How to install Windows programs on Debian using PlayOnLinux

Linux is a complete operating system with all GUI features and thousands of desktop applications. However, there still comes a point when you need a specific Windows application on your Linux system. Fortunately, Linux has a compatibility layer known as Wine that allows Windows programs to run on Linux. PlayOnLinux is a third-party user interface for Wine that helps you easily install and manage supported Windows programs. You can install Internet Explorer, MS Office, Notepad and many other Windows programs.

In this article, we will first explain how to install PlayOnLinux on a Debian system using both command line and graphical method. We will then explain how to use PlayOnLinux to install a Windows program on a Debian system.

We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system. We also used 7-zip as an example to explain how to install a Windows program.

Installing PlayOnLinux via the command line

Open a Command Line Terminal on your Debian OS. To do this, go to the “Actions” tab in the upper left corner of the desktop. Then enter the keyword terminal in the search bar. When the search result appears, click the terminal icon.

Now in terminal run the following command to update the system repository index. This will help you install the latest version of any package.

$ sudo apt-get update

After the update is complete, run the following command in a terminal to install PlayOnLinux:

$ sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Install PlayOnLinux

The system can provide you Y / N the ability to confirm the installation. Hit Y confirm and the installation will start on your system.

To check if PlayOnLinux is installed and also to check the version of the installed package, run the following command:

$ playonlinux --version

Check PlayOnLinux version

Start PlayOnLinux

To start PlayOnLinux from the command line, run the following command:

$ playonlinux

Remove PlayOnLinux

If you want to remove PlayOnLinux from your system, run the following command in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get remove playonlinux

Remive PlayOnLinux

The system can provide you Y / N the ability to confirm the deletion. Hit Y to confirm and the package will be removed from your system.

Installing PlayOnLinux via Debian Software Manager

If you are new to Linux and are not comfortable with the command line, you can install PlayOnLinux using the Debian Software Manager. Press the superkey on your keyboard and then click on the Program Manager icon in the left sidebar. In the Software Manager window, search for PlayOnLinux using the search icon. You will see PlayOnLinux listed in the search results as follows:

PlayOnLinux Debian Package

Click on the PlayOnLinux package in the search results to open the following view. Now click install button to start the installation process.

Start installation

When you click the install button, the following authentication dialog box appears. Enter the authentication password for the authorized user and click Authenticate button, after which the installation process will begin.

Authenticate as administrator

After installation, you will see the following view. From here you can directly launch PlayOnLinux by pressing launch button.

Launch the PlayOnLinux application

Start PlayOnLinux from the GNOME UI

To launch PlayOnLinux through the user interface, press the super-key on your keyboard and then search using the appropriate keywords in the search bar. When the result appears, click the PlayOnLinux icon to open it.

PlayOnLinux Icon

Remove PlayOnLinux

If you want to uninstall PlayOnLinux, open PlayOnLinux in the Software Manager window. When the following view appears, click on delete button.

Remove PlayOnLinux

After that, a dialog box will appear asking you to confirm the removal of PlayOnLinux. Press on delete The PlayOnLinux button and package will be removed from your system.

Install 7zip via PlayOnLinux

Once you’ve installed PlayOnLinux, the next step in installing any Windows program is very simple. To do this, follow these steps:

When PlayOnLinux starts up, you will see the following default view:


To install any Windows program via PlayOnLinux, click To install the program in the left pane as shown in the following screenshot:

To install the program

The following window will appear where you can search for the desired Windows application. Search results can show you the available versions of your package. Then you can choose the latest or any desired version depending on your preference. Once you’ve found an app, select it and click the icon install Button at the bottom of the screen.

Here we will show you an example of installing 7-zip using PlayOnLinux.

Select the Windows program to be installed

The following installation wizard will appear. Check the box here Remind me no more and press following,

PlayOnLinux Installation Wizard

The next screen shows the directory where the package will be installed. click following to start the installation process.

Install 7zip via PlayOnLinux

The installation will also create a virtual disk on which all your Windows programs will be installed. The latest available Wine version will also be installed and configured.

Installation progress

The next window will show the destination folder for the 7-zip installation. You can see that it is C: drive. This is actually the virtual C: drive created by Wine on your Linux system to install Windows applications.

Leave the default location and click Install. After that, the Windows application you need will be installed on your system.

Select a folder

After installation, you will see the program listed in the PlayOnLinux window.

Launch / uninstall an installed application

To run any installed Windows program, open PlayOnLinux, select the program and click Run from the toolbar as follows.

Run the installed Windows application

This will launch the program of your choice. The next screen shows that 7-zip is running and we can now use it just like in Windows OS.

7zip on Linux

To remove any installed Windows program, select the program and click delete,

Remove Windows app

The following uninstaller will appear. click following and the uninstaller will guide you through the uninstallation process.

PlayOnLinux uninstaller

That’s all there is to it! Using one of the above methods, be it the user interface or the command line, you can easily install any supported Windows application on your Debian system. All you need to do is just install PlayOnLinux, find the program you want, and install it using the user interface wizard.

How to install Windows programs on Debian using PlayOnLinux