename the mingw folder as pulse and move it into your C:\Program Files\VcXsrv folder.
I am unsure if this step is required, however I also installed these apps via...

sudo apt-get install alsa-tools-gui pavumeter pavucontrol

GDM3

Solved a problem that the GDM service starts instead of GDM3;-

sudo systemctl start gdm3.service    
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

HELP

Can someone solve the problem that when running gui apps like Synaptic and
BleachBit as root are marked as still running when they have been closed down.

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