How to install Age of Empires II: HD Edition (steam) on Ubuntu

AOE2HD2As strange as it sounds, playing a Microsoft game on Linux is possible! And quite easy to do so…

These instructions should work for Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04 with a legal copy of AOE2HD on Steam.

STEP 1: Install Steam with PlayOnLinux

The game is not available on Steam for Linux. We will have to install Steam for Windows using Wine. Playonlinux does al the downloading and configuration for you. You can find PlayOnLinux in the software center.

  1. In PlayOnLinux press the install button
  2. Search for steam and install it

Note: If you can’t find steam in PlayOnLinux, search for the game on their website and click on the “install” button. Now it should show up in the search results of PlayOnLinux.

STEP 2: Install Age of Empires II: HD Edition

  1. Start Steam (double-click “Steam” in PlayOnLinux)
  2. Click the install button

STEP 3: Rename launcher and remove vcredist folder

The launcher is a little bit buggy in Linux, so we have to make Steam skip that.

  1. Right click on Steam in PlayOnLinux
  2. Click “open application’s directory”
  3. Go to the folder SteamApps/common/Age2HD
  4. Rename “Launcher.exe” to “Launcher.exe.bak”
  5. Rename “AoK HD.exe” to “Launcher.exe”

Every time you start AOE, steam tries to install vcredist and fails. This isn’t a problem, but you have to wait a while before AOE can start. To prevent this from happening, do the following:

  1. Go to the folder SteamApps/common/Age2HD/_CommonRedist
  2. Remove the folder “vcredist”


You can now play AOE2HD on your Ubuntu, and enjoy listening to singing monks, building castles and killing turkeys. It is possible that you have to repeat step 5 after a game update. If you are still having problems, let me know in the comments section below.

PS: If AOE2HD breaks after an update, just re-install it, and it will work again.





On my system it works without doing these steps, but feel free to try them, if it does not work for you.

-nostartup launch option

  1. Right-click the installed Age of Empires and click “Properties”
  2. Click “Set Launch Options”
  3. Add “-nostartup” to the Launch options

Install Visual Studio Redistributable and directx manually

  1. Select Steam in PlayOnLinux
  2. Click “Configure”
  3. Click the “Install Components” tab
  4. Install vcrun2010
  5. Install d3dx9

Source: Age of Empires II: HD Edition [Linux+Wine] Works!

11 thoughts on “How to install Age of Empires II: HD Edition (steam) on Ubuntu

  1. Test

    I get a little screen that says: Error no text with a small x button.

    I am running Ubuntu 14.04.

    Also, when I try to install DirectX the install screen just exits without giving any sign of having installed DirectX properly.

    1. Merlijn Sebrechts Post author

      Strange, It works with me on Ubuntu 14.04. I have the same with DirectX, I guess it installed correctly…

    1. suresh

      iam using ubintu 10.4 version. how can i download age of empires game. so many yimes i tried. but can’t doenload. plzzzzzz send me link . and how to install tha game. plz send me the process that details.

  2. machado

    i did all the steps everything went right but when i open the game and start selecting single player it crashes and kicks me out of the game

    any idea what could be wrong?

  3. Zeke

    On 14.04 with a 64-bit OS, followed all the steps. It was really exciting and it actually seemed like it was going to work! But after successfully rerouting the launcher and trying to run AOE from the playonlinux steam, it “Performs first time setpu…” by “Installing: Microsoft VC Redist Package” and hangs in there for a long while, then exits and nothing happens. Is there something wrong with this method now or am I possibly doing something wrong?

    1. Merlijn Sebrechts Post author

      I had that same problem, but it worked after restarting steam. If you don’t want the “Installing: …” message anymore; remove the .vdf files in the Age2HD folder


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