How to Install PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint 21 or 20

For Linux Mint users looking to run Windows-based software on their systems, PlayOnLinux offers a seamless solution. This guide will walk you through how to install PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint 21 or the older stable release of Linux Mint 20, unlocking a world of software and games initially designed for Windows.

PlayOnLinux stands out for its adaptability. Unlike other solutions, it doesn’t force users to stick to a single version of Wine. Instead, it lets you run different programs with custom-configured versions of Wine, ensuring optimal compatibility and performance. Its script-based approach means many popular programs come with pre-configured installation scripts, simplifying the setup process.

Here’s what makes PlayOnLinux a top choice:

  • Broad Application Support: Beyond games, PlayOnLinux supports many applications, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, broadening its appeal for Linux Mint users.
  • Custom Wine Versions: PlayOnLinux’s ability to manage multiple versions of Wine simultaneously is a standout feature. This ensures each application runs with the most compatible Wine version.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Installing, managing, and removing applications is a breeze, thanks to its intuitive UI.
  • Script-Based Setup: A rich library of community-driven scripts ensures quick installations of supported software, minimizing manual setups.
  • Strong Community Backing: With an active community and extensive documentation, users can easily find solutions and support when needed.

In essence, PlayOnLinux bridges the software divide between Windows and Linux. It’s an invaluable tool for those who rely on specific Windows applications. By the end of this guide, you’ll have PlayOnLinux set up on your Linux Mint system, ready to enhance your software experience.

Section 1: PlayOnLinux Installation on Linux Mint using APT

Step 1: Updating and Upgrading Linux Mint Packages

Before we initiate installing PlayOnLinux, it’s paramount that your Linux Mint system is running on the latest software. This crucial first step involves refreshing your package lists for upgrades and updates. Doing so, we help prevent conflicts that might crop up during the PlayOnLinux installation due to outdated software.

Let’s commence this operation by inputting the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Installing PlayOnLinux

With all the system’s packages updated and upgraded, we are now ready to install PlayOnLinux. As discussed earlier, PlayOnLinux is a user-friendly frontend for the Wine software compatibility layer, allowing Linux users to install Windows-based video games and other software.

Installing PlayOnLinux directly from your Linux Mint repository using the APT package manager is quite straightforward. 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

Once you run this command, APT will automatically retrieve the appropriate PlayOnLinux package from the Linux Mint repository, resolve any dependencies, and complete the installation process.

Section 2: Install PlayOnLinux via Flatpak and Flathub on Linux Mint

Step 1: Setting Up Flathub for PlayOnLinux with Linux Mint

Flatpak is an open-source technology designed to simplify the distribution of applications on Linux. It’s a universal package management system that, similar to Snap, allows users to install applications regardless of the distribution they’re utilizing. A standout feature of Flatpak is its security-centric design, achieved through sandboxing. Each Flatpak app operates in an isolated environment separate from the system’s core, enhancing security.

To commence the PlayOnLinux installation using Flatpak, we first need to enable Flathub. Flathub is a well-regarded repository and app store for Flatpak applications. This is an essential step as it provides access to the extensive collection of applications on Flathub, including PlayOnLinux.

To integrate the Flathub repository into your Flatpak configuration, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command weaves Flathub into your Flatpak setup, priming your system for the PlayOnLinux download and installation.

Step 2: Installing PlayOnLinux

With Flathub now in your grasp, you can install PlayOnLinux. The flatpak install command is deployed here to retrieve and install the PlayOnLinux package from the Flathub repository.

Type the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub org.phoenicis.playonlinux -y

This command fetches and installs the PlayOnLinux software from the Flathub repository, guaranteeing that you acquire the most recent version of the application. This smooth, streamlined process paves the way for an optimal PlayOnLinux experience on your Linux Mint system.

Section 3: Initiating PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint

After successfully installing PlayOnLinux via any of the outlined methods (APT or Flatpak), the subsequent step is to initiate the application. You have two main alternatives for this: the Command-Line Interface (CLI) or the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Command-Line Interface (CLI) Method

This method is particularly suitable for individuals at ease with using the terminal. Launching PlayOnLinux here involves a straightforward command.

To start PlayOnLinux via the terminal, type the following command:


If you have installed PlayOnLinux using the Flatpak method, you would require a slightly different command to launch the application:

flatpak run org.phoenicis.playonlinux

The above command activates PlayOnLinux, allowing you to enjoy its capabilities via the command line.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Method

For users who are more visually inclined, you can initiate PlayOnLinux using the application icon located in the applications menu.

Taskbar > All Applications > PlayOnLinux

Should you have numerous applications installed and face difficulty in locating PlayOnLinux, the search functionality in the “Show Applications” menu can expedite the process.

