WSL run linux from windows without spawning a cmd-window

Here’s a simpler solution, which, however, requires a WSH-based helper script, runHidden.vbs (see bottom section):

wscript .\runHidden.vbs bash -c "DISPLAY=:0 xmessage 'hello, world'"

To apply @davv’s own launch-in-background technique to avoid creating a new bash instance every time:

One-time action (e.g., at boot time): launch a hidden, stay-open bash window. This spawns 2 bash processes: the Windows bash.exe process that owns the console window, and the WSL bash process (owned by the WSL init singleton), which is then available for servicing background commands.

wscript .\runHidden.vbs bash # hidden helper instance for servicing background commands

For every X Window-launching command: Terminate each command with & to have it be run by the hidden WSL bash instance asynchronously, without keeping the invoking bash instance alive:

wscript .\runHidden.vbs bash -c "DISPLAY=:0 xmessage 'hello, world' &"

runHidden.vbs source code:

' Simple command-line help.
select case WScript.Arguments(0)
case "-?", "/?", "-h", "--help"
  WScript.echo "Usage: runHidden executable [...]" & vbNewLine & vbNewLine & "Runs the specified command hidden (without a visible window)."
end select

' Separate the arguments into the executable name
' and a single string containing all arguments.
exe = WScript.Arguments(0)
sep = ""
for i = 1 to WScript.Arguments.Count -1
  ' Enclose arguments in "..." to preserve their original partitioning, if necessary.
  if Instr(WScript.Arguments(i), " ") > 0 then
    args = args & sep & """" & WScript.Arguments(i) & """"
    args = args & sep & WScript.Arguments(i)
  end if
  sep = " "

' Execute the command with its window *hidden* (0)
WScript.CreateObject("Shell.Application").ShellExecute exe, args, "", "open", 0

Even when launched from a GUI app (such as via the Run dialog invoked with Win+R), this will not show a console window.

If your system is configured to execute .vbs scripts with wscript.exe by default (wscript //h:wscript /s, which, I think, is the default configuration), you can invoke runHidden.vbs directly, and if you put it in your %PATH%, by filename (root) only: runHidden ....

Note that use of the script is not limited to console applications: even GUI applications can be run hidden with it.

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