Photoshop CS in Linux

Being a freelance Web Designer & Developer is a good career if you are trying to work full time on Linux and open source software. However, you still have to be compatible with your clients’ source files and backups. This means using Photoshop to build layouts or at least slice up the layouts that you get in PSD file formats.

I have been using my aging G5 (boy, saying that makes me and my checkbook cry) to deal with Photoshop files. However, since I have been setting up this beast of a Dell for the Ultimate Linux Desktop I spent some time today in getting the Windows version of Photoshop CS running on top of Wine, the Windows Compatibility Layer.

Wine is so good right now that you can simply throw the Photoshop install disk in your Linux box and run the installer. I’m not kidding, but keep in mind that this is Photoshop CS, not the latest and greatest Photoshop CS3. Wine’s site has a great deal of information about a variety of Photoshop versions running on Wine.

How did I do it specifically? I installed Wine, the Microsoft TrueType Core Fonts Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts, customized the Wine interface to taste via Applications/Wine/Configure Wine and then ran the Photoshop CS installer.

Hold On, Save For Web Isn’t Working!

Alright, so there is one big fat catch that, if not dealt with, pretty much makes Photoshop worthless to web professionals: The amazing Save For Web plugin doesn’t work. Damn. So close.

Solution: The Magic of Windows Back Slashes

Yeah, it can be fixed! So, the secret is in how you start Photoshop. Either you or Wine setup some kind of shortcut unless you are starting Photoshop from the command line. Here’s how my original shortcut command was written:
env WINEPREFIX="/home/jason/.wine" wine "C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop CS/Photoshop.exe"

and to fix the Save For Web problem, simply replace the forward slashes that follow C: with back slashes:

env WINEPREFIX="/home/jason/.wine" wine "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop CS\Photoshop.exe"

Huh? What?

Don’t ask. I can only guess that how that particular plugin was written included Windows-directory style references within the code. Sincerely, I have no clue. Thankfully the Wine developers figured it out. On that page it mentions Photoshop 7 specifically, but CS works the same way.