Bevy Version:0.12(outdated!)

Working in WSL2

If you prefer to have a more Linux-centric development workflow, you might want to work inside of WSL2 and build your project there. Another reason to do it is compile times; they are often much faster in WSL2 than on the Windows host system. Linux has faster I/O and filesystem than Windows, and that makes a big difference to compile times.

Cross-compiling to run Windows Native

The recommended way to run your Bevy app from WSL is to cross-compile for Windows. The Windows EXE you build inside of WSL2 can be run just fine from the Linux commandline, and it will seamlessly run on the host system! This way, you don't need any GPU drivers or GUI support inside your WSL2 Linux environment. Also, you will be running and testing the Windows build of your game, so you can see how it will really perform on Windows. It will run with full performance and use your host Windows GPU drivers.

Note that when you run Windows binaries from WSL2, they don't get the Linux environment variables. cargo run does not just work, because your Bevy game will look for its assets folder in the path where the EXE is (which would be in the target build output folder). My simple solution is to just copy the EXE into the project folder after building, and run it directly from there. For non-Bevy Rust projects, this would be unnecessary.

The process can be automated with a little script, to use instead of cargo run:

#!/bin/sh
cargo build --target x86_64-pc-windows-gnu &&
cp target/x86_64-pc-windows-gnu/debug/mygame.exe . &&
exec ./mygame.exe "$@"

This way you also don't have to type the cross-compilation target every time (and you can also add any other options you want there).

Just save the script (you can call it something like win.sh) and run your game as:

./win.sh

Running Linux builds using WSLg

This is an alternative way of running your Bevy game from WSL. It does not require cross-compilation, but is likely to have other issues and limitations.

Newer installs of WSL2 should have support for WSLg: Microsoft's Linux GUI support. It should allow you to simply compile your Bevy game in Linux and run it. WSLg will do the dark magic needed to forward graphics and audio to the Windows host.

Your game will run locked to 60 FPS, and there will be other performance problems. WSLg is effectively RDP (Remote Desktop) under the hood. It's like streaming video from the VM to the host. Some functionality might be broken/unsupported.

Both Wayland and X11 should work. Wayland is recommended, so be sure to enable the "wayland" cargo feature in Bevy.

There are many dependencies (such as graphics drivers) needed for GUI support in Linux, which are likely missing if you have never used any other GUI app from your WSL environment. The easiest way to make sure you have everything installed, is to just install some random Linux GUI app. For example:

sudo apt install gucharmap # the GNOME Character Map app

It will pull in everything needed for a Linux GUI environment. Bevy should then also be able to work.

This will be sufficient for OpenGL support. However, to use all features of Bevy, you need Vulkan. For Vulkan in WSL, it is recommended that you use a PPA (unofficial repository) to get an updated version of Mesa (graphics drivers). Here is how to install everything:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install vulkan-tools

(dzn, Microsoft's Vulkan driver for WSL2, is technically non-conformant, so there may be bugs and other issues, but it seems to work fine)

Now, you can simply run your Bevy project in Linux in the usual way:

cargo run