One of the main reasons many computer users don’t want to switch from Windows to a free Linux-based operating system is that they need specific applications and/or games for which the developer does not provide a Linux version. There are three ways of running Windows programs on a Linux platform:

  • Wine, which is an emulator for Windows-based software

  • PlayOnLinux, a front-end application for Wine

  • VMWare or VirtualBox, which allows you to create a virtual computer inside your Linux OS and install Windows just like on a real Windows machine.

      You can learn more about Wine by clicking here, so I will focus on PlayOnLinux in this article.

        Note: the above methods are available and work with all Linux distributions like: Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc. and their derivatives.

        For this article I will discuss Ubuntu.

        Open the Software Center by clicking the appropriate icon from your dashboard.


        When Software Center opens, type “Playonlinux” in the search box, then click the program and choose “Install”.


        You will be asked for your login password. Type it and hit “Enter”. The installation will begin.


         Close the Software Center. Type “PlayOnLinux” in the dashboard. Click the icon.


         A wizard will show up and help you to run the application for the first time. Hit “Next”.


        The program will start configuring a virtual drive and the Wine parameters.


When it’s installed and ready to run. The main screen looks like this:


       Then you can install the desired applications.  Click the “Install” button and a new window appears.


  The available predefined programs are grouped in categories. Clicking on a category will open a list of choices. Also, you may search for a specific program using the search bar. If the program you need is not listed, click “Install a non-listed program”. This will open a new wizard window which also contains a disclaimer.


        Click “Next”. You will be asked whether you’d like to install a new program or update an existing one.


        Choose the first option. In the newly open window, type the name for the program you want to install.


        Click “Next” in order to advance to the next window.


    Don’t select anything and move on by clicking “Next”. After it creates a new virtual drive, PlayOnLinux asks you to choose a source for installation. Choose either a CD/DVD containing the software you want to install or a file located on your hard-drive. Click “Browse” and pick it.



         PlayOnLinux should now install the required software. That’s it!

        Note: not all programs work using this method. You might experience troubles with some games or other applications.