How you can Set up Adobe Photoshop on Linux

While there are many Adobe Photoshop alternatives out there, Photoshop remains at the forefront of image editing software. Although Adobe's powerful software was not available on Linux for many years, it is now easy to install.

Photoshop Linux

Learn How to Install Photoshop on Linux!

Adobe Photoshop vs. Alternatives under Linux

Linux is an incredible Windows and Mac alternative that comes in different flavors. You can also find a variety of Photoshop alternatives that work great on Linux, from the GIMP to Inkscape. This is great if you don't want to go through the process of installing Photoshop on Linux.

Linux Photoshop alternatives

Additionally, tons of these Illustrator, Lightroom, and Photoshop replacement products are freely available, including many online tools that can replace Photoshop. You may feel like you don't need Photoshop or Adobe Creative Suite.

However, many so-called Adobe Photoshop replacements are not up to date.

Tests show that many common surrogate characters offer functions similar to Adobe Lightroom and not the full-fledged Photoshop. They mostly develop RAW image files and catalog image libraries. These software options are insufficient for overlaying and correcting elements such as contrast and color.

How to install Photoshop on Linux - several options

Hence, Photoshop is more like the best than a competitor. Repeated testing has shown that Adobe is the number one choice for photo editing software. For starters, there is an issue with Photoshop substitutions reading Adobe XMP metadata to view RAW image files with Adobe settings. Similarly, Adobe does not properly read proprietary files and metadata from competing software.

Fortunately, you can install Photoshop on Linux in two different ways: using a virtual machine or using Wine. And remember, there are many Adobe apps that should be installed beyond Photoshop.

Install Photoshop on Linux using a VM

Since Photoshop runs like a champ on Windows, Linux users can simply install a virtual machine. Then Photoshop runs on Windows on Linux. To do this you will need:

  • A virtual machine like VirtualBox, QEMU or KVM

  • Compatible Linux distribution

  • Compatible version of Windows

  • Adobe Photoshop installer

First, install your preferred virtual machine.

Next, install a copy of Windows in your VM. If your copy of Windows is running in your Linux virtual machine, simply launch the Adobe Photoshop CS6 installer.

In short, you run Photoshop on Windows and Windows on Linux. It's as easy as it gets!

Install Photoshop on Linux with Wine

Alternatively, you can run Adobe Photoshop on Linux with Wine and PlayOnLinux.

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

What you will need:

  • Wine (optional, but recommended: PlayOnLinux frontend)

  • Adobe CS4, CS6 or CC 2014

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

PlayOnLinux has a nice front-end for Wine, which makes installing software a breeze. It's also worth noting that Wine lets you run Windows apps on both macOS and Android devices.

For gamers, Wine provides an easy way to run Windows games on Linux distributions, from new releases to retro titles.

Download and install PlayOnLinux

Go to the PlayOnLinux download page and select the correct package or run the command. Since the generic installer is a tar.gz file, you will need to download and extract it. Alternatively, PlayOnLinux offers installation methods for various Linux distributions:

On Arch Linux, do the following:

pacman -Syu playonlinux

However, on Debian, simply download the appropriate DEB file. Note that Debian wheezy users need to install the wine: i386 package for PlayOnLinux to work properly. Enter:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | add apt-key –
wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_wheezy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

When running Debian Squeeze, enter:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | add apt-key –
wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_squeeze.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Then run for Lenny:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | add apt-key –
wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_lenny.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Debian Etch users use:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | add apt-key –
wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_etch.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
apt-get update
apt-get install playonlinux

Alternatively, for Ubuntu, you can download the DEB file. If you are using Ubuntu Precise or Superior you will need the wine: i386 package for PlayOnLinux to run properly. As with Debian, previous versions of Ubuntu require you to install PlayOnLinux from the command line.

Install on Trusty with:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo add apt-key –
sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_trusty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

If you're using Saucy, do the following:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo add apt-key –
sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_saucy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Then for precise use:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo add apt-key –
sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_precise.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Frugalware users do the following:

Pacman-g2-S Playonlinux

Finally, Fedora users can install the Yum package.

Install Photoshop with PlayOnLinux

Run the program with PlayOnLinux installed. Next, choose Install a program from the left side of the screen or from the top menu.

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

Now search for Photoshop in the search bar. You'll find options for Adobe Photoshop CS4, CS6, and Lightroom 5. Select Adobe Photoshop CS6. Then choose To install.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - PhotoShop CS6

Once you've met To installYou will be asked to enter a PlayOnLinux warning, which will be displayed before every PlayOnLinux installation. Accept this and move on. Now the installation assistant of the PlayOnLinux assistant begins.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - PS Installer

Finally, PlayOnLinux will ask you to select the installation file. Find this on your hard drive.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - Find your file

With the installation file selected, click Next.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - Install POL

Now PlayOnLinux will create a virtual drive and 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

After the installation is complete, you can install the actual Photoshop program. You will see a notification that the installation may fail.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - Warning

In this case, wait a few minutes and try again. However, on my system, Adobe Photoshop installed correctly on Linux. After the initial setup, select either To install or To attempt if you don't have the full version. Regardless of this, you have to sign in with your Adobe ID. Once you're signed in, install Adobe Photoshop. Next, you can run Photoshop CS6 on Linux.

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux - Photoshop CS6 on Ubuntu

You have now installed Adobe Photoshop on Linux!

Despite the numerous alternatives for Linux, Adobe Photoshop remains the top choice for its excellent overlay. In addition, it is difficult for long-time Photoshop users to find a program that will ensure compatibility with previous Photoshop files. While using Photoshop for many years, I tried to replace it with GIMP. However, GNOME was unable to load my layers properly.

Installing Photoshop on Linux fixed this issue.

Additionally, many of the best Photoshop replacements have to be paid for. So if you're looking to pay, it's best to just spend money on the real Photoshop rather than replacing it. Because Photoshop CS6 is offered as a one-time payment, it's more economical than the Creative Cloud subscription.

While PlayOnLinux is a fantastic software option, you can use the standard Wine. For those looking for a wine front end, Vineyard is still a good alternative to PlayOnLinux.

For more information on Photoshop, see Install and use free brushes.

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About the author

Moe Long
(92 articles published)

Moe Long is a writer and editor and covers everything from technology to entertainment. He earned an English B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Robertson Scholar. In addition to MUO, he has appeared in htpcBeginner, Bubbleblabber, The Penny Hoarder, Toms IT Pro and Cup of Moe.

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