Solved How do I get desktop GUI on WSL2/Ubuntu 22.04?


caffeine

Member
Local time
6:10 PM
Posts
29
OS
windows 11 home 64bit 22H2
Windows 11 Home version 22H2
AMD Ryzen 7 benchmarked @ 4.1 GHZ
16 GB ram benchmarked @ peak speed 13738 MB/s

The specs above show that I have plenty of power and memory to support a desktop GUI on WSL2/Ubuntu 22.04.

I have (at best) a beginner knowledge of Linux and want to have a functional desktop GUI to aid me in the learning Linux. I have been researching and attempting to install a desktop GUI for a few weeks without success.

Additionally I have found conflicting information during this process:
  • systemd is required for the GUI - systemd is not required for the GUI
  • Windows 11 supports systemd - Windows 11 does not support systemd
I have experienced "package not found" errors. I have found some hacks with a great deal of lines of code, and have been unsure of whether or not they were safe to use.

I have attempted to install GNOME, lightdm, and X*** without success.

Please tell me which conflicts are true and whether or not I can have a functional desktop GUI. If it is possible, please provide me with useful links or step-by-step instructions to achieve my goal.

Thanks in advance for helpful feedback.

regards,
caffeine
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 home 64bit 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo flex 5 14ALC7
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 7 benchmarked @ 4.1GHz
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 benchmaarked @ peak 13738MB/s
    Screen Resolution
    2240x1400
    Hard Drives
    512 GB SSD
    Keyboard
    backlit
    Mouse
    Logitech M100
    Internet Speed
    SLOOOOOOOW
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender & MBAM
Honestly, if you want to run and learn linux, I would run Linux in a true VM rather than using WSL for it. Something like VMWare Player, Hyper-V or VirtualBox .
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 5900x
    Motherboard
    Asus Rog Strix X570-E Gaming
    Memory
    64GB DDR4-3600
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GeForce 3080 FT3 Ultra
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ. ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    2TB WD SN850 PCI-E Gen 4 NVMe
    2TB Sandisk Ultra 2.5" SATA SSD
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus 850
    Case
    Fractal Meshify S2 in White
    Cooling
    Dark Rock Pro CPU cooler, 3 x 140mm case fans
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Keyboard
    Corsiar K65 RGB Lux
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender.
By installing GNOME etc...won't help you learn Linux in any way.

If you want to launch apps with GUI, you can do that straight from the shell/cli, assuming you truly have installed WSL2 and aren't stuck at WSL1. WSL even support 3D acceleration with about 70% speed compared to native Windows performance.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296 (Release Channel) / Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo (WiFi/BT module upgraded to Intel Wireless-AC-9260)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad / Logitech MX Keys
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 10.0.22631.3296(Release Preview Channel)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB ADATA SX8000NP NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card
Windows 11 Home version 22H2
AMD Ryzen 7 benchmarked @ 4.1 GHZ
16 GB ram benchmarked @ peak speed 13738 MB/s

The specs above show that I have plenty of power and memory to support a desktop GUI on WSL2/Ubuntu 22.04.

I have (at best) a beginner knowledge of Linux and want to have a functional desktop GUI to aid me in the learning Linux. I have been researching and attempting to install a desktop GUI for a few weeks without success.

Additionally I have found conflicting information during this process:
  • systemd is required for the GUI - systemd is not required for the GUI
  • Windows 11 supports systemd - Windows 11 does not support systemd
I have experienced "package not found" errors. I have found some hacks with a great deal of lines of code, and have been unsure of whether or not they were safe to use.

I have attempted to install GNOME, lightdm, and X*** without success.

Please tell me which conflicts are true and whether or not I can have a functional desktop GUI. If it is possible, please provide me with useful links or step-by-step instructions to achieve my goal.

Thanks in advance for helpful feedback.

regards,
caffeine
The only way to learn Linux is to install something like Arch linux or any debian based distro and do a minimal install from the command line -- you can always add a GUI (or several later). The advantage of this is you can install very efficient systems totally devoid of bloat and you will learn a lot more about OS'es, security, networking etc etc.

Arch linux has a reputation of being difficult to install -- follow these instructions and it's easy. With a VM as well you can just wipe and re-do over and over again if you make mistakes so you won't hose up your system. Also software is free, open source etc. One thing though learn some of the basic commands in nano or vim as these are text based editor unlike WYSISYG type editors like notepad and wordpad.

A little learning here will pay huge dividends in time saving etc. You can practice easily enough by just downloading ANY bootable live distro that has a GUI.These run totally from the media and don't touch your main computer unless you really work hard at wrecking your system.

Here's a good guide on how to install Arch Linux. If you do it on say Virtual box (also free) as a VM then you won't overwrite your running OS.

two methods

here using Virtual Box : A step by step Arch Linux installation guide
and another - not using Virtual box (but you can in any case use it). Note HYPER-V or Vmware also work if you prefer those.


Cheers
jimbo
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows XP,7,10,11 Linux Arch Linux
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    2 X Intel i7
pparks1: Thanks for the reply.
I have Windows 11 Home.
After reading documentation on your suggested VMs, I learned the following:
HYPER-V is available only on Win 11 pro and enterprise.
VMWare player does not list Windows 11.
VirtualBox free is viable for Win 11 Home. It required installation of Visual C++ redistrbutable (no big deal). I installed VBox 7.0 running Ubuntu-22.04 LTS. (using 4GB ram, 2 processors, and 60 GB storage). It works, and I will remove bloatware and customize it from there as needed.

