The past couple of weeks have been interesting. Like a graffiti artist’s tag, I’ve seen PlayOnLinux cropping up in all sorts of different forum posts and blog comment spots. What is it, I thought, is it some kind of ploy to get people to consider Linux as a gaming platform (which it’s brilliant for)? Or is it a gaming forum or a new game? Well, enough is enough, I said to myself a few days ago, it’s time to take look at it. So, in the interest of gaming I googled PlayOnLinux. And this is what I found…
PlayOnLinux is a compliment to Wine (of Wine is Not an Emulator variety). It provides a graphical interface between Wine and the PlayOnLinux repository which contains loads of scripts which make it easy to install Windows programs on Linux under Wine.
It relies on Wine to make programs work so Wine must be installed before PlayOnLinux. The interface for PlayOnLinux provides a list of categorised scripts for installing programs such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Windows Media Player, WinAmp, DirectX and tons of games – the video below shows its current software list (6th Nov. 2009). You can even create your own scripts to aid the installation of other software. PlayOnLinux automatically downloads and installs any dependencies or Wine versions that are required for specific programs to successfully install. As you might have guessed, it permits multiple versions of Wine to be installed on one system – it automatically downloads and configures them so you have no messy configuration files to muddle your mind.
PlayOnLinux is a program I highly recommend to any Linux or Mac user (yes, there’s a mac version too. It’s called, surprise, surprise PlayOnMac):
It simplifies the installation of multiple Wine versions,
It simplifies the installation of Windows applications,
It simplifies the installation of Windows Games.
In short it won’t give you a headache and if you’re having problems with Wine then this is your analgesic.
If you’re yet to install Wine, you can do it by typing “Wine” into your Package Manager (Synaptic, Apt, KPackageKit), or by visiting WineHQ.