I am running Kali Linux for penetration testing on my websites and apis.

I am an asp.net developer. I am running Windows 10 with the Windows Subsystem for Linux ("WSL") installed and I have installed Kali Linux from the Microsoft Store.

Store App I Installed

on this version of Windows 10 (I believer insider ring)

Windows Version

Everything seems to work well from the Terminal.

However, I am unsure if I have ability to launch into the "desktop" experience.

Kali Linux Desktop Experience

Is it possible to launch the desktop experience with the app installed or do I need to build a VM in my datacenter / the cloud?


2 Answers 2


You will get limited functionality when you run Kali Linux inside Windows WSL. For example, you cannot place your NIC into promiscuous mode, and also some nmap scans just fail miserably. You better off with a VM.


WSL does not currently include any GUI capabilities out-of-the-box. However, Kali does provide the Win-Kex package which will enable graphical applications through VcXsrv, VNC, or RDP.

That said, I agree with @BruceMalaudzi's answer as well. WSL runs with a virtual NIC that will not give you the full networking experience you might expect from Kali. It's a good starting point, but you may ultimately want to go a different route.

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