GUI app in windows container

Can the new windows insider OS image run GUI app now?In It has a sentence: “to leverage containers to run automated UI tests as part of their CI/CD processes or use other graphics capabilities like DirectX which are not available within the other container images.”


I don’t think so - or to be more precise - I understand that you can run GUI apps but the rendered elements are not shown on any desktop. Lars Iwer [MSFT] writes in the discussion below the article:

In the container image as it is right now, GUI elements will be rendered in session 0. UI automation should work with that (e.g. programmatically searching for a window etc.).

Session 0 is the session in which all system services are run and is by definition non-interactive. Sessions, Stations and Desktops are means of isolation in Windows (NT) and whether an application can show a UI and receive user interaction depends on whether it has an access to a Station with a Desktop. Processes in Session 0 do not have that by default. However it used to be possible to “Allow services to interact with Desktop” and it is also possible to run interactive services in other sessions than Session 0 (pay attention to “as it is right now”). Therefore, it would be interesting to hear some expert insights from Microsoft/Docker team on that…