Jimbo45: Thanks for the reply and excellent links for Arch linux.
I plan to try Arch in Vbox later. Currently I know nothing about networking and want to stick with learning the basics well before moving into more advanced topics. Arch promises to be a good vehicle for that. I currently have about 400GB of free space on C drive, 14 GB of ram, and 14 processors available for future use. That should be plenty.

regards,
caffeine
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 home 64bit 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo flex 5 14ALC7
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 7 benchmarked @ 4.1GHz
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 benchmaarked @ peak 13738MB/s
    Screen Resolution
    2240x1400
    Hard Drives
    512 GB SSD
    Keyboard
    backlit
    Mouse
    Logitech M100
    Internet Speed
    SLOOOOOOOW
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender & MBAM

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 All /Debian/Arch
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. TUF Gaming FX705GM
    CPU
    2.20 gigahertz Intel i7-8750H Hyper-threaded 12 cores
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. FX705GM 1.0
    Memory
    24428 Megabytes
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) Display Audio / Realtek(R) Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Integrated Monitor (17.3"vis)
    Screen Resolution
    FHD 1920X1080 16:9
    Hard Drives
    2 SSD SATA/NVM Express 1.3
    WDS500G2B0A-00SM50 500.1 GB
    WDCSDAPNUW-1002 256 GB
    PSU
    19V DC 6.32 A 120 W
    Cooling
    Dual Fans
    Mouse
    MS Bluetooth
    Internet Speed
    Fiber 1GB Cox -us & ADSL Bouygues -fr
    Browser
    Edge Canary- Firefox Nightly
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    VMs of Windows 11 stable/Beta/Dev/Canary
    VM of XeroLinux- Arch based & Debian 12
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Insider Canary
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS X751BP
    CPU
    AMD Dual Core A6-9220
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon R5 M420
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3
    Screen Resolution
    1600X900 16:9
    Hard Drives
    1TB 5400RPM
Since you are interested in Ubuntu, what I would do is create a bootable Ubuntu usb stick which is a fairly quick thing to do. Then I would boot with it to bring up Ubuntu whenever I wanted to use it, use it in live mode, without installing to your pc, and go from there. The terminal is available there, so you can learn the terminal commands, plus there are many resources available online to supplement that…. , plus, don’t forget the Ubuntu forums.

When I want to check out a new linux distribution that’s what I do, and it just takes a few minutes to create a bootable usb disk and to check it out without installing on my pc.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11/Linux Mint
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 960
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00 GHz x 2
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP x22LED
    Hard Drives
    Crucial 250 GB SSD, HD 1Tb
OAT,
It looks like I used a poor search.

Mackie,
I considered that, but choose to take advantage of my storage capacity, fast and abundant cpu, and fast and abundant ram.

regards,
caffeine
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 home 64bit 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo flex 5 14ALC7
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 7 benchmarked @ 4.1GHz
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 benchmaarked @ peak 13738MB/s
    Screen Resolution
    2240x1400
    Hard Drives
    512 GB SSD
    Keyboard
    backlit
    Mouse
    Logitech M100
    Internet Speed
    SLOOOOOOOW
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender & MBAM
closing note before I mark this thread solved ...
I appreciate the help provided in this thread. I have been out of school for over fifty years, and I have an injury which has left me essentially one handed. It takes me more repetitions to put things to memory coupled with me typing one-handed. That is why I am waiting to install arch linux. I still love learn; so I will definitely pursue arch linux laterr.

Thanks to all,
caffeine
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11 home 64bit 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo flex 5 14ALC7
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 7 benchmarked @ 4.1GHz
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 benchmaarked @ peak 13738MB/s
    Screen Resolution
    2240x1400
    Hard Drives
    512 GB SSD
    Keyboard
    backlit
    Mouse
    Logitech M100
    Internet Speed
    SLOOOOOOOW
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender & MBAM
  • Helpful
Reactions: OAT
VirtualBox free is viable for Win 11 Home. It required installation of Visual C++ redistrbutable (no big deal). I installed VBox 7.0 running Ubuntu-22.04 LTS. (using 4GB ram, 2 processors, and 60 GB storage). It works, and I will remove bloatware and customize it from there as needed.
Yeah, Vbox is a great product. If it wasn't for some docker desktop and WSL stuff, I would have stayed with Vbox, versus Hyper-V.

You probably won't need 4GB of RAM for that Linux instance. Try backing it down to 2GB and see how it goes for you.

Note: There is a way to install Hyper-V under the home editions, and many are doing it fine. But you end up in a non-supported area and if you have problems, it may be hard to get help.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 5900x
    Motherboard
    Asus Rog Strix X570-E Gaming
    Memory
    64GB DDR4-3600
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GeForce 3080 FT3 Ultra
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ. ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    2TB WD SN850 PCI-E Gen 4 NVMe
    2TB Sandisk Ultra 2.5" SATA SSD
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus 850
    Case
    Fractal Meshify S2 in White
    Cooling
    Dark Rock Pro CPU cooler, 3 x 140mm case fans
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Keyboard
    Corsiar K65 RGB Lux
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender.
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