Linux has thousands of games on Steam. There are, however, tens of thousands of Windows games that will never get a Linux port. Fortunately, if you are an EA Origin member, you can install Origin on Linux Mint or Ubuntu using Wine, and enjoy some of EA's Windows Games on Linux.
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We have already covered how to install Steam on Linux Mint or Ubuntu. However, while Steam has a Linux client, EA doesn't seem to have any plans to produce a Linux client for Origin. So, we need to install Origin for Windows on Wine.
We have prepared this guide on Linux Mint 18.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It should work to install Origin on recent older and future versions of those distributions, as well as distributions based on Ubuntu/Debian.
Table of Contents
Install the latest development version of Wine
Wine is a free and open source compatibility layer, which allows a Linux user to install and run specific Windows applications on a Linux distribution. Wine is not compatible with every Windows application, and many apps won't work at all, but it is our best bet for Origin.
To successfully install Origin on Linux, the latest stable version of Wine (2.0.1 as of this writing) is unfortunately not enough. So, we need to download the latest development version.
Firstly we download the release key for the repository. We open a terminal window with Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following commands, which are the same for both Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key sudo apt-key add Release.key
If you are a Linux beginner, remember that commands on the terminal are case-sensitive. For example, with the wget command, only "wget" will work, not Wget, WGET, WgET or any other combination.
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.
The commands to add the Wine repository are different between Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
For Ubuntu, the command is:
sudo apt-add-repository https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/
For the latest as of this writing version of Linux Mint, 18.1, the command is:
sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ xenial main'
Remember, you must type the command in a single line.
If the commands above don't work, you will find the latest commands on https://wiki.winehq.org/Ubuntu.
After we have successfully added the repository - it won't give any confirmation message, so we consider the lack of error messages a success - we do an update.
sudo apt-get update
Finally, we install the latest development version of Wine with:
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel -y
At the end of the installation, we can check the Wine version with:
The version we used in this guide is 2.9.
After a successful installation, it's a good idea to configure Wine, with the command:
Wine will ask us to install a couple of packages for better compatibility, namely Mono and Gecko.
We will get the Gecko prompt twice, which is normal.
To install Origin on Linux, we don't need to change any settings at the Wine configuration window. We can close it with OK.
How to install Origin on Linux Mint / Ubuntu with PlayOnLinux
PlayOnLinux is a GUI front-end for Wine, which makes it easier to install and manage Windows applications.
To install PlayOnLinux, we just type:
sudo apt-get install playonlinux -y
After the installation, on Linux Mint we will find PlayOnLinux in the Games section of the main menu.
On Ubuntu, we can search for it on Dash.
Download the legacy Origin Thin client
For the next step, we need to download the legacy Origin Thin client, from www.dm.origin.com/download/legacy.
While it downloads, we start PlayOnLinux and click on "Install."
If it is the first time we run PlayOnLinux, it will take a few seconds to refresh.
We click on "Install a non-listed program" in the lower left-hand corner.
We press Next on the first...
...and the second screen. Optionally, we can check the "Don't remind me anymore" checkbox.
On the Manual installation screen, we again click "Next."
We select "Install a program in a new virtual drive"...
...and give a simple name for our drive. In our case, we chose "origin" but feel free to select another one. Just make sure it doesn't contain spaces.
We won't need any of the options on the next screen.
The default "32 bits windows installation" is the right choice.
Finally, we click on Browse and select the Origin setup application. By default, we will find it in the Downloads folder, unless we chose to download it somewhere else.
After opening the file and clicking on Next, we will get the Origin Setup screen. We leave the default options.
We read and 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.
Clicking OK will close the update error. Next, we select Origin.exe to make a shortcut with PlayOnLinux.
After the first shortcut, PlayOnLinux will ask if we want a second. We have no need for a second shortcut.
If everything went well, we will have a shortcut to Origin on both the Desktop and PlayOnLinux.
Download the 188.8.131.52172 client files
Even though the Origin client is currently in its 10th version, an older version of the client has the best compatibility to install Origin on Linux.
Firstly, we download the 184.108.40.206172 zip file.
Once the download completes, we right-click the .zip file and select "Extract Here."
Afterwards, we go to our Home folder and open the "PlayOnLinux virtual drives" link.
Inside we will find the "origin" folder, or however else we named it.
We navigate to drive_c -> Program Files -> Origin.
There, we copy all the files from the decompressed .zip file.
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."
Run Origin on Linux Mint / Ubuntu
Finally, we can double-click the shortcut on the desktop, or choose the shortcut on PlayOnLinux and select "Run."
A few seconds later, we will get the login screen. We can log in with our credentials.
And now we have the full Origin client running on Linux.
At the "My Games" section we will find our games library.
Disable "Origin in Game"
Many games will crash on startup because of the "Origin in Game" feature. To disable it, we must go to Origin -> Application Settings.
At the "Origin in Game" tab, we uncheck the relevant option.
Now, we can download any game, as we would on Windows.
After the download finishes, Origin will probably crash. This is nothing to worry about.
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 will probably never get 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.
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