How to Install and Use Windows Applications on Linux using PlayOnLinux

When Linux was originally made public, it lacked many useful applications that the major competitor -Microsoft Windows was successfully supporting. Linux thus created a compatibility layer which was used to run the Windows application on Linux itself called Wine. PlayOnLinux is a front-end UI for the Wine application. It lets you install many popular Windows applications that you otherwise missed to use on Linux. You can run Microsoft Office, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, iTunes and many other applications on your Linux system through PlayOnLinux.

In this article, we will explain how to install PlayOnLinux on your Ubuntu both through the command line and the graphical user interface. More importantly, we will explain how to install a Windows application, Notepad Plus Plus in our example, by using PlayOnLinux.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

PlayOnLinux Installation

The PlayOnLinux application is available on the official Multiverse repository and can be easily installed through the command line and the UI.

Installation through the Command Line

Open your Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, either through the Dash or by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. You can then install PlayOnLinux through the official Ubuntu repository.

First, enter the following command in order to update your system’s software repository index with that of the Internet so that you can install the latest release of the software.

$ sudo apt-get update

Update the package list

Now enter the following apt-get command in order to install the latest version of PlayOnLinux:

$ sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Install PlayOnLinux

The system might prompt you with a Y/n option to confirm the beginning of the installation procedure. Enter Y and then hit Enter. The installation process will begin and might take some time depending on your Internet speed. PlayOnLinux will then will be installed on your system.

You can verify the installation and also check the version number of the newly installed playonLinux as follows:

$ playonlinux --version

Check PlayOnLinux version

Launch PlayOnLinux

You can launch PlayOnLinux through the command line by entering the following command in your Terminal:

$ playonlinux

Remove PlayOnLinux

In order to uninstall PlayOnLinux from your system enter the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get remove playonlinux

Uninstall PlayOnLinux

The system will prompt you with a Y/n option in order to begin the uninstall procedure. Please enter Y and hit Enter to begin. playonLinux will then be removed from your system.

Installation of PlayOnLinux through the Ubuntu Software Manager (UI)

If you are someone who avoids using the Command Line, installing software present in the Ubuntu repository through the UI is very simple. On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Start Software manager

In the following view, click on the search icon and enter PlayOnLinux in the search bar. The search results will list PlayOnLinux as follows:

Search for PlayOnLinux

Click the PlayOnLinux package from the search results. The following dialog will appear:

Install PlayOnLinux with Software Manager

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate yourself as system administrator

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar. PlayOnLinux will then be installed on your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

PlayOnLinux installed successfully

Through the above dialog, you can choose to directly launch PlayOnLinux and even Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

Launch PlayOnLinux trough Ubuntu Dashboard

You can launch PlayOnLinux through the UI any time you want by entering relevant keywords in the Ubuntu Dash or access it directly from the Applications list.

Launch PlayOnLinux

Remove PlayOnLinux

You can uninstall PlayOnLinux through the Ubuntu Software manager by first searching for it through the Search button and then clicking the Remove button from the following view:


A dialog will ask you if you are sure about removing the software from your system. Please enter the Remove button to uninstall PlayOnLinux. An authentication dialog will display for you to provide the authentication details for a sudo user as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu. Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the uninstall process will begin, removing PlayOnLinux from your system.

Install NotePad Plus Plus through PlayonLinux

When you launch PlayOnLinux through the command line or the UI, it will open in the following view:

PlayOnLinux started

You can install an application by clicking the “Install a program option” from the left pane. It will open the following view through which you can search for the required Windows application.

Search for application

We have searched for Notepad Plus Plus and the result area shows the required application, as you can see. Your search results might also display various available versions of the software. You can then select a specific version based on your preferences and the following view will display its details as follows:

Select Notepad Plus Plus

We will click the Install button from the above view to start the installation process. The following messages will appear for your assistance and will also notify you how Wine will be used with PlayOnLinux:


Click Next to proceed.

Please Read this

Again, click Next to proceed to the PlayOnLinux installation Wizard for NotePad Plus Plus:

Installation Wizard

When you start the installation process, a virtual drive is created on your system where all your Windows applications will be installed. The latest available version of Wine is also installed on your system as follows:

Installing Notepad Plus Plus

In case of Notepad Plus Plus, you will be given an option whether you want to download the executable or use a setup file residing on your system:

Download the program

We will choose the second option and then click Next.

Select language

The above dialog will ask you for your language of choice for the Notepad Plus Plus installer, after which the Wizard will open as follows:

Notepad++ setup

This Wizard is pretty much self-explanatory and will direct you to the rest of the installation procedure.

After installation, NotePad Plus Plus will run as follows and you can use it the same way as in Microsoft Windows.

Notepad++ installed on Linux

Launch/Remove an installed Application

Whenever you want to use the application again, simply launch PlayOnLinux and run the installed application.

You can also remove the installed application by selecting it from the following view and then by clicking Uninstall from the left pane:

Uninstall Windows Applications

The PlayOnLinux Uninstaller will guide you through the uninstall procedure.

You have seen how PlayOnLinux simplifies the seemingly impossible task of running a pure Windows application on your Ubuntu. All you need to install to do install PlayOnLinux, search for your required app, install it through the Wizard and Tada!