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Game Server Services - Frequently Asked Questions
Game Server Services Frequently Asked Questions
Content Ratings:    Beginner   |    Intermediate   |     Advanced   |      Developer

35 Questions and Answers were found:
ARGH! I need help with my game server, what should I do? 

In addition to checking these support pages, which you are, which is good, you should post atThe MartNet Support Forums. Other admins with the exact same hardware and software setup will be there, as well as the MartNet support staff, who can post answers for everyone to read.

Can I run pingbooster (or other add-ons of this ilk)? 

Pingbooster was written assuming you have your own box to run hlds on and it don't care how much CPU you take up. As such, we've decided not to explicitly disallow pingbooster, but we don't recommend or support it. Every account has resource quotas for memory and cpu usage; bumping up against those is worse than running at slightly fewer FPS (think of "popping" on a sound file when the wave exceeds the frequency range). If you run pingbooster, their script may tell you a high server FPS, but you may also run against your (pretty generous) quota 'cause it likes to suck up cpu. Add to this your anticheating software, your sounds plugins, your 24 player server full of dialup customers, etc., and you may experience lag anyway. A well-configured server shouldn't need pingbooster - we're using the hlds_beta provided by the linux guys at valve which is designed to eliminate the frame-timing problem that pingbooster is supposed to fix. But LPBs just like to see those numbers, even if the human eye can't tell a difference... :) Go ahead and try it: if things don't work out, you can always take it off. Isn't having this much control over your server fun?

Can I run the Windows server of [insert game here]? 
Sorry, no. If you absolutely must have a game that currently has no linux version of the server software, bug 'em to make one. Due to various and assorted security and stability issues, all our machines are strictly Linux only. If you still want to know why, se habla Code Red?

Can I set our server's client rate to anything I want?  
No, we have a rate limit of 8,000 bytes per connection on public servers and password protected servers. This means that a public 16 player server for example has over 1mbps of available average bandwidth available to it (16 * 8000 = 128,000 bytes * 8 = 1,024,000 bits). Different games use different methods of specifying the rate of the client connections, however, they are still subject to the same formula. We believe that setting your game server to a higher rate than this is NOT to your benefit as no game is currently written load balanced and will effect the smoothness of your game server. We can authorize you for higher rates at an additional charge should you still desire a rate increase ($1 per 1,000 bytes per player - for example a 9,000 rate on a 16 player server would be: 1,000 * 16 = 16,000 [16] * $1 = $16 more, discounts available on high rate limits).

Counter-Strike 1.4: wassap widat? 

Find what thou seek right here.

Counter-Strike: How can I tell if VAC (Valve Anti Cheat) is running on my server? 
The server will start using VAC if you set the following cvar: secure "1" This will start the communication between Valve's (experimental) central server, and your own. To actually see if it's working, when you connect, via the client, do a 'stat' or 'status'. To the right of the version it will say secure (VAC is running) or insecure (VAC isn't running).

Counter-Strike: HOW the HECK do I get my 1.4 server to run in secure mode? Help! 

For that, o seeker, point thy browser right here. It's just 2 cvars that need to be set.

D00D! I want to PLAY some of the games you host! What's the IP and port for (insert game name here)? 
Check out http://www.martnet.com/services/gameserverlisting.shtml for our auto-magically generated list of games, IPs, and ports we are currently hosting.

Global Ops: How does it work? What do I do? What the heck is it? 

Our Game Hosting Page will always list our currently supported games. As for the lowdown on Global Ops itself, check here:

Global Ops Offical Site

Hey man, we're a l33t clan that plays [whatever], can we test your servers and get free stuff?  
See details on our Referral Program. You can offset or eliminate the cost of your own private server by getting your friends (and enemies!) to sign up with MartNet.

HLTV: I'd like to run this in Counter-Strike / other supported games. What port number should I use?  

Use a port number 2 higher than your server's port number. For instance, if your server is on 27016, use 27018 for HLDS.

All the instructions you need to run HLTV are included in its documentation. If they're over your head, you shouldn't risk messing with it until you have a little more experience under your belt. Be warned that as with other addons, if HLTV pushes your user resource usage over quota, your server's performance will be degraded.

