View Full Version : How can I install another window manager in WSL 2 Win-Kex?

2022-03-05, 20:58
Hey everyone,
I can't find a single resource online that explains how to do this for WSL 2.0 Kex, or if it's even possible. I would like to install i3-gaps + polybar on my Win-Kex VM, it's my preferred window manager for a ton of reasons and in the past I've installed it on all of my Kali VM's in Vbox and VMWare. I installed WSL 2.0 with Kali about 2 weeks ago and so far I've been loving it. The default XFCE4 interface is awesome and a it's probably one of the best implementations of a windows manager I've seen out of the box, but I do miss my i3-gaps setup. Usually when I install i3 in my Kali VM I access it through the window manager switcher in the login screen, sometimes I uninstall XFCE4 and I think that's what I would do on my windows machine just to conserve space. Obviously Kex doesn't have the login screen switcher so my newbie method won't work. I know how to install window managers through x-session (I've done a few scratch installs of distros from a terminal), and I found a tutorial for doing this using some built in terminal utilities in Kali, here's the link.


Would this method work in Win-Kex? Or just changing my x-session configuration like I would on a minimal install of Debian or Arch?
Even though I prefer i3 I've spent a bit of time configuring my Win-Kex desktop so I'm worried about screwing it up. I definitely don't want to have to reinstall Win-Kex, or Kali for WSL. That would suck.

Thanks in advance!

2022-05-04, 03:44
I'm having a similar problem when i try to start up "seamless mode" , I type in kex --sl or kex start and it will not connect to the X server then My AVG protection pops up blocking "VCXSRV.EXE Because its infected with " IDP.Generic.
Iv seen the Windows Defender picture were it said to allow access, But is this the same thing my AVG is blocking ?
And im not sure to allow it because AVG tells me its infected with IDP.Generic.
Anyone else had this similar problem ?

2022-06-08, 18:40
I was able to get it to work with no issues by following the steps in the link you linked.

I installed i3 first (`sudo apt install i3`) and then switched to gnome with `sudo tasksel` and then ran the update-alternatives command shown in the link and i3 was listed as one of the desktop options.

Also, sudo reboot doesn't work with wsl but I just rebooted my computer through windows and that worked.