Best way to launch and install local games?

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how to get Bottles to work with my games. I learned very recently the sandbox prevents Bottles from accessing my game files. I’ve found a way of working around this, but I want to know if there’s a better way.

The only advice I’ve found is this section of the docs: Use system home - Bottles

So, I closed Bottles, installed Flatseal, enabled All User Files and took to the terminal:

cd ~/.var/app/com.usebottles.bottles/data/bottles/bottles/VNs/drive_c/kekkoudesu
ln -s ~/games/VNs games

And then I opened Bottles, clicked “Add Shortcuts…”, went through the drive_c/kekkoudesu/games symlink and added the games, and they seemed to work.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to do this in the Bottles application itself, rather than going through Flatseal and to the terminal to create a symlink? Without copying all my games into ~/.var/app/com.usebottles.bottles/data/bottles/bottle-name/drive_c/Program Files? This works for this bottle, but if I ever need to create another one, I’ll have to create another symlink.

Also—and sorry for not creating a separate discussion—how do I install games? When I click Install Programs… it just tells me there are no installers found. Lutris lets you install games when you provide the installer executable, and it automatically sets up the Wineprefix + launch executable. Is this not possible in Bottles?


I don’t know what’s Flatseal. But lets take a GOG-Game with a normal installer for example. Best way to install i have found is to just copy the installer to the drive_c folder of your bottles ( ~/.var/app/com.usebottles.bottles/data/bottles/bottle-name/drive_c/). Then in bottles just click on that blue button i think it is called “run programm” or something like that. Then select the installer on your bottles drive_c and install the game. After that it might have manually added a link to your game in the bottles menu or you just add it manually.

I see. That’s the second method; copying all your games to the Bottles directory. I don’t really want to do that because my games are spread across multiple Bottles in an obscure directory. That’s why I have a ~/games directory where I store all my games.

Flatseal adds extra permissions to the Flatpak sandbox Bottles operates inside of. When I give it access to ~/games, I then also need to create a symlink to ~/games inside of the Bottles directory, and I can keep my games where they are.

I tested an install by just adding the Setup.exe file for the H20 visual novel as a shortcut. It works, but you need to manually find the installed file in drive_c. It would be nice to eventually have an installer wizard like Lutris.

Single best way is to place installers or game files inside a bottle folder that you can access with “Browse Files…” it opens “drive_c” folder which you can treat just like in Windows. You can also bookmark the bottles folder in your file manager to have easier access.

Well, there’s Flatseal for that. Ain’t no other way since Bottles is supposed to have a sandbox.

Use the “Run executable” button and locate the installer. If it’s only one file it should work without moving it into “drive_c”, but if it requires some .bin or other data files then it won’t work without moving it.

That shouldn’t happen, but anyway this is for programs that require some more work than just pointing to .exe file. It’s a repository built by users on GitHub.

Flatseal is a software that helps you to manage Flatpak permissions. For example you can easily block Bottles from accessing the internet.

Well then the only way for you is to keep using Flatseal to give Bottles permissions for other folders, but that’s not preferred way of using Bottles.

Meaning what exactly? Don’t you have to also locate .exe in Lutris?