How can I get my gameserver to restart automagically after a reboot?  

For that, you should look right over here.

How do I get AdminMod running with my Half-Life engine server (cs, dod, tfc)? 

You should already be aware of how to log in and start your server. If not, you need to look here first.

Having done that, you should type "0" (zero) then ENTER to exit the menu system. Now you're at the actual shell. Type "ls" and ENTER (that's "El Ess," not "one ess") and see the

directory. Inside is the
directory, within which is the
script. You need to run that script first. So, type "cd halflife/Admin" to get there. Enter "ls" again to see many files and directories. You'll be coming back here if you need to compile plugins. In green, you should see a file called
. Enter "./install_admin MODNAME" where MODNAME is either cstrike for counter-strike, dod for Day of Defeat, or tfc for Team Fortress Classic.

Important: when it asks where your HLDS engine is, you need to tell it the full absolute path to hlds_run. Huh? This means enter

and it'll be fine. That's a lowercase "L", not a "one." As in, "Half-Life Dedicated Server _ Linux." Don't forget the first slash!

If you have .ini files from elsewhere, you can upload them to your

directory and go on your merry way.

For tech support issues, general questions, the INSTRUCTIONS, and anything else specific to AdminMod, go to their website. The online docs are great, and there's a public forum if even that doesn't help.

How do I get my SOF2 server to write log files? 
The default server.cfg file that was included in your installation was already set to compile a log file at the end of each server run. In case it got overwritten, here's the relevant part of the server.cfg: // Logs seta g_log "logs/sof_logs.log" seta logfile "3" seta g_logsync "1" The logs, however, are stored in a strange place. In the top level of your home directory, there's a folder in there called '.sof2/' the logs reside at the following destination in that folder: /.sof2/base/logs/

How much space do I get with my Game Server account? 
There is a quota of 1.5GB for all GameServer Hosting accounts (which is enough for a LOT of maps, etc.)

I have NO idea how to run a Linux server. I do know how to use rcon though. Will this server be easy to run and type commands? 

Um... no. That's the short answer. I don't know what your general computer experience outside of running a game is; however, learning an entirely new operating environment "on the fly" would be rather difficult if you've never done so before. It does't look or run or work anything like Windows; if that's your only experience, i have to tell you honestly, you're going to be frustrated trying to learn Linux while you're trying to get your server running that you're paying for. Set up a machine yourself, install a simple Linux distro, practice using the commandline (not X windows), install and run some software, etc., and see how you feel about it...

I want to add an option, such as "-zone 8192" to the start command for my HalfLife server. How do I do this?   
At the top level of your home directory is a file called customer_server_settings. Open this file in your favorite text editor and find the following option (it's near the bottom):

## User-Defined Command Line Opions
## Enter any command line options here, and keep them WITHIN the quotes...
## They will be appended EXACTLY AS
## TYPED to the hlds_run command. You probably don't need to put anything
## here, and if you do, you should already know exactly what you need...
## If you don't, then leave this option blank...

USER_COMMANDLINE_OPTIONS="-option1 value1 -option2 value2"

Add your command line options (and me sure they stay within the quotes!!) and restart your server. If you do not see the USER_COMMANDLINE_OPTIONS=" " line, then add it, and the options you define will be appended at the end of hlds_run script EXACTLY as you defined them, so make sure they are correct or you could break your server!

I'd like to rent a gameserver but I'm under 18. How can I get one? 

We'll run into some legal issues charging someone underage. Especially with Dad's credit card. I'm afraid that due to past experience, we can only sell our services to someone of legal age. Fear not; have your parent(s) actually call and sign up; they will be the "customer," the responsible party for contact and billing, etc., which protects us as well as the consumer (dat's j00). There can be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule, so please don't call to try to get service without your parents' knowledge...

If my server crashes, will you reimburse me? 

No, but no need. Any server failure triggers an automatic restart script. If you think there's a serious problem, check the rest of the support site first. If it looks like you've been down all day, can't figure out why, checked your configs, etc., then contact us. You should also be aware of our service and usage agreement. It's your responsibility to read it and know it.

