aaron dodd dot com

Opening links from WSL Ubuntu in Windows' Chrome

23 Mar 2018 - Aaron Dodd

Aside from Chrome, MS Office, and some work chat apps, most of my time is spent in WSL (using VcXsrv for X11 with WGL enabled).

One thing I was missing was how to open links in the Windows’ version of Chrome (I’ve yet to get sound working in WSL…).

For most cases, exporting BROWSER to the /mnt/c path of Google Chrome is sufficient, but I also use Markdown heavily in Vim and have a macro to generate HTML from it.

Below is a script to map the WSL paths to Windows, and to adjust some of my known DrvFS mounts to proper Windows mounts. If I’m browsing a path local to WSL, it instead opens my WSL version of Chrome.

I find it best to open a command prompt and type “dir /x c:" to get the 8.3 short-name of “C:\Program Files (x86)” since WSL seems to choke on spaces in paths.

I then renamed /usr/local/google-chrome to /usr/local/google-chrome_main and symlink’d /usr/local/google-chrome to this:


# Purpose:
# 1. to open local file paths from /mnt/DRV in Windows' Google Chrome
# 2. to translate known mount points (in this example, /home/aaron/addc_g is a DrvFS mount to my ExpanDrive H: for Google Drive)
# Assumes:
# 1. Google chrome is installed in windows
# 2. Google chrome is installed in WSL
# 3. the output of "dir /x c:\" shows the "Program Files (x86)" as "PROGRA~2"


if [[ $1 == /mnt/* ]]
    #echo "windows"
    url=$(echo "${url}" | sed 's/^\///' | sed 's/\//\\\\/g' | sed 's/^./\0:/')
    eval ${WIN_GOOGLE} "${url}"
elif [[ $1 == /home/aaron/addc_g/* ]]
    #echo "windows g-drive"
    url=$(echo "${url}" | sed 's/^\///' | sed 's/\//\\\\/g' | sed 's/^./\0:/')
    eval ${WIN_GOOGLE} "${url}"
elif [[ $1 == http* ]]
    #echo "windows url"
    eval ${WIN_GOOGLE} "$1"
    #echo "linux"
    eval ${LIN_GOOGLE} ${url}

#echo $1
#echo ${url}


For general Bash usage, my .bashrc has: export BROWSER=”/mnt/c/PROGRA~2/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe”