How to install popular Linux GUI apps on Windows 11

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How to install popular Linux GUI apps on Windows 11

Here’s how to install Linux GUI apps on Windows 11 with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

  1. Use the sudo apt install {packagename} -y to install apps using your Linux terminal.
  2. You will be prompted to enter your Linux admin password to use the sudo command.
  3. Once the installation is complete, you can open the app you just installed by typing the package name, but instructions can vary so check the documentation.

Once you get comfortable with running Linux GUI apps on Windows 11, you might be wondering what other kinds of things you can do. Besides the basic apps like calculator or calendar, you can install the Linux GUI app version of popular apps, including Spotify, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.

In this guide, we will show you how to install those apps and more in Linux on Windows 11.

Install Spotify and Microsoft Teams as Linux GUI apps

Instead of running the Windows 11 versions of these apps, you can install and use the Linux GUI app versions on Windows 11.

Spotify for Linux

Spotify for Linux is released as a Debian package and you can install it by following these steps in your Linux terminal:

  1. Use curl to download and configure the Spotify Debian package for your system and press Enter: curl -sS https://download.spotify.com/debian/pubkey_7A3A762FAFD4A51F.gpg | sudo gpg --dearmor --yes -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/spotify.gpgecho "deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list
  2. Then you can install the Spotify client to use as a Linux GUI app on Windows 11 using the following command, then press Enter: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install spotify-client
  3. To open Spotify for Linux, type the following command and press Enter: spotify.

linux gui apps

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use Ubuntu, you can install Spotify for Linux using the following snap command in your terminal: snap install spotify

Microsoft Teams for Linux

Announced in 2019, Microsoft Teams for Linux can be installed on your Windows 11 PC just as easily using these steps in your Linux terminal:

  1. Change directories to the temporary folder by typing in the following command, then pressing Enter: cd /tmp
  2. Use curl to configure the package for your system:
    sudo curl -L -o "./teams.deb" "https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads/desktopurl?env=production&plat=linux&arch=x64&download=true&linuxArchiveType=deb"
  3. Now, type the following command to install the Teams app:
    sudo apt install ./teams.deb -y
  4. To open Microsoft Teams, type teams and press Enter. The Linux GUI app will open in a new window.

linux gui appsHere are some other popular Linux GUI apps that you can download and install on Windows 11 with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Most of the time, the installation may be as simple as typing sudo apt install {packagename}, but always check the documentation just in case.

  1. Firefox and Chrome are both popular web browsers that can be installed and used as Linux GUI apps.
  2. VLC is a media player that can play a variety of video and audio formats: sudo apt install vlc
  3. GIMP is an open-source image editing program that is similar to Adobe Photoshop: sudo apt install gimp
  4. Inkscape is another graphics editor that can be used to create illustrations, diagrams, logos, or other graphics:
  5. sudo apt install inkscape
  6. Krita is an open-source digital painting software that can be used to create art:
  7. sudo apt install krita
  8. Audacity is an audio editor and recorder that can be used to edit, mix, and enhance audio files.
  9. Steam is a popular game distribution platform that allows you to play some Linux games on Windows 11.
  10. Thunderbird is a cross-platform email and news client that has many features and customization options.

It’s important to remember that using Linux GUI apps on Windows 11 is just for testing purposes and should not be used in production. However, it’s fun to test Linux GUI apps and play around with settings, and WSL on Windows 11 definitely helps with that. Be sure to check out our Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) guides or browse our How-To section for more Windows 10 and Windows 11 tips and tricks.

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