Darktable on Windows through WSL

EDIT:  No longer required.  Since Darktable 2.4.0, there’s an official native Windows installer for it.  Use that instead.  Easy!

With the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) now being much more stable and useable, it turns out it’s possible to install Darktable on Windows with very little fuss.

This will require you to have Windows 10, and also to have at least the 1709 Fall Creator’s Update (run winver and see your version, it should be 1709 or higher).

Follow the instructions here to install WSL, and then go ahead and install Ubuntu from the Windows store.  Don’t bother starting a prompt yet, we have more to do.

Next, you’ll need an X server of some type, to display graphical UI from Ubuntu apps on the screen.  Unless you have something else, I suggest you install VcXsrv, it’s straightforward to install and run.  When running this, just select all the defaults and go ahead.  This will give you an X server on :0, which we will use in a moment.

Now, start up Ubuntu, then type nano ~/.profile and press enter.  Enter the following text down the bottom,

# set display
if [ "$DISPLAY" == "" ]; then
  export DISPLAY=localhost:0
  #export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1
fi

Press Ctrl-O and Y in order to save.  Now exit that Ubuntu window and start it up again.  If you type echo $DISPLAY you should see the variable above printed out.  This tells programs in your Ubuntu window how to find your X server.

Next, go to this PPA repository, and install Darktable like this;

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install darktable

Wait a bit, and Darktable will be installed.  You can now run it by simply typing darktable into that prompt.

No mess, no fuss.  Enjoy.

 

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