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Building the engine on any Linux

On Debian/Ubuntu, building a package (see below) is recommended. On other distributions, install development files of the following libraries. (In brackets are versions that are known to work, but other versions should work, too.)

  • Allegro 4 (> 4.2.2)
  • libaldmb (0.9.3)
  • libdumb (0.9.3)
  • libfreetype (2.4.9)
  • libogg (1.2.2-1.3.0)
  • libtheora (1.1.1-1.2.0)
  • libvorbis (1.3.2)

Download the sources with git and change into the ags directory:

git clone git://
cd ags

Compile the engine:

make --directory=Engine --file=Makefile.linux

The ags executable can now be found in the Engine folder and can be installed with

sudo make --directory=Engine --file=Makefile.linux install

Please take note of the usage instructions at the end of this document.

Building a Debian/Ubuntu package of AGS

Building a package is the preferred way to install software on Debian/Ubuntu.

Getting and updating the sources

First time

git clone git://
cd ags
debian/rules get-orig-source

Updating (with clean working directory)

git pull
debian/rules get-orig-source

Matching working directory and orig tarball

To build the package, it is important that the working directory has the same content as the tarball that is created from the git content with debian/rules get-orig-source.

To ensure this, check if the working directory is clean with

git status

If there are changes, run

debian/rules clean 


git reset --hard HEAD

If there are still untracked files, delete them manually.

Run debian/rules get-orig-source every time the sources change. If you want to change the sources yourself, you have to commit the changes to git before running debian/rules get-orig-source and building the package.

Building the package

There are two possibilities here. Normally you should go with Native AGS package. However, there is still the possibility that that AGS crashes randomly on 64 bit systems. We are not able to reproduce this reliably. If you observe this problem and are able to help resolve it, that would be great. Otherwise, there is a workaround that is described in the section 32 bit AGS on 64 bit system below.

Native AGS package

So you want to build on a 32 bit system or a 64 bit AGS on a 64 bit system.

Install build dependencies and devscripts:

sudo apt-get install devscripts debhelper pkg-config liballegro4.2-dev libaldmb1-dev libfreetype6-dev libtheora-dev libvorbis-dev libogg-dev

Build the package and install it and its dependencies with gdebi:

cd ags
sudo gdebi ../ags_3.21.1115~JJS-1_i386.deb

32 bit AGS on 64 bit system

The development versions of Debian and Ubuntu support parallel installation of both 32 and 64 bit versions of all required libraries (multiarch), so you can build a 32 bit AGS to use on your 64 bit system. This part works only on Debian sid and wheezy and Ubuntu quantal.

Enable multiarch:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update

Install and prepare pbuilder (use the same distribution you are using, i.e. sid, wheezy or quantal):

sudo apt-get install pbuilder
sudo pbuilder create --distribution sid --architecture i386

This creates an i386 chroot which will be used to build the i386 package on an amd64 system. pbuilder automatically manages the build dependencies. The pbuilder base can later be updated with

sudo pbuilder update

Build the package with pbuilder and install it and its dependencies with gdebi:

cd ags
sudo gdebi /var/cache/pbuilder/result/ags_3.21.1115~JJS-1_i386.deb

Using the engine

To start an AGS game, just run ags with the game directory or the game file as parameter, e.g.

ags /path/to/game/


ags game.exe

The configuration file acsetup.cfg in the game directory will be used if present. Sometimes a configuration file coming with a game can cause problems, so if a game doesn't start, try deleting acsetup.cfg first.

For midi music playback, you have to download GUS patches. We recommend "Richard Sanders's GUS patches" from this address:

A direct link is here:

Rename that file to patches.dat and place it directly into your home folder.

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