Please note the appearance of the PlayOnLinux icon may vary depending on the chosen installation method and the version differences with Linux Mint 4.x+ and Flatpak 5.x+.

Screenshot of PlayOnLinux application taskbar icons on Linux Mint.
How PlayOnLinux appears on the Linux Mint taskbar.”

Section 4: Tips for Getting Started with PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint

Navigating a new software can sometimes be challenging, even for experienced tech users. Here, we provide some tips to aid in your initial exploration of PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint. These suggestions aim to provide a smoother onboarding process and enhance your user experience with PlayOnLinux.

Understanding the Role of PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux is a powerful tool that allows you to run Windows applications on your Linux Mint platform. Leveraging Wine, a compatibility layer, it simplifies the process of installing and using Windows software. Recognizing the role and potential of PlayOnLinux is your first step towards optimizing its use.

Installing Windows Applications

With PlayOnLinux, you can install various Windows applications directly from its interface. This interface is user-friendly and requires just a few clicks for the installation of your favorite Windows applications. Remember to verify the application’s compatibility on PlayOnLinux’s official website before proceeding with the installation.

Creating Different Virtual Drives

A key feature of PlayOnLinux is the ability to create different virtual drives. Each virtual drive can have its configuration and installed applications, making it possible to isolate each application and prevent potential conflicts. This feature promotes stability in your use of different Windows applications.

Managing Wine Versions

PlayOnLinux enables you to manage different versions of Wine simultaneously. It allows you to assign a specific version of Wine to each virtual drive. This ensures that each Windows application runs on the version of Wine that best supports it. This capability is crucial in maintaining the functionality of your Windows applications.

Using Scripts to Automate Installation

Another excellent feature of PlayOnLinux is the availability of scripts that automate the installation of several Windows applications. These scripts are created by the PlayOnLinux community and are available for use by all members. While these scripts can simplify the process of installing Windows applications, always remember to ensure they come from a trusted source to maintain the security of your system.

Troubleshooting PlayOnLinux Issues

If you encounter any issues with PlayOnLinux, remember that the software has a robust community. You can often find solutions to your problems online on the PlayOnLinux forum or in various Linux Mint communities. Moreover, the built-in debugger in PlayOnLinux can also be an invaluable tool in troubleshooting.

Example (APT Method PlayOnLinux v4):

Screenshot of PlayOnLinux installation using APT on Linux Mint.
Installing PlayOnLinux via APT on Linux Mint.

Example (Flatpak Method PlayOnLinux v5):

Screenshot of PlayOnLinux installation via Flatpak and Flathub on Linux Mint.
Procedure to install PlayOnLinux using Flatpak and Flathub on Linux Mint.

Section 5: Managing PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint

This section provides insights into vital tasks for managing your PlayOnLinux software on Linux Mint. These procedures cover the application’s updating and removal, ensuring that your PlayOnLinux setup stays fresh with the latest features and can be thoroughly removed when no longer needed.

Keeping PlayOnLinux Up-to-date

Staying updated with the latest version of PlayOnLinux is essential to ensure you’re utilizing the most recent features, improvements, and security patches. While PlayOnLinux should generally inform you about any available updates, there might be instances where you’ll need to check for them manually. Let’s go through the process for both installation methods, APT and Flatpak.

Updating via APT

Updating the software requires a simple command-line operation if you’ve installed PlayOnLinux via the APT package manager. Here’s the command to run:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The sudo apt update command initiates a refresh of your system’s package list, ensuring that your Linux Mint has the latest information about the available software updates. Next, the sudo apt upgrade command takes effect, updating all the software on your system with newer versions, including PlayOnLinux.

Updating via Flatpak

On the other hand, if you’ve opted for the Flatpak installation method, the update process is just as straightforward. Run this command in your terminal:

flatpak update

The flatpak update command scans through all the configured remotes in your system and applies any found updates, ensuring your PlayOnLinux software stays up-to-date.

Uninstalling PlayOnLinux

When PlayOnLinux no longer serves your needs, or you wish to free up some storage space, the software can be uninstalled from your Linux Mint system. Here’s how you can perform this operation, depending on your installation method.

Uninstallation via APT

Removal is a straightforward process if you’ve used the APT package manager for installing PlayOnLinux. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt remove playonlinux

Uninstallation via Flatpak

For those who’ve used Flatpak for installation, the following command will help you uninstall PlayOnLinux along with its associated data:

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

With the --delete-data option, this command removes PlayOnLinux and erases all its associated data, giving you a clean slate.


This article explores the comprehensive steps needed to install PlayOnLinux on Linux Mint 21 or 20, guiding you from the initial software download to a successful setup. We have seen two primary installation methods, APT package manager and Flatpak, designed to cater to user preferences and system environments. We’ve also covered the regular maintenance of the software, including updating and uninstalling processes, to help you keep your system efficient and secure.