Is it possible to reserve slots, so that only members of my clan can fill them?  

Well, yes. That's usually achieved with something called AdminMod. If you asked for Adminmod when you signed up, you already have it; you just need to activate it.

Is there any way that we can actually play on the server that we'll be renting from you to see if we get a CONSTANT better ping than our current server provider? 
We can do better than that. We'll give you the IP of the next machine you're account will be on. If you're not the first customer on, we'll give you the names and ports of the other accounts currently running on it. There's also a MartNet Public server running for you to check out (currently Bring your whole clan if you want. And leave the l4m3 h4x at home...

My ping spiked for 10 seconds / my server crashed but no one else's did / i'm seeing strange things in my log files / i see dead people. Can i call you and discuss it for a few hours? 

MartNet phone support is unavailable for general game server questions. ALL problems should be reported to support@martnet.com as soon as they happen, with any and all accompanying documentation, traceroutes, etc. This way, they are documented, shared amongst all staff, etc. We must reiterate: our support staff is here to troubleshoot MartNet equipment, not provide instruction in Linux. This is no different than the support provided for any other internet service. Webhosts don't provide HTML classes, and we can't explore the mysteries of gameserver coding. Calling the office every time Joe 33.6K connects with a ping of 240 is not the way to our good side...

OK then, how do I get started with this Linux server stuff?  
Right off, you should read the HOWTO. Then see our gaming services links section for publisher's sites and documentation, and our own support section for MartNet-specific info on accessing your server. A basic working knowledge of Linux is necessary; if you don't have one now, be willing to get one in the course of reading these FAQs and things. You'll find that getting the basics of Linux is simpler than learning the particulars of any given new Windows app, actually...

SOF2: My Sniper rifle is completely inaccurate! It never hits the target!  
Please add the following line to your server.cfg (in your /sof2/base/ directory) seta sv_fps "25" This will take care of the sniper rifle's aiming problem the next time you restart it. Thanks to Sam Card for this information!

SOF2: When I lean, the screen shakes! How do I fix this?  
Edit your server.cfg (in the /sof2/base/ directory) and change this line: Under the heading // Game Type Settings Change seta pmove_fixed "1" to seta pmove_fixed "0" This will stop the screen from shaking when your avatar leans, the next time you restart your server. Thanks to Sam Card for this information!

UT: 'de' version mismatch 
The easiest way to get around this is by removing the de.u file from your System directory on your home computer. That way, the next time you connect to the server, it will automatically get the newer version from the server. If you'd rather not use 'de' on the server at all, it's a little more tricky. You need to edit the UnrealTournament.ini file in your ut-server/System directory and remove this one line from the sections labeled [Engine.GameEngine] ServerPackages=de

What games /versions do you support? Can you install (insert game/version here) for me? 
Go to http://www.linux-gameservers.com/games.php for the list of currently supported games and versions. Note this list changes often, and we usually support only the latest TESTED, STABLE versions of game server software. When a new version is released, please allow us at least 72 hours to test the software and add it to our supported list.

If you want to run a software version that is not listed (newer or older) you may do so AT YOUR OWN RISK and we WILL NOT SUPPORT games and versions not listed on this page. If for any reason you would like your game server software wiped and re-installed from scratch, the version listed on this page is what we will install.

What games and/or clans are currently hosted on MartNet's servers? Can I jump on one and play to see what they're like? 
Of course! A complete, automagically generated list of our current hosted gameservers can be found right here. Note that they may not all be up and running right now if the customer has them down for any reason (or locked), like config tweaks or private matches. Have fun!

What kinda servers j00 got? 
Our current productions servers have dual Athlon MP 1800+ processors (yes, TWO) at 266Mhz FSB, with 1.5 GB of approved DDR ram each. They run Debian Linux with the latest SMP kernel, custom-compiled and tuned to our specs. Awww Yeah.

