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Setting up Ubuntu Desktop Environment on WSL2

·300 words·2 mins
wsl2 ubuntu ubuntu-desktop vcxsrv
Table of Contents


Welcome to this comprehensive guide on installing and configuring Ubuntu Desktop environment on Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2). Enhance your development environment and streamline your coding experience with this step-by-step walkthrough.

This post assumes that you have already installed Ubuntu within WSL2. If not, please do install it before proceeding.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu Desktop and Mesa-utils

Begin by installing the Ubuntu Desktop and mesa-utils packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop mesa-utils

Troubleshooting for “Transport endpoint is not connected” error

If you encounter the error “Transport endpoint is not connected” during the setup, perform the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + C to skip packages with the error.
  2. Run the following commands:
sudo mv /etc/acpi/events /etc/acpi/events.bak
sudo ln -s /dev/null /etc/systemd/system/acpid.service
sudo ln -s /dev/null /etc/systemd/system/acpid.path

Run the following command to reconfigure the unpacked packages that were skipped on the previous step.

sudo dpkg --configure -a

Step 2: Set Up Environment Variables

Configure environment variables for persistent settings. It’s recommended to add these to your .bashrc or .zshrc:

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

Step 3: Install VcXsrv on Windows

On the Windows side, install VcXsrv. After installation, choose the following setup options:

  • Multiple windows

  • Display number: 0

  • Start no client

  • Check everything on Extra settings, that is, clipboard, primary selection, Native opengl, Disable access control

    You can save the configuration for future use

  • Click finish to start the server

Step 4: Verify Installation with xeyes

Ensure VcXsrv is running and test the setup by opening xeyes app or any other installed desktop app such as firefox on your WSL terminal:



The successful opening of the xeyes app indicates that you have seamlessly set up the Ubuntu Desktop environment on WSL2. Happy coding!