It's been a while since my last post about running Linux GUI applications on Windows 10. Meanwhile, Microsoft proposed its roadmap to bring GUI applications to the Windows Subsystem for Linux and now a preview is available. This project aims to enable support for running Linux GUI applications on Windows in a fully integrated desktop experience.
At some point, it may be necessary to publish the current state of a Windows Subsystem for Linux distribution to a wider audience. A WSL instance can be exported into a tar file, a Docker image can be created by importing a tar file. Then the image could be publicly made available to any host system running Docker. Let's see if it's that easy.
The Windows May 2019 update brought the new Sandbox feature. It can be used as a safe browsing environment without the risk of affecting the base Windows installation with malware of any kind. We will create a host installation of a Web browser with a persistent configuration, which is mirrored into the virtualized environment of the Sandbox whenever needed.
If you want to use Docker under Windows and the new Windows Sandbox feature, you have to enable Hyper-V support. The problem is: You cannot run VMware Workstation or VirtualBox and Hyper-V at the same time. This can easily be fixed by creating two boot configurations, where one has Hyper-V enabled and one has not.
Since the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update from 2017, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a fully supported Windows feature. In case you don't already know about that feature: WSL is a compatibility layer which allows running 64 bit Linux binary executables (in ELF format) natively on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 in a console window. It uses much fewer resources than a fully virtualized machine.