Linux has more than 1500 games on Steam. There are, however, tens of thousands of Windows games that will never get a Linux port. Fortunately, if you are an Origin member, you can install Origin on Linux Mint or Ubuntu using Wine, and enjoy EA's Windows Games on Linux.
We have prepared this guide on Linux Mint 17.2 and Ubuntu 15.04. It should work to install Origin on recent older and future versions of those distributions, as well as distributions based on Ubuntu/Debian.
Install the latest version of Wine
We have already covered how to install Steam on Linux Mint or Ubuntu. However, while Steam has a Linux client, EA isn't in any rush to produce a Linux client for Origin. So, we need to install Origin for Windows on Wine.
To get the latest Wine, first we add the repository with:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa -y
If you are a Linux beginner, remember that commands on the terminal are case-sensitive. Also, while typing your password after the "sudo" command, it won't show anything, like stars or dots. Just type your password and press enter. For more information, check out our guide on Basic Linux Commands.
After the repository is added successfully, we do an update.
sudo apt-get update
Finally, we install Wine with:
sudo apt-get install wine1.7 -y
How to install Origin on Wine
It's best to download the full Origin installer, which is about 110mb, and not the "Thin" installer.
After it downloads, we right-click the file. On Ubuntu, Wine Windows Program Loader will be the default action, but on Linux Mint we need to go to the "Open With" submenu to find it.
Before we install Origin, we need to have Mono installed, which is used for compatibility with .NET applications. Wine will prompt us to install it.
We must also install Gecko.
We will get the Gecko prompt twice, and we must install it both times.
After we have both Mono and Gecko, we can install Origin. We need to uncheck the three last checkboxes.
It's especially important to uncheck the automatic update. A new version of Origin can cripple our Wine Origin installation. It's best to update it manually and be prepared to fix any problems.
We also have to agree to the EULA.
At the end of the Origin installation, and we will get an error. Don't worry, this is part of the plan.
Get the Origin files from Windows
To install Origin on Linux, we will need the Origin files from a Windows installation. If we don't have Windows on dual boot, or on another PC, we can always create a Virtual Machine with Virtualbox on Linux, and install Windows there.
We then install Origin on Windows and navigate to Local Disk (C:) -> Program Files -> Origin for 32-bit Windows, or Local Disk (C:) -> Program Files (x86) -> Origin on 64-bit Windows.
There, we select everything with Ctrl+A and copy it to a USB flash drive. The fastest way is with Right Click -> Send to.
The files are about 250MB; they won't take too much time to copy even on a relatively slow thumb drive.
Back on Linux, we go to our Home folder.
We need to press Ctrl+H to show the hidden folders, which begin with a full stop ".".
We need to navigate to .wine -> drive_c -> Program Files (x86) -> Origin, and copy all the files from the thumb drive.
Linux will ask us whether to replace a couple of files, including "Origin.exe". We check the "Apply this action to all files" and select "Replace".
The last step is to download an earlier version of one of Origin's files, IGO32.dll.
The one that comes with the latest version of Origin - version 220.127.116.11237 at the time of this writing - makes the application crash at login with a message "The program igoproxy.exe has encountered a serious problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."
After the download, we replace the IGO32.dll in the .wine -> drive_c -> Program Files (x86) -> Origin folder.
Finally, we run Origin by right-clicking Origin.exe and opening it with the Wine Windows Program Loader.
We enter our credentials to log in.
We now have access to our complete Origin games library, and can download any of them like we would on Windows.
For the guide, we tried Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, which was recently offered free on Origins "On the House".
After the download had finished, Origin crashed.
After restarting Origin, though, the game worked flawlessly.
Of course, this doesn't mean that every single Origin game will work on Linux. But it's good to have access to at least some titles that aren't available on Steam and don't have a Linux port.
Were you able to install Origin on Linux?
If anything in the guide didn't work as described, and you weren't able to install Origin on Linux, leave us a comment. You can also check the Origin page on Wine, where you will find great support for many common problems.