Today we’re gonna look at how to install Photoshop on Linux (Ubuntu in this case, but should work with pretty much any distro).

Here are the ingredients:

  • Toshiba Satellite laptop—Intel Dual Core processor
  • Linux—Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)
  • Wine 1.0.1
  • Copy of Photoshop CS2
  • Windows Fonts


We’ll assume that you’re already familiar with Ubuntu and know how to run and install programs via the Synaptic Package Manager.

We’ll also assume that you have Ubuntu installed already on your computer.

Finally, we assume you have a legal version of Photoshop CS2 (or at least a 30-day trial version)

Get and Install Wine

wineWine basically lets you install and run many Windows programs right from within Linux, but without having to use any virtualization software.

Add the Wine Repository

First, add the Wine repository to Linux. This will make sure you have the most recent version on your computer.

You can find information on how to do this on’s Download page.

Choose Ubuntu and follow the instructions to add Wine to your software sources.

Once you’ve successfully added the Wine repository, you’ll be able to install Wine easily.

Install Wine

synaptic-scrnInstalling Wine in Ubuntu is as simple as going to Synaptic Package Manager (found in System > Administration), searching for ‘wine‘ and checking the box next to it.

But before clicking Apply, there’s something else we need to add as well–Windows fonts.

Windows Core Fonts

Linux and Wine don’t come with the same core fonts that are bundled with Windows. These include Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, etc.

While Linux programs don’t require these fonts, any Windows program you’re going to install through Wine will.

To install the fonts, search for ‘mscorefonts‘ in Synaptic. Tick the box next to ttf-mscorefonts-installer and finally click Apply.

Synaptic will now install both Wine and the MS core fonts.


While you can install many Windows programs on Linux with Wine, some programs run more smoothly than others.

Photoshop CS2 (version 9.0) seems to run the smoothest with Wine. While it’s not the newest version, it’s still very usable. Actually, I’m still using CS3, so this isn’t that much of a  difference.

Wine has a page in their AppDB for Photoshop CS2 where more information, tips and status of bugs are displayed. This is a good place to start.

As mentioned in the AppDB page on Wine’s site, use a legal version of Photoshop CS2, not one of *ahem* questionable origins.

Adobe still has a 30-day free trial version on their site: (direct link to the EXE)

Simple Install

To install Photoshop, just double-click on the setup.exe file and it should install pretty much as it would on Windows.

Once it’s installed, you’re almost ready to use Photoshop.

Adding Fonts

The only thing left to do is copy your fonts from your Windows’ Fonts dir and place them in the Fonts directory within Wine.

Even if you have all your fonts you want to use installed in Ubuntu, for Photoshop/Wine to see and be able to use them, you will need to copy them and place them in the Fonts directory in the Wine folder.

Once this is done, start Photoshop and enjoy.

Running Photoshop on Linux: Bugs, Quirks and Oddities

Yes, running Photoshop on Ubuntu isn’t without some little glitches.

There’s a more complete list of bugs on Wine’s site, but here’s a quick list of what to expect:

  • Windows overlap other programs sometimes unless you actually minimize Photoshop
  • Windows and dialogs within Photoshop sometimes overlap each other
  • Open documents are often minimized as icons at the bottom of the screen when Photoshop’s been minimized
  • Adobe Bridge does not work, so Browse in the File menu will do nothing
  • While some have noted that Save For Web doesn’t work, I have had no problems and it seems to work fine for me

Even though it has it’s quirks, Photoshop runs pretty well, and is actually much faster than CS3 on my Windows XP computer.

Hope this has showed you that it is possible and easy to install and run Photoshop on Ubuntu Linux.

Links used in this article:

Similar Posts: