PlayOnLinux is a well-known app that allows its users to install and run games and applications that have been released only for the Windows platform, without breaking any laws.

There is no denying that Windows has a large number of applications and games at its disposal and that some of those are actually pretty good. In fact, up until just a couple of years ago, most of the games were only released for Windows systems and occasionally for Mac OS. That has changed somewhat, but not all that much. Quite a few titles are still Windows-only, and people are still looking for old software.

Some of you will say that we already have Wine and that Crossover is doing a great job, and you would be right to some extent. The problem is that Wine is only friendly if the game is working out of the box, which doesn’t happen all that often. Also, Crossover is a commercial application, and not everyone will be inclined to buy it, although it’s extremely good. Keep in mind that many of the Wine developers are actually working for Codeweavers, the developers of Crossover.

One of the other reasons to use PlayonLinux is Microsoft Office. Since there is no Linux version for Microsoft Office PlayonLinux and Crossover which we have covered here are the best options for running them on Linux.

PlayOnLinux is using Wine, and that is not really a secret, but its makers have gone a step further. They have also implemented a GUI that helps users get a much better understanding of what’s going on and that makes the entire installation process mostly automated. You still have access to some of the most complex stuff, but it’s possible that you won’t need to.

PlayOnLinux is not a difficult-to-use application, and it has something for everyone. If you don’t want to do anything complicated, then you just hit the Install button and look there for the application or game that you want. Those are basically profiles, which have been put together by people from the community.

Let’s say that you want to play Bioshock. You select the game from the list, and PlayOnLinux will download some packages like Mono or Wine 1.4 (confirmed to work with Bioshock), and you get to a step where you are asked what kind of installation it is – from a file stored locally, from a DVD-ROM, or from Steam. I have that game on Steam, so I’ll select that one. I will also have to download some proprietary fonts, but the application will take care of that as well.

It’s easy to understand why PlayOnLinux is so loved in the community. It provides both simple and easy-to-use instructions to new users and enough options to keep the experienced at bay. If you don’t want too much trouble and you don’t like micro-managing Wine to get your favorite apps or game to work, you don’t need to look any further than PlayOnLinux.

To learn how to install Playonlinux on your system follow our Installation Guide.