Creative Linux

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux

Moe Long 12-12-2019

While many Adobe Photoshop alternatives exist, Photoshop remains at the forefront of image editing software. Although for many years Adobe’s ultra-powerful software was unavailable on Linux, it’s now easy to install.


Let’s learn about how to install Photoshop on Linux!

Adobe Photoshop vs. Alternatives on Linux

Linux is an incredible Windows and Mac alternative which comes in a variety of flavors. Likewise, you’ll find loads of Photoshop alternatives that run superbly on Linux, ranging from GIMP to Inkscape. Which is great if you don’t want to go through the process to install Photoshop on Linux.

Moreover, tons of these Illustrator, Lightroom, and Photoshop substitutes are freely available, including a lot of online tools that can replace Photoshop. So you may feel as though you don’t need Photoshop or Adobe Creative Suite 7 Apps That Prove You Don't Need Adobe Creative Suite on Linux Adobe has refused to make its Creative Suite compatible with Linux, so how do you edit photos, movies, and audio, create vectors, and more? Well, you create your own open source creative suite! Read More .

However, many so-called Adobe Photoshop replacements aren’t up to scratch.

As tests show, many common surrogates provide similar features to Adobe Lightroom, not the full-fledged Photoshop. Largely, these develop RAW image files and catalog image libraries. For layering and correcting elements such as contrast and color, these software options fall short.


How to install photoshop on linux - multiple means

Therefore, Photoshop is the best, rather than a contender. Repeated tests have concluded that Adobe is the top choice for photo editing software. For starters, there’s an issue with Photoshop replacements reading Adobe XMP metadata for displaying RAW image files with Adobe settings. Similarly, Adobe doesn’t properly read proprietary files and metadata from competing software.

Thankfully, you can install Photoshop on Linux via two different methods: using a virtual machine or using Wine. And remember, there are plenty of Adobe apps worth installing 7 Lesser-Known Adobe Apps Worth Downloading Everyone knows Adobe offers apps for mobile platforms, but do you know about these hidden gem Adobe apps on Android and iOS? Read More that go beyond Photoshop.

Install Photoshop on Linux Using a VM

Since Photoshop runs like a champ on Windows, Linux users may simply install a virtual machine. Then, Photoshop runs on Windows within Linux. To accomplish this, you’ll need:


First, install your preferred virtual machine.

Next, install a copy of Windows within your VM How to Set Up a Windows Virtual Machine in Linux Many home users prefer to run a dual-boot setup when both Windows and Linux are needed, but if you'd rather run Windows inside Linux, here's how to set that up. Read More . With a copy of Windows running in your virtual machine on Linux, just launch the Adobe Photoshop CS6 installer.

In short, you’re running Photoshop on Windows, and running Windows within Linux. That’s about as easy as it gets!

Install Photoshop on Linux Using Wine

Alternatively, you may run Adobe Photoshop on Linux using Wine and PlayOnLinux.


As Yassen Dadabhay reveals, Photoshop CC 2014 runs on Linux. However, CC 2015 does not. You can also run Adobe Photoshop CS4, CS6, and Lightroom 5 on Linux using Wine. Among the biggest challenges when switching from Windows to Linux is software compatibility.

What you’ll need:

  • Wine (optional but recommended: PlayOnLinux front-end)
  • Adobe CS4, CS6, or CC 2014

The easiest means to install Adobe Photoshop on Linux is using Wine plus the PlayOnLinux front-end. Wine is an open-source compatibility layer which allows certain Windows programs to run on Unix-like operating systems.

PlayOnLinux provides a pretty front-end for Wine, which makes software installation a breeze. Also worth noting is that you can use Wine to run Windows apps on macOS as well as on Android devices.


For gamers, Wine delivers a simple means to run Windows games on Linux distros, from new releases to retro titles.

Download and Install PlayOnLinux

Head over to the PlayOnLinux download page and select the proper package or run the command. Because the generic installer is a tar.gz file you’ll need to download and extract it. Alternately, PlayOnLinux features installation methods for various Linux distros:

For Arch Linux, run:

pacman -Syu playonlinux

However, on Debian, simply download the appropriate DEB file. Note that Debian Wheezy users must install the package wine:i386 to properly get PlayOnLinux functioning. Enter:

wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Meanwhile, if you’re running Debian Squeeze enter:

wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Then, for Lenny, run:

wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Debian Etch users, use:

wget -q "" -O- | apt-key add -
wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Alternately, for Ubuntu download the DEB file. Again, if you’re on Ubuntu Precise or superior, you’ll need the wine:i386 package for PlayOnLinux to properly run. Like Debian, for previous Ubuntu releases, you’ll need to install PlayOnLinux via the command line.

