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Building the engine on any Linux

Engine core code demands partial C++11 support (uses std::shared_ptr, std::unique_ptr). Known minimal versions of compilers that should work with AGS:

  • GCC 4.4

The following packages are required to build AGS. The versions in parentheses are known to work, but other versions will also probably work.

  • 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)
  • libXext (1.3.3)
  • libXxf86vm (1.1.4)

Fedora package installation

yum -y install git allegro-devel dumb-devel freetype-devel libogg-devel libtheora-devel libvorbis-devel libXext-devel libXxf86vm-devel

Debian/Ubuntu package installation

sudo apt-get install git debhelper build-essential pkg-config libaldmb1-dev libfreetype6-dev libtheora-dev libvorbis-dev libogg-dev

Download and build

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

git clone git://
cd ags

Compile the engine:

make --directory=Engine

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

sudo make --directory=Engine install

Building a Debian/Ubuntu package of AGS

Building a package is the preferred way to install software on Debian/Ubuntu. This is how it's done.

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

git clone git://
cd ags

Build the package and install it with gdebi:

fakeroot debian/rules binary
sudo gdebi ../ags_3~git-1_*.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

To view some possible command line options, use

ags --help

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:

This 'digmid.dat' is, in fact, a bzip2 archive, containing actual data file, which should be about 25 MB large. Extract that file and rename it to patches.dat. You can now place it:

  • in the directory pointed to by the ALLEGRO environment variable; or
  • if $ALLEGRO is not defined, in $HOME; or
  • in the same folder of the AGS executable.


When using the Debian/Ubuntu package, the package ags-dbg_.deb containing debugging symbols is created alongside ags_.deb. The build date and the name of the last git commit at the time of building are stored in the package description, which can be viewed with

apt-cache show ags

This information should be included in bug reports.

Building AGS for a game release

If you want to build AGS for inclusion in a game release, you want an engine that runs on most 32 and 64 bit Linux systems regardless of the library versions that are installed on that system. You can get such a built by using the script debian/make_ags+libraries,sh. The script itself can be used on Debian or Ubuntu. See the comments in the script for instructions.

Workaround: 32 bit AGS on 64 bit Debian/Ubuntu

In the past AGS worked only on 32 bit architectures, so it was necessary to compile a 32 bit version on 64 bit systems. This is not necessary anymore, but these instructions are kept for reference and may be helpful for debugging etc.

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.

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

git clone git://
cd ags

Matching working directory and orig tarball

To build the package, it is required that there is an "orig tarball" that has the same content as the working directory. This tarball is generated from the git content with

debian/rules get-orig-source

The working directory must have the same content as git, i.e. be "clean". 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, then run debian/rules get-orig-source, then build the package.

Building the package

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~git-1_i386.deb
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