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This is the tutorial for how to install mods from distributed in ".vpk" format. This tutorial will guide you step by step through the process of installing mods downloaded from the site on Ubuntu.

If you are running Windows, you can find the related tutorial here. Alternatively, if you are running OS X, you may find the related tutorial here instead.

Should any mod require additional information to be installed, you will find a “Read Me” with the necessary information included in the “.zip” file.

Also note that while this tutorial is designed for, it can be used as a general reference for installing all Team Fortress 2 mods that are distributed in “.vpk” format.

Video Tutorial
Written Tutorial Overview

There are no special tools required for this tutorial. The only skills required are a basic understanding of browsing and navigating through Ubuntu files and folders. This tutorial will assume you are using a standard two button mouse.

This guide will make use of the following mods as examples:

You can find their respective downloads by following the attached links. While it is not required to download and install these exact mods, it would greatly aid in the learning process if you were to follow along using the exact same mods.

Should you use an alternative file manager or program to extract compressed files other than the system default, you are responsible for resolving the differences you may encounter.

Basic Installation

1. Open up the folder containing the downloaded mod files. You may do so by opening up a new Nautilus window and navigating to the location which they were downloaded to. For those unaware, Nautilus is the name of the default file explorer included with Ubuntu.

2. Open up a new Nautilus window to navigate to your “custom” folder. Arrange the open windows so they are in a position where you can easily see the contents of both. It is assumed that Steam and Team Fortress 2 have been installed to the default file locations.

3. You need to get past the hidden folder in order to gain access to your “custom” folder. There are three several methods to do so.

First method:

On the menu bar, select “View”, then select “Show Hidden Files”. This enables you to temporarily view hidden files. Should you exit out of the window, the files will have reverted back to being hidden the next time you open up a window.

Second method:

With the window active, press “Ctrl-H” to produce a result similar to the first method.

Third method:

On the menu bar, select “Edit”, then “Preferences”. From the new window that pops up, select the box, “Show hidden and backup files”. All files will now be permanently visible each time you open a new window.

Foruth method:

With the hidden files visible, right click on the “.steam” folder and select “Rename...” Simply remove the period in front of “steam” then hit the “return” key. When you revert your settings back to hide hidden files, the “steam” folder will remain unhidden.

4. With the folder unhidden by whichever method you chose, your “custom” folder can be found by following:
"Home/steam/steam/SteamApps/common/Team Fortress 2/tf/custom"

If you did not install Steam or TF2 to its default location, you are required to find the "custom" folder location yourself. The "custom" folder is where all your mod related files will be hosted.

On a technical note, the “steam” folder from your home directory only provides shortcuts to your Steam files. The actual folder structure to the Steam folder is as follows:

If you did not install Steam or TF2 to its default location, you are required to find the “custom” folder location yourself. The “custom” folder is where all your mod related files will be hosted.

5. In the window open to the downloaded mods, open up the “.zip” file of the Spike’s Spade mod by double clicking on it. Inside the new window displaying the “.zip” file contents, you will see the mod’s “.vpk” file. For those not familiar, a “.vpk” file is package of multiple files to allow for easy storage, distribution and installation of mods and other add on content for Valve games. Whenever this tutorial references “.vpk” files, these are the files it is referring to.

6. Click on the “.vpk” file then proceed to drag the file over to the other window currently opened to your “custom” folder. Release the mouse button once the cursor is hovering over the new window. Now that the “.vpk file resides in your “custom” folder, it is now considered installed.

Thus concludes the basic method to installing all mods available from

Extended Learning

While the five steps outlined above demonstrate the basic process used to install all mods from the site, some mods require more than one file to be copied over in order to work properly due to the addition of choices.

1. From the window open to your downloaded mods, enter the “.zip” file of the Team Coloured Wonderbolt Wind Guards by double clicking on it. Upon doing so, you will see a list of folders with names matching that of various hats and misc. items as well as a Read Me text file. This Read Me text file contains basic installation instructions pertaining to this particular mod.

2. With this mod, you have the option of choosing which items you want the Team Coloured Wonderbolt Wind Guards to replace. You may select as few or as many replacement options as you desire. Just enter into the folder with the matching name of the item you wish to be replaced and copy over the “.vpk” file like you had with the previous Spike’s Spade mod. In the case of this mod, if you choose to replace an all class item like the Summer Shades, they will only be replaced on the Scout.

3. In the window currently open to the Team Coloured Wonderbolt Wind Guards, return back to the folder with the other mod files. Double click on the “.zip” file for the Pony Books mod. Upon opening, you will see three numerically numbered folders in addition to a Read Me text file with basic installation instructions pertaining to this particular mod.

4. After opening the first folder titled “Book Materials,” you will be present with two different options to choose from. Select which style you want by opening the folder with the name matching style you desire and copy the “.vpk” file to your “custom” folder like you have with previous mod files.

5. Return to the root folder of the mod’s “.zip” file and repeat the same process for the folder titled “Book Models” as you did for the “Book Materials” folder. Select the desired style and copy over the contained “.vpk” file.

6. As noted in brackets, while not required, a new paper trail is an available option that can be installed following the same steps as previous mods.

That concludes the examples of situations you may encounter when installing mods from

Additional Information

All mods downloaded from the site are client side and legal for use. This means only you can see the mods when playing and you cannot be VAC banned for possessing them.

When you install new mods, test them to make sure they are working properly. Mods are guaranteed to always work on servers running “sv_pure 0”. To check if the server is running “sv_pure 0”, you can open up the console (required to be enabled under “Advanced Keyboard Settings”), and enter the command “sv_pure” to which it will state the value for that server. By default, when you launch a map from the console or start offline practice, “sv_pure” will be set to 0 making them the best options to test new mods.

When first installing mods, install and test them in small batches of ten to fifteen at a time. By doing so, you can see how each group of mods affects your computer’s performance and easily identify which mods might be causing you issues.

With regards to VPK files, they are scanned by the game in alphabetical order. Meaning, if you have happened to have already installed a previous skin or model replacement for an item, it is often required to uninstall the previous mod instead of relying on the new mod to take priority over the previous files. Additionally, since not all mods for a particular item will contain the same files, adverse effects could occur should you not remove the old “.vpk” files first. For information on how to uninstall mods, you can view the related tutorial.

If you follow the fourth method in the thrid step of the basic installation section where you remove the period from your hidden ".steam" folder to make it visible, Steam will actually recreate the hidden folder upon next start up without any negative consequences. So while this means the unhidden version of the folder is unused by Steam, it still provides access to the shortcuts leading to your custom folder without having to make your own.

If you intend to be downloading new mods frequently, it would be a useful idea to add your “custom” folder to your Favourites in Nautilus for quicker access in the future. From your “custom” folder, select “Bookmarks” from the menu bar then click “Add Bookmark”. Now you can easily navigate to your “custom” folder from anywhere in Nautilus.

For additional help with installing mods, visit the support section of the site.