Install on Trusty with:

wget -q "" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

If you’re using Saucy, run:

wget -q "" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Then, for Precise use:

wget -q "" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Frugalware users run:

pacman-g2 -S playonlinux

Finally, Fedora users can install the Yum package.

Install Photoshop Using PlayOnLinux

With PlayOnLinux installed, run the program. Next, select Install a program from the left-hand side of the screen or from the top menu.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - PlayOnLinux install a program

Now, in the search bar look for Photoshop. You’ll find options for Adobe Photoshop CS4, CS6, and Lightroom 5. Choose Adobe Photoshop CS6. After that, select Install.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - PhotoShop CS6

Once you hit Install, you’re prompted for a PlayOnLinux warning which appears before every PlayOnLinux install. Accept this and proceed. Now, the PlayOnLinux wizard installation wizard begins.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - PS Installer

Eventually, PlayOnLinux asks for you to select the installation file. Locate this on your hard drive.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - Browse for your file

With your install file chosen, click Next.

How to install adobe photoshop on linux - POL install

Now, PlayOnLinux creates a virtual drive and proceeds to install several items including Adobe Air. You may see a notification that Microsoft fonts are not installed. Check I agree and click Next.

How to install adobe photoshop on linux - ms fonts

When the installation completes, you’re ready to install the actual Photoshop program. You’ll see a notification that installation may fail.

How to install adobe photoshop on linux - warning

If it does, wait a few minutes and try again. However, on my system, Adobe Photoshop on Linux installed flawlessly. After the initial set up, select either Install or Try if you don’t have the full version. Regardless, you’ll need to sign in with your Adobe ID. Once you’ve signed in, install Adobe Photoshop. Next, you’re ready to run Photoshop CS6 on Linux.

How to install adobe photoshop on linux - Photoshop CS6 on Ubuntu

You’ve Now Installed Adobe Photoshop on Linux!

Despite the plentiful alternatives for Linux, Adobe Photoshop remains the top pick for its excellent layering. Additionally, for long-time Photoshop users it’s tough to find a program that maintains compatibility with previous Photoshop files. While I used Photoshop for many years, I attempted to replace it with GIMP. However, GNOME failed to properly load my layers.

Installing Photoshop on Linux remedied this issue.

Moreover, many of the best Photoshop replacements require payment. Therefore, if you’re going to pay it’s best to simply shell out money for the genuine Photoshop rather than a substitute. Since Photoshop CS6 comes as a one-time payment, it’s more economical than the Creative Cloud subscription.

Whereas PlayOnLinux is a fantastic software option, you may use the standard Wine. Still, for those seeking a Wine frontend, Vineyard is a neat alternative to PlayOnLinux.

And for more on Photoshop, check out how to install and use free brushes 10 Free Photoshop Brushes and How to Install Them The best Photoshop brushes cost money. But thanks to the open community, you can find plenty of free Photoshop brushes as well. Read More .

Related topics: Adobe Photoshop, Linux.

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  1. Arthur
    March 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    lol click bait. that is really not installing Photoshop on Linux.
    But I guess get's you the desired traffic to your page.
    It's installing a windows emulator.

  2. Anton Sinter
    October 9, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    As an alternative you could use a Linux distribution with Wine already installed and configured for graphical use.

  3. Mike Walsh
    March 26, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I purchased Photoshop CS2 many moons ago, back in the days when my finances were somewhat more plentiful than they are now. At the time, I was running it on Windows XP; since XP's EOL (April 2014), I've been using Linux; firstly Ubuntu, then a year later (and currently), Puppy Linux.

    I read an OMG! Ubuntu article 2-3 years ago, about how to install CS2 under WINE. At the time, there was a big fuss across the 'net, since Adobe had turned off the activation servers for CS2, and for a short period, it was freely available to download.....complete with activation key!

    CS2 is the only version of Creative Suite to receive the coveted 'Platinum' rating from the guys at WineHQ, meaning it installs and runs flawlessly. I followed all the steps, including hunting down the necessary 'extras'.....and now have Adobe's Photoshop CS2 running in a kennel-full of Puppies. And it works as well as it ever did under XP..!!

    I've always run CS2 alongside the GIMP, and am reasonably competent with both. Nowadays, I run the GIMP with a 'Photoshop' theme-pack from Dr. Mo over at DeviantArt, which makes it rather like Photoshop to work with.....

    My Puppy Forums thread about installing Photoshop CS2:-