Installing Photoshop on Ubuntu Linux

Now, what do I do? That was the first thought that formed in my mind when I first opened Gimp about 5 or 6 six years ago in an Internet cafe on F. Ramos St. in Cebu City.

I was given the grand tour on Linux and open source software by Mike Schmeisser, a chain-smoking German geek, in his Internet cafe. His Internet cafe ran, save for one unit, solely on Linux. I interviewed Mike for a story on open source software and Linux and he invited me to his cafe to check his units.

Photoshop in Ubuntu Linux PHOTOSHOP ON UBUNTU LINUX. Adobe Photoshop 7.0 running in my Linux laptop using Wine. Click on photo to view larger image.

Having been reared on image editing with Photoshop, I couldn’t find my way in Gimp. I’m not really a graphics person but I use Photoshop often for editing photos, editing images of screen activity for tutorials, and creating blog and website headers.

I tried various open source software after Mike’s introduction and even stuck with using many of them. But not Gimp. I once tried Gimpshop, a modification of the program to replicate the look and feel of Adobe Photoshop but then I found myself using Photoshop after a few days of playing with it.

More than a month after I switched to Ubuntu Linux in my laptop, I found that I missed having Photoshop in it for certain tasks. I did manage to create a blog header using Gimp but it took me at least ten times longer than it would have taken me in Photoshop. I had a hard time even resizing images in layers or removing backgrounds of photos.

While I’ve decided to actually learn to use Gimp or Gimpshop (I just found out it has a .deb file I can use for installation in Ubuntu) in the coming weeks or even Inkscape, I need to do some image editing now and these tasks couldn’t wait while I try to find my way in Gimp.

I decided to install Photoshop using Wine.

I checked for Photoshop compatibility in the Wine website and found that there were some problems in the CS versions (although this tutorial tempted me into trying it). While I use Photoshop CS, I know that with the tasks that I do, I can get by with just using Photoshop 7.0. The Wine website lists good feedback on using Photoshop 7.

Photoshop installer running on Ubuntu Linux PHOTOSHOP INSTALLER. The Adobe Photoshop 7.0 installer running in Linux using Wine. Click on photo to enlarge.

I copied the Photoshop 7 installer from my backup hardrive to my USB stick and used it for the installation. The installation was pretty straightforward as I had added Wine earlier (version 0.9.33) using the Add Remove applications tool in Ubuntu.

I just attached the USB stick containing the installation folder, right-clicked on setup.exe then chose open with other application and typed wine in the custom command. After that, the familiar Adobe Photoshop installer took over.

I finished the installation and created an application launcher in my bottom panel. But before I added the launcher, I first searched around for a .png icon to be used with the Photoshop launcher. I then saved the icon, using Gnome commander running as root, to /usr/share/pixmaps/.

To add the Photoshop launcher: 1. I right-clicked on the bottom panel, 2. chose custom application launcher, 3. added wine "c:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\Photoshop.exe" as command, 4. chose the Photoshop icon. According to this site Save for web will not work if you use forward slashes to point to the Photoshop.exe file.

Days after I installed Photoshop in my Linux laptop, I’ve had no major problems using it. I’ve been able to edit images just as I used to when I was still using Windows XP.

There is a minor irritant, though, of the application being open in several instances of your virtual desktops. It’s particularly irritating for me since I segregate my tasks on specific desktops. What I do with Photoshop is open it and finish the image editing task (no more Web surfing breaks while editing images) so that I can close the application and proceed to my other tasks.

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21 responses

  1. Getting used to Gimp is a challenge if you are used to Photoshop but I reckon it’s worth it. After using Gimp for so long I have trouble using Photoshop, so the problem works the other way around as well.

    I think it is naive to expect Gimp to be a PS replacement as that is not what it is really trying to be. It performs many similar tasks but with varying methodology. Can’t wait for GEGL to become mature as it and Gimp will make for a powerful pair.

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  3. glad you were able to Photoshop on Ubuntu.

    btw, have you tried on PCLinuxOS 2007? try it!

  4. Brightbelt Avatar

    I’m using PS 7 fine in Ubuntu. I have a question about this part …..

    “”But before I added the launcher, I first searched around for a .png icon to be used with the Photoshop launcher. I then saved the icon, using Gnome commander running as root, to /usr/share/pixmaps/””

    How do you “run the Gnome Commander as root”???? I’ve tried to change the permissions and copy the png icon to the pixmaps folder and nothing works. I always get “access denied”

    Otherwise, everything else is smooth. It is important to update your Wine. It keeps the program from freezing.

    Thanks for this tutorial,…Brightbelt

  5. Brightbelt,

    I just type: gksu gnome-commander on the terminal and then use it to transfer the icon file I downloaded to /usr/share/pixmaps/. If you don’t have gnome-commander installed, just use Nautilus.

  6. Hi Max,

    is Adobe PHotoshop on Liux free? Or you still have to get a license?

  7. Hi sir,
    You still need to have a valid license to run Photoshop in Linux.

  8. Hi Max,
    The problem of multiple windows on the different workspaces goes away if you minimize Photoshop 🙂

  9. Hi sir,
    Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  10. Alex KATo Avatar


    Is any other legal way to view (edit) psd files by Ubuntu?

  11. workspaces/virtual desktop features can be disabled easily by setting it to one desktop. and removing the applet from the bar.

    I use linux for now 10 years and although I tried many times with different settings and pretty much all window manager. virtual desktop is just something I dont use much.

    personal tastes. choices, its what linux is about.

  12. And what about native Photoshop-like image editor for Linux? I’m talking about Pixel –

  13. @ Alex KAto: you can view and edit .psd files using GIMP. You can download this via Synaptic package manager (Application>Add new…) or via command line “sudo apt-get install gimp” (don’t include the quotations!)

  14. hey guys
    how r ya i m bigenner in linux and i need help in Cs2 installing

    plz if there is any vedio tut

  15. Had troubles compiling this without some strange tweaks. I had to disable MMX and also use this patch to get the png stuff to compile

  16. Greydog Avatar

    I tried several methods found on the web to install photoshop in Ubuntu 8.1 with no luck. I tried the method you describe and it worked perfectly the first time. Save for web works fine in Ubuntu for me. I didn’t have the issue of the application being open in several instances on the virtual desktops either.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your method!

    Greydog Minneapolis MN USA

  17. Gabby Avatar

    wow… i’m also as PS user, and i plan to shift to Ubuntu in the coming days… i’m glad PS can work with Linux … bookmarking/printing this page… thanks a lot

  18. Hi sir i have linux ubuntu in my os photoshop installed but image drag & drop not working please help me

  19. Installing Photoshop on Wine is an easy task but many of you have to realize that some of the features will not work on it. Do not pretend that it will.

    It probably does not work. And probably won’t.

    I have Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my computer and I have been using Ubuntu and Linux Mint for about 5 years. I have been getting used to GIMP and other image manipulators but they do not compare to Photoshop. I have recently got Adobe Photoshop CS4 working on my computer but it is lacking in some of the features. Luckily my computer has enough specs to run a Virtual Machine smoothly.

    I suggest using a Virtual Machine if your computer can handle it.

  20. I had actually just found your site before I my beloved Photoshop
    could install on Ubuntu. Thank you for that.
    It works fine so lot. I will never use MS Windows.
    Best Regards from Germany.

  21. Awesome.
    i bought my lappy with photoshop elements 7 inside on the os win7 basic. Now i used dual boots.
    the question is, can’t i import the photoshop in my linux boot?

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