photo processing in Linux with popular commercial tools is easily accomplished by installing the applications in VirtualBox with their OS. However, it is possible to run some Windows applications in Linux using the Windows emulator Wine. Some products like Adobe Lightroom are more problematic to run under Wine, but some plugins for Lightroom can be – and if one is willing to forego Lightroom for Linux alternatives, there are several compelling options, such as digiKam and LightZone.
Wine itself can be somewhat involved to setup Windows applications and the necessary Windows library dependencies. PlayOnLinux can simplify the process considerably with its pre-installed common libraries.
execute “playonlinux” and select “install a program”, then “install a non-listed program” to create a 32 bit “bottle” named “Topaz”. The initial application to be installed should be Topaz Fusion Express2 which is the manager for the individual Topaz products. Create a “Topaz Fusion Express2” shortcut for it at the prompt.
Add the remaining Topaz applications by “updating an existing application” (“install a program” may need to be selected twice to display the “install a non-listed program” link) and selecting the “Topaz” volume (do not create additional shortcuts as Topaz plugins are opened via Topaz Fusion Express2).
An error message complaining about a “noexec mounted filesystem” may occur, depending on your specific Linux install. Ignore and press “next” to complete installation of the Windows application. The common Windows’ dialogue popups should look familiar.
After all the Topaz applications are installed, open a terminal window and execute the following shell command to create the symbolic links (if the Topaz libraries are not found by the applications)..
for i in ~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Topaz/drive_c/Program\ Files/Common\ Files/Topaz\ Labs/*; do
ln -svf “$i” ~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Topaz/drive_c/windows/system32/
open digiKam. Right click on any image and “open with”, then “other”, navigating to the “~/.PlayOnLinux/shortcuts/Topaz Fusion Express2” shortcut previously created. Check the “remember application” check box to place the shortcut on the drop down menu and you are good to go!
It may be necessary to run VirtualBox to have access to your complete investment in commercial photo processing software. But it is more direct to be able to run the powerful suite of Topaz applications natively in Linux and manage your image library within Linux. digiKam, as an open source project, is evolving rapidly and is an impressive product in its own right – worthy of a look if wish to work in Linux.