Kali Linux gets graphical interface on WSL2

The developers of Kali Linux have released a graphical interface for the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. This means that the OS can now be operated not only via the command line in Windows, but also via the gui.

Kali Linux has released the Win-KeX package in version 2020.3. That stands for Windows + Kali Desktop EXperience. Users must install the package kali-win-kex or the metapackage kali-linux-default still install manually. After that, the persistent gui within WSL2. The developers say that they do not install the package by default, because otherwise the image would become too large.

The gui is only available for 64bit systems and not with the first version of WSL. The package opens a vnc client in Windows that is connected to an Xfce desktop environment running within WSL2 to show the graphical interface. Microsoft announced at its Build conference in May that WSL2 would receive support for GUIs. Kali Linux is the first distro to actually release a gui.

Another big change in the operating system is the switch from the bash shell to ZSH. The latter is not yet the default shell, but it is already included with 2020.3. In Kali 2020.4, ZSH will become the default shell. According to the developers, ZSH offers more options and personalization, although the developers do not give specific examples.