Inside WSL2 opens a html file in the browser that is in Win10. The local file path is transformed between Linux and Win10 notation.
version: 2021.822.842 date: 2021-08-22 author: repository: GitHub

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Hashtags: #rustlang #tutorial
My projects on Github are more like a tutorial than a finished product: bestia-dev tutorials.

Try it

Install it from and add 2 symbolic links and one env variable:

cargo install wsl_open_browser
ln -s "/mnt/c/Program Files/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe" /usr/bin/chrome_in_win
export BROWSER='/usr/bin/wsl_open_browser'
# I like to use the short command `www` to open a browser
ln -s "/usr/bin/wsl_open_browser" www

# go to a directory that contains a subdirectory with index.html
cd ~/rustprojects/wsl_open_browser
www docs/index.html
# or
www docs
# or go inside the directory that contains index.html
cd docs
www .
# or
# if you want to open an URL

Congratulations! You have just opened a windows browser from WSL2.


Inside WSL2 I want to open a html file in the browser. But the browser is in Win10.
This is useful in Rust for the documentation:

cargo doc --open

or for simply open a file in a browser from bash:

www index.html

Open URL in Win10 Browser (first attempt)

I prepared a symbolic link to the chrome.exe.

ln -s "/mnt/c/Program Files/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe" /usr/bin/chrome_in_win
# now I can open a page like this
# I want to open it with xdg-open
# xdg-open is the "Open any file" for linux
export BROWSER='/usr/bin/chrome_in_win'
# now I can use

This works great for URL, but it does not work for local files, because Linux and Windows see the same file with different paths.
The command ln -s is permanent and persistent. It makes a file that stays there forever.
But export BROWSER= is NOT persistent. You need to add this command to ~/.bashrc that runs it on every start of terminal.

Open local file in Win10 Browser

For example:
Linux: /home/luciano/index.html
Win10: \\wsl$\Debian\home\luciano\index.html
Linux: /mnt/c/Users/Luciano/Downloads\index.html
Win10: c:\Users\Luciano\Downloads\index.html

I need a way to transform the path prior to call the browser.
Let's make a Rust CLI for that.


This is a simple binary. For good habit I separated the lib from the bin.
Use cargo auto to run automation tasks: build, release, doc, copy_to_usr_bin,....
After cargo auto copy_to_usr_bin we can now open the browser like this:

wsl_open_browser /home/luciano/index.html
wsl_open_browser /mnt/c/Users/Luciano/Downloads/index.html
wsl_open_browser docs/index.html

Open with xdg-open

But I want to use xdg-open.
xdg-open is the "Open any file" for linux.
For that I need to set the environment variable BROWSER.
To make it persistent, copy this line to ~/.bashrc.

export BROWSER='/usr/bin/wsl_open_browser'

Finally we can open the browser like this:

xdg-open /home/luciano/index.html
xdg-open /mnt/c/Users/Luciano/Downloads/index.html

and the Rust documentation works fine:

cargo doc --open

simply: www docs or www .

I am still not satisfied.
I want to open the browser from Debian bash terminal with this simple syntax:

www docs
www .

I will make another alias:

ln -s "/usr/bin/wsl_open_browser" www

The command ln -s is permanent and persistent. It makes a file that stays there forever.