How to easily install Windows software on Linux machines

While it's possible to install some Windows software on Linux machines using Wine, it's not always easy. PlayOnLinux aims to simplify and streamline the process.

Linux is great: it's cheap, it's stable, and it's secure. It can also be somewhat frustrating for those of us who want to install Windows software (especially games), as the Wine interface is still tough for beginners and some intermediate users. PlayOnLinux streamlines Wine installation and makes it much easier. Here's how to use it:

  1. Install PlayOnLinux by searching for it in the Software Center for your distribution, checking here or typing this into a terminal window: sudo apt-get install playonlinux 
  2. Run PlayOnLinux. It is likely in the Games section of your software directory, but you can always search for it. 
  3. The first time you run it, you'll need to make sure that your Internet connection is working. PlayOnLinux will check for updates, which you will need to confirm before installing. 
  4. After that's taken care of, click Install. You should find a list of software categories full of programs, though paid software will require authentication. Select one and click Apply to install it. 
    Step 4: Select Windows software to install.
    Step 4: Select Windows software to install. Rob Lightner/CNET
  5. A wizard pops up and guides you through the installation process. It's generally fairly painless, though you do occasionally have to make decisions or enter credentials. 

That's it! This is great for playing Steam games and running other popular programs on Linux, and may add enough functionality for some users to consider making the switch.

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

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