What sort of connection will my server have? 
Glad you asked. Our servers reside in a Secure Data Center with multiple OC-3, OC-12, and OC-192 peering points to major Internet backbones, with redundant battery and generator backups. Sungard's SDC peers with Sprint, UUNet, AOL, AT&T, InterNAP, Worldcom, and other providers right here in Philly. Your server would be connected to a switch with redundant 100 Mbps ethernet uplinks direct to Sungard's router. This isn't "a few hops" to the backbone like other providers; this IS the backbone. No hops. Nifty, huh?

What's an OC? Is that good? I have a T3 now, are you any faster? 
Oh my yes. For comparison, a T3 (aka DS3) transfers data at 43 Mpbs, whereas a T1 (or DS1) gives you 1.544 Mbps. For your home, that's fast. Unless your homes looks like ours... an OC-3 provides 155.52 Mbps and an OC-12 cruises along at 622.08 Mbps. You read that right. For further info on internet infrastructure, start with the Webpoedia's definition of OC speeds and follow the related links.

What's the format for date/time for cron?  
There are six things, all seperated by spaces. For example, it might look like this: 01 3 4 * scriptname Each of those values is as follows: 1. minute of the hour, 00 to 59 2. hour of the day, 00 to 32 (military time) 3. day of the month, 1 to 31 4. month of the year, 1 to 12 5. day of the week, sun, mon, tue,.... 6. actual command to execute * an asterisk that matches all possible values, * a single integer that matches that exact value, * a list of integers separated by commas (no spaces) used to match any one of the values * two integers separated by a dash (a range) used to match any value within the range.

Why does my server keep crashing?? 

One possibility is that you are running up against your shell quota limits (memory, CPU usage, etc. are limited on a per shell basis so one process doesn't slow down the whole box...) What do your server log files say? If the server is running out of memory or CPU time, SOMETHING should appear in the logs (cannot form messages, out of memory messages...) In any case, limits have been increased. You will need to log out / log in / restart the server, if you have any doubts about whether you have the new limits or not.

Then there's your config files. It goes without saying that you should ALWAYS check them ALL, even when you're SURE nothing's wrong with them. Check anyway. 75% of the time, a munged .cfg or .ini turns out to be the problem. Accidents happen... you DO back up all your config files to your local machine regularly, right?

Last and sadly not least enough, there's the idi0t factor. There are various ways for idi0ts with way too much free time to mess with your server. But we know you already checked our support section and the gaming links like all our docs say to, right? So you're not surprised that anticheat, antihack, security alert, and other important info can be found at places like Counter-Server and AdminMod.

Why doesn't my server show up on gamespy? (MOH:AA v. 1.11) 
This is an official bug with the server binaries, and I've been assured that it's going to be fixed in the next release. If you specified port, for some reason GameSpy doesn't like it. However, if you remove the port, there it is.. If you need assistance, please just call or write to the Martnet folks, and we'll comment out your port assignment until the next release clears this up.

Will you guarantee that you will not OVERLOAD our particular machine with customers which will result in loss of low ping once we have been with you for a bit and others join (how many games will you host on one machine at any given time)? 

oookay. These are actually seperate issues. First off, we won't overload the servers since this screws up EVERYONE'S account and makes us look bad. Not to mention pisses people off, and rightly so.

As for your ping...

Due to the nature of this business and the wide variety of gamers, we guarantee nothing. Anyone who says they do is lucky, lying, or both. We do of course have a customer usage agreement and terms of service, which outlines both your rights and responsibilities as a paying customer. IF we owned every inch of fiber and network cable and switch and hub and router between our machines and the house of every one of your clanmates, then MAYBE we could offer a guarantee. Since we don't, we can't possibly guarantee that say Excite@home will go chapter 11 and cut off comcast@home cable services (which it did) or that sprintnet will screw up a router somewhere (which they do) or that ATT.net won't have a bad hair day (which it might). As I said, anyone who guarantees pings over the entire internet, of which they control .0001%, is a fool. Or a slick salesperson.

Lastly, as for the players per machine, part of our testing involves finding out just what the heck they can handle. Any time we get new hardware, new chipsets, a brand-new compiled SMP kernel = no way of knowing. Yet. We'll reach a limit of maximum number of connected players without performance degredation, and then install combinations of servers with maxplayers less than that limit.

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