PlayOnLinux – Run Windows Software and Games in Linux

In our earlier articles on this blog, we used the Wine program to install and run windows based applications on Debian-based and and other Red Hat-based Linux distributions.

There is another open source software available called PlayOnLinux that uses Wine as its base and gives feature-rich functions and a user-friendly interface to install and run windows applications on Linux.

The purpose of PlayOnLinux software is to simplify and automates the process of installing and running Windows applications on Linux platforms. It has a list of applications where you can automate each installation process as much as you can.

What is PlayOnLinux?

PlayOnLinux (POL) is an open-source gaming framework (software) based on Wine, that allows you to easily install any Windows-based applications and games on Linux operating systems, via the use of Wine as a front-end interface.

The following are the list of some interesting features to know.

  • PlayOnLinux is license-free, with no need for a Windows License.
  • PlayOnLinux uses base as Wine.
  • PlayOnLinux is open-source and free software.
  • PlayOnLinux is written in Bash and Python.

In this article, I will guide you on how to install, setup, and use PlayonLinux on RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint

How to Install PlayOnLinux in Linux Distributions

To install PlayOnLinux, you need to add a software repository and install the PlayonLinux software using the following commands.

On RHEL-based Systems

To install PlayonLinux on RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux, and AlmaLinux use the following commands.

$ cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
$ sudo wget
$ sudo yum install playonlinux
Install PlayOnLinux in Fedora
Install PlayOnLinux in Fedora

On Debian Systems

For the Debian Bullseye 11 and Debian Buster 10 versions.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install playonlinux

With the Debian 9 Stretch repository

# wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
# wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
# apt-get update
# apt-get install playonlinux

With the Debian 8 Jessie repository

# wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
# wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
# apt-get update
# apt-get install playonlinux

On Ubuntu Systems

For the Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 versions.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install playonlinux

For the Ubuntu 18.04 version.

$ sudo wget -q "" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install playonlinux

How do I Start PlayOnLinux

Once it’s installed, you can start the PlayOnLinux as a normal user from the application menu or use the following command to start it.

# playonlinux
$ playonlinux
Running PlayOnLinux in Fedora
Running PlayOnLinux in Fedora

Once it’s done, click on the ‘Install‘ button to explore available software or search for software. playonlinux provides some supported games, you can search them using the ‘Search‘ tab as shown below.

Install Windows Apps in Linux
Install Windows Apps in Linux
Install Windows Games in Linux
Install Windows Games in Linux

This way, you can search and install as many as Windows-supported applications and games on your Linux.

Ravi Saive
I am an experienced GNU/Linux expert and a full-stack software developer with over a decade in the field of Linux and Open Source technologies

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  1. I tried to install a pc game called Bioshock using playonlinux after 8 hours and a little circle was going around and around and the game wasn’t installed yet.

    Any advice? I have also installed wine and winetricks.

  2. I’m running rhel desktop 7.3, I added the repo and when try to install show this error if dependencies, I tried to install it form rpmfind, it require other, and other another and need to search manually all the dependencies … :(, do you know how can I do for resolve for more ease the installation?

    Error: Paquete: wine-core-1.8.6-1.el7.x86_64 (epel)
               Necesita: mesa-libOSMesa(x86-64)
    Error: Paquete: playonlinux-4.2.10-fedora0.noarch (playonlinux)
               Necesita: redhat-lsb

    The first mesa-libOSMesa installed without problems but redhat-lsb, ….. is the problem.

    thank you

    • Jitendra,

      Try to install these following packages to get rid of such cabextract not found error.

      $ sudo apt-get install gettext cabextract
  3. after installing the playonlinux it shows

    [root@centos-dc ~]# sudo playonlinux

    Looking for python… 2.6.6 – selected

    PlayOnLinux is not supposed to be run as root. Sorry……………

    Can you please help me that ………………………….Thanku

  4. Error: Multilib version problems found. This often means that the root
    cause is something else and multilib version checking is just
    pointing out that there is a problem. Eg.:

    1. You have an upgrade for libwayland-server which is missing some
    dependency that another package requires. Yum is trying to
    solve this by installing an older version of libwayland-server of the
    different architecture. If you exclude the bad architecture
    yum will tell you what the root cause is (which package
    requires what). You can try redoing the upgrade with
    –exclude libwayland-server.otherarch … this should give you an error
    message showing the root cause of the problem.

    2. You have multiple architectures of libwayland-server installed, but
    yum can only see an upgrade for one of those arcitectures.
    If you don’t want/need both architectures anymore then you
    can remove the one with the missing update and everything
    will work.

    3. You have duplicate versions of libwayland-server installed already.
    You can use “yum check” to get yum show these errors.

    …you can also use –setopt=protected_multilib=false to remove
    this checking, however this is almost never the correct thing to
    do as something else is very likely to go wrong (often causing
    much more problems).

    Protected multilib versions: libwayland-server-1.0.5-1.fc18.i686 != libwayland-server-1.0.0-1.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: fontconfig-2.10.2-2.fc18.i686 != fontconfig-2.10.2-1.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: pixman-0.28.0-1.fc18.i686 != pixman-0.26.2-5.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: cyrus-sasl-lib-2.1.23-37.fc18.i686 != cyrus-sasl-lib-2.1.23-36.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: libwayland-client-1.0.5-1.fc18.i686 != libwayland-client-1.0.0-1.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: libjpeg-turbo-1.2.90-1.fc18.i686 != libjpeg-turbo-1.2.1-3.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: pulseaudio-libs-2.1-6.fc18.i686 != pulseaudio-libs-2.1-4.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: harfbuzz-0.9.12-2.fc18.i686 != harfbuzz-0.9.7-1.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: glib2-2.34.2-2.fc18.i686 != glib2-2.34.2-1.fc18.x86_64
    Error: Protected multilib versions: graphite2-1.1.1-4.fc18.i686 != graphite2-1.1.1-3.fc18.x86_64

  5. Thanks, Successful Run

    When I run “PlayOnLinux” got Error message

    “playonlinux cannot find curl (from curl)
    you need to install it to continue”

    and I have run the “sudo apt-get install curl” then run it Successful

    sudo apt-get install curl

    Internet Explorer 1 to 8 are Available in PlayonLinux. IE 10 are not available.


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