Open Source

How to install Adobe Photoshop CS5 on Linux with WINE

Jack Wallen shows you the steps to install Adobe Photoshop CS5 on Linux with WINE when the GIMP toolbox just isn't enough.

The Linux community has been calling out to Adobe for years to get a port of their flagship software. It turns out, this will probably never happen (for many reasons - come conspiratorial in nature). So, how are Linux users to get their Photoshop on? Well, one option is GIMP. Now, I am also a graphic designer and use GIMP for everything I do. But I know there are things that are a real challenge in GIMP that Photoshop users can do in their sleep. And as my clientele continues to grow, I must expand my skills with the help of Photoshop. We all know I'm not about to step way back in time and start using Windows again. So, my choice is either to buy a Mac or install Adobe Photoshop CS5 with the help of WINE.

I'll warn you... this is not easy, but it works.

We'll install in a Ubuntu 11.10 desktop, but we have to first install CS5 onto a Windows machine first. Why? Because there are a few directories that must be copied over to the Linux installation. So here's what you do:

If you don't have the full version of CS5, download the 30-day trial from the download page.

Install this on your Windows machine. After the installation is complete, you have to export the Adobe registry branch with the following steps:

  1. Go to Start | Run and type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE
  3. Select Adobe branch.
  4. Click | File | Export
  5. Save the file as adobe.reg.
  6. Copy this exported file to your Ubuntu machine.

Once you have this installed and the registry information copied, go to the Ubuntu machine and, if you don't already have WINE installed, install it. With WINE installed, you must copy the following directories from the Windows machine over to the Linux machine:

  • "C:\Program Files\Adobe\" to "$HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Adobe"
  • "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe" to "$HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Common Files/Adobe"
  • "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\CS5" to "$HOME/.wine/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Adobe/CS5"

The next step is to import the registry keys. This is done with the following command:

wine regedit adobe.reg

Now install the necessary Windows dependencies with the following command:

winetricks vcrun2008 msxml3 atmlib gdiplus vcrun2005 corefonts lucida tahoma uff

Finally, you should now be able to run CS5 with the command:

wine "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5.1/Photoshop.exe"

No, it's not a perfect solution... but it might be the only solution we Linux users ever have, should we long for the power of Photoshop. I probably won't use CS5 much, as I have developed a fairly solid set of GIMP skills. But on those occasions, when I absolutely must have Photoshop, I can be thankful WINE exists.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website



you said: 6. Copy this exported file to your Ubuntu machine. Where?



Thanks a lot! It worked fine! Just some fonts at menu dialogs doesn't work. Maybe because I made all commands using wine prefix, like: env WINEPREFIX=~/adobe wine Photoshop.exe I made this to mantain all configs wrapped into a folder so wine itself maintain all original configurations to other aplications. And so I made this with CS6. It's working. Now I want to run Indesign. It doesn't work. It has an error: wine: Call from 0x7b839cf2 to unimplemented function msvcp100.dll.?_Orphan_all@_Container_base0@std@@QAEXXZ, aborting err:module:attach_process_dlls "PMRuntime.dll" failed to initialize, aborting err:module:LdrInitializeThunk Main exe initialization for L"C:\\Program Files\\Adobe\\Adobe InDesign CS6\\Indesign.exe" failed, status 80000100 Does anyone know how I fix it? I'll try.


Without a Wacom tablet or similar digital tablet using any graphics program is awkward.


Without a Wacom tablet or similar digital tablet using any graphics program is awkward.


Good to know that it's possible for a mortal (i.e., someone without access to Adobe's development team) to get a non-trivial application going under Wine, but how did you know how to do all of those steps? How does one find the relevant Registry branch, list of dependencies etc. for a Windows application? How does the problem vary from one flavor of Windows to another? (I'm thinking Win-XP and Win-XP 64-bit as well as Win-7 and Win-8 in both 32- and 64-bit variations.) Adobe CS? Not so interesting in itself. General capability? Priceless!

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