How to Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 24.04/22.04/20.04

Unlock the full potential of your Ubuntu system with PlayOnLinux, a robust tool designed to simplify the installation and management of Windows applications on Linux. Ideal for gamers and productivity enthusiasts alike, PlayOnLinux provides a user-friendly interface, enabling seamless integration of your favorite software.

Here’s what makes PlayOnLinux popular:

  • Ease of Use: Intuitive interface for managing Windows applications.
  • Compatibility: Supports a wide range of Windows software, including games and productivity tools.
  • Customization: Allows custom configurations for optimal performance.
  • Community Support: Extensive resources and community-driven support for troubleshooting.

Installation methods covered:

  • Using the default Ubuntu APT repository: Quick and straightforward installation with standard Ubuntu commands.
  • Utilizing Flatpak with the Flathub repository: Provides an alternative method for installing and managing applications.

With the introduction out of the way, let’s explore how to install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04, or 20.04 LTS using the command-line terminal.

Method 1: Install PlayOnLinux via APT

Refresh Ubuntu Packages Before PlayOnLinux Installation

Before installing PlayOnLinux, ensuring that your Ubuntu system is up-to-date is crucial. This preliminary step involves refreshing the package lists for upgrades and updates with the following command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu via APT Command

With your system’s packages updated and upgraded, you can install PlayOnLinux. As previously mentioned, PlayOnLinux is a graphical frontend for the Wine software compatibility layer, which allows users to install Windows-based video games and applications on Linux.

Installing PlayOnLinux directly from your Ubuntu repository using the APT package manager is easy. The repository contains officially supported and regularly updated software, ensuring the credibility and stability of the PlayOnLinux software.

You can accomplish this with the following command:

sudo apt install playonlinux

Upon running this command, APT automatically fetches the appropriate PlayOnLinux package from the Ubuntu repository, takes care of dependencies, and initiates the installation process.

Method 2: Install PlayOnLinux via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is another open-source technology that makes it easier to distribute applications on Linux. It is a universal package management system that, much like Snap, allows users to install applications regardless of their distribution. One of the key advantages of Flatpak is its isolation approach. Each Flatpak app is sandboxed, meaning it runs in a separate environment from the rest of the system, enhancing security.

Note: If your system doesn’t currently have Flatpak installed, you may need to install it first. For comprehensive step-by-step instructions on installing the most recent supported version of Flatpak, refer to our guide on “How to Install Flatpak on Ubuntu”.

Enable Flathub for PlayOnLinux

To begin the installation of PlayOnLinux via Flatpak, you must first enable Flathub, a popular repository and app store for Flatpak applications. This step is necessary as it grants you access to the vast library of applications available on Flathub, including PlayOnLinux.

To add the Flathub repository to your Flatpak configuration, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

This command integrates Flathub into your Flatpak setup. Now, you are ready to download and install PlayOnLinux from Flathub.

Install PlayOnLinux via Flatpak Command

With Flathub now accessible, you can proceed to install PlayOnLinux. The flatpak install command is used here to fetch and install the PlayOnLinux package from the Flathub repository.

Input the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub org.phoenicis.playonlinux -y

This command retrieves and installs the PlayOnLinux software from the Flathub repository, ensuring you obtain the latest version of the application.

Launch PlayOnLinux via GUI or CLI

Once you’ve successfully installed PlayOnLinux using one of the installation methods outlined above (APT, Snap, or Flatpak), you can launch the application.

Command-Line Interface (CLI) Launch Method for PlayOnLinux

For individuals comfortable with the terminal, PlayOnLinux can be launched using a straightforward command.

Enter the following command in your terminal:

playonlinux

If you’ve installed PlayOnLinux using the Flatpak method, you will need to use a slightly different command to start the application:

flatpak run org.phoenicis.playonlinux

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Launch Method for PlayOnLinux

Those who prefer a more visual approach can launch PlayOnLinux using the application icon in the application menu.

  • Navigate to Activities at the top left of your desktop.
  • Click on Show Applications at the bottom of the side panel.
  • Locate PlayOnLinux among the list of applications.

If you have numerous applications installed and are having trouble locating PlayOnLinux, you can use the search functionality in the “Show Applications” menu.

Note: The appearance of the PlayOnLinux icon may differ based on your chosen installation method and the version differences with Ubuntu 4.x+ and Flatpak 5.x+.

Managing PlayOnLinux

This section will delve into essential maintenance tasks for your PlayOnLinux installation. These tasks include updating the application to keep it secure and current and, if required, uninstalling it from your Ubuntu system.

Update PlayOnLinux

It’s crucial to regularly update PlayOnLinux to benefit from the latest features and security fixes. Although update notifications should appear automatically, there may be times when manual verification is necessary. Here are the steps to manually check for updates:

APT Method for PlayOnLinux

For those who installed PlayOnLinux using the APT package manager, please open a terminal and execute the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will first update your system’s package list with the sudo apt update command. Following that, sudo apt upgrade will upgrade all upgradable software on your system, including PlayOnLinux.

Flatpak Method for PlayOnLinux

If PlayOnLinux was installed via Flatpak, updates could be checked and installed by running this command in the terminal:

flatpak update

The flatpak update command checks for updates in all configured remotes and applies them.

Remove PlayOnLinux

If you no longer need PlayOnLinux and wish to free up some disk space, you can uninstall it. Below are the uninstallation steps based on the method you used for installation:

APT Remove Command

If you installed PlayOnLinux using the APT package manager, use the following command in the terminal to remove it:

sudo apt remove playonlinux

This command uninstalls PlayOnLinux but retains any configuration files if you reinstall the software.

Flatpak Remove Command

If PlayOnLinux was installed using Flatpak, you could remove it along with its data using the following command:

flatpak remove  --delete-data org.phoenicis.playonlinux -y

With --delete-data, this command will remove PlayOnLinux and also delete all associated data.

Closing Summary

In wrapping up this guide, we’ve covered installing PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04, or 20.04 using both the APT and Flatpak methods. This tool offers a convenient way to run Windows applications on your Linux system, whether for gaming or essential software needs. Experiment with both installation methods to see which works best for you, and enjoy the flexibility PlayOnLinux brings to your Ubuntu setup.

Joshua James
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