I have Windows 10 Professional x64 with WSL2 installed. I've also installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS from Microsoft Store.

I can type ubuntu2004 in the CMD and get access to Linux utils installed under Ubuntu. For example, I've installed the poppler-utils and now have pdfunite:


My disk C:\ is already mounted in the Ubuntu filesystem as /mnt/c and I have full access to it from my Ubuntu:


Suppose I have copied (under Windows) two PDF files into this directory, say 1.pdf and 2.pdf:


And I wish to combine them using pdfunite from Ubuntu, but I want to perform this programmatically from Mathematica, without using the terminal interface. Under the terminal, it would be sufficient just to type:

pdfunite 1.pdf 2.pdf combined.pdf

But how can I do this from Mathematica using perhaps such commands as RunProcess or ExternalEvaluate?

P.S. pdfunite is just an example. Actually I wish to understand how I can use any Ubuntu command-line utility from Mathematica installed on Windows.

  • $\begingroup$ One option I've heard works quite well is to just use the linux version of Mathematica instead of the Windows version, but I have no first-hand experience with that. If that is too drastic, maybe this will help? $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Jan 12, 2022 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ If that link is relevant I would try RunProcess[{"wsl", "pdfunite", "1.pdf", "2.pdf", "combined.pdf"}], assuming the PDFs are on the path and all. $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Jan 12, 2022 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ @JasonB. Thank you, I've found that in the Windows terminal ubuntu2004 run pdfunite 1.pdf 2.pdf combined.pdf works! $\endgroup$ Jan 12, 2022 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Thanks to the answer linked by Jason B., after experimenting a bit I've found that it is as easy as follows:

RunProcess[{"ubuntu2004", "run", "pdfunite", "1.pdf", "2.pdf", "combined.pdf"}]
<|"ExitCode" -> 0, "StandardOutput" -> "", "StandardError" -> ""|>

Now we got the desired combined.pdf:

{"1.pdf", "2.pdf", "combined.pdf"}

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