How to Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Wine is popular software that allows many Windows applications to run on Linux. The problem with Wine, however, is some required configurations for each application you want to use can be extremely time-consuming and prone to errors while setting up. A great PlayOnLinux will make your life easier by providing easy-to-understand automated installation of many popular installations, which can benefit the average desktop users or new users of Linux.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa using the command line terminal using the default Ubuntu APT repository or installing the Flatpak third-party package manager to get a newer version binary.

Update Ubuntu

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install PlayOnLinux – APT Method

The first and perhaps best method is installing PlayOnLinux directly from your Ubuntu repository using the APT package manager, which can be done using the following command.

sudo apt install playonlinux -y

Install PlayOnLinux – Flatpak Method

The second option is to use the Flatpak package manager, which is not installed on Ubuntu distributions, given that Snap, Flatpak’s rival, is owned by Canonical and Ubuntu. However, Flatpak is still available to install from Ubuntu’s default repository.

The extra benefit of using Flatpak installations is that you will always have the most up-to-date version of the package maintainer active, compared to Ubuntu which focuses on stability with older versions that only see updates for security issues or serve bugs.

First, install the Flatpak manager; this can be skipped if you already have it installed.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal.

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

Ideally, you should reboot at this stage; if you skip this and notice icons not appearing, the reboot will generate the paths required for the future.


Now begin the installation using the following flatpak command.

flatpak install flathub org.phoenicis.playonlinux -y

How to the Launch PlayOnLinux

With the installation complete from one of the installation methods, you can run the application immediately from your terminal.

First, while in your terminal, you can use the following command.


Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance.

flatpak run org.phoenicis.playonlinux

Most desktop users prefer to use the application icon, which can be found in the following path.

Activities > Show Applications > PlayOnLinux

Alternatively, if you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.

Note, depending on your chosen method, the icons will look different due to the version differences with Ubuntu on 4.34 and Flatpak on 5.0.


launch playonlinux ubuntu 20.04 lts
launch playonlinux ubuntu 20.04 lts

Once open, you can begin navigating and adding applications from the Library. The default Ubuntu version is plainer but straightforward to use, and more information can be found on the official wiki for further learning.


playonlinux ubuntu 20.04 lts
playonlinux ubuntu 20.04 lts

How to Update/Upgrade PlayOnLinux

Updates should appear in notifications, but if these fail to show sometimes, it is recommended to check using the terminal regardless of the following commands to check for updates.

APT Method

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Flatpak Method

flatpak update

How to Remove (Uninstall) PlayOnLinux

Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.

APT Method

sudo apt autoremove playonlinux --purge -y

Flatpak Remove Method

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

Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-ups required, similar to the autoremove command described for the apt remove example command.

flatpak remove --unused

Comments and Conclusion

Wine can be a great way to extend the life of older Windows software, but it’s not perfect. A PlayOnLinux can improve your experience by automating the installation process and providing an easy-to-use interface.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching for additional tutorials.

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