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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 7-22-99
   

So you Want To Run A server? Part II

You've got the bandwidth, you're set with the hardware, so now you're ready to go. Well, sort of. This week we're going to tell you the basics of setting up a server on two of the more popular platforms (Win32 & Linux) using a sample mod, Lithium.

We're only going to cover Quake 2 for the moment; Q3a follows many of the same guidelines except for the mods and such. When id releases the full version of Q3a we'll re-visit this article. We would cover Mac, but as none of us have a Mac, so you guys are unfortunately SOL. If you would like to send us a Mac, we'll be glad to tell you how to run a server on one.

On the fist day He created Quake....

Install Quake 2. This varies from OS to OS. Installing from Win32 is easy, simply run the setup program. Setting up Linux is a little more complicated than that. The best guide for that is over at Linuxquake. This details setting up Quake 2 for Linux very well and in plain English (quite a refreshing change from the technobabble you usually see in Linux). You're also going to need a a good unarchiver like Winzip, and a #2 pencil.

On the second day He said "let there be mods", and it was good....

Now it's time to pick your poison. For this article we're going to cover Lithium as our example mod. Mods are basically set up the same, with a few differences here and there. Lithium is a good start for new admins, as it's:

a) popular as hell.
b) easy to setup.
c) has built-in administration, and
d) the favorite mod of the TechTips team.

First, download Lithium or download directly from Fileplanet.

Win32 Specific goodies: Unzip the lithium archive into your "quake2\lithium" directory (if your quake2 is located on the "C" drive, then unzip into "C:\quake2\lithium". Don't put it in "C:\lowtax\g0at p0rn\grey goats\lithium").

This next step is perhaps the most important step. Once you've unarchived the mod, fire up Explorer and browse over your "quake2\lithium" directory (if you're having trouble with this part, perhaps you'd better go and read Mynx's column for awhile). See that file "readme.txt"? Read it. Go ahead, don't be afraid. There's good stuff in there. Tip #1 for being a server admin: read everything with a readme in it: readme.txt, readme.admin, readme.alt.binaries.erotica. We can assure you, if you fire off a flaming email to the mod author without reading the readme, you will end up like this.

Ok, you've got the most arduous task out of the way. Now back to the fun stuff. Click on Start -> Run and type "notepad". Paste this into your new notepad file:

quake2 +set dedicated 1 +set game lithium +exec server.cfg

Now click on file, then save as. In the file name box type "lithium.bat". Close notepad, we're done with it for a bit.

Now browse with Explorer into "quake2\baseq2". Copy the existing stock.cfg over into server.cfg (you can just right-drag it into the same directory, it will create a file named "copy of stock.cfg". Right click and rename it to "server.cfg"). Being the lazy admins we are, we then double click on the server.cfg we've just created. More than likely it will ask you what you want to open the file with. Select "notepad". Now you've got a screen full of goodies. This is how you control the mod. Most mods have some sort of configuration file from which you can customize the sucker. This is lithium's cfg file. For now we're only going to go over the most basic changes, to give you an idea. Note the entry that says:

set hostname "noname"

We've actually seen servers running with this as their name. Unless you want to look like the second dumbest admin out there, you'll probably want to change this. This will be the name of your server that shows up in Gamespy. Every popular server we've seen has some cool name to it ("5 assed monkey", "HammerTown", "Bloody Waters", "Carolina Quake"). We don't want to be different, so let's give our sample server a good name.

set hostname "Fragmaster's Tiny Package"

Now you're probably going to want to explore the cfg file. Some of the other settings like "maxclients" are pretty self explanatory. Don't make too many changes until you've become comfortable with the mod (if you're following this guide step-by-step, we would suggest you not make any more changes until you've managed to fire the sucker up once to see if it works).

Optional stuff: Unless you want the world to know this is the first time you've ever installed a server, you'll need to do a couple of other things. Fire up notepad and create a file called "motd.txt" in your lithium directory. Put some basic information like your email address, your website URL, and other things like that in there. Many admins get fancy and use little brackets and stuff. If we get enough reqests on how to do things like this over the course of the next week, we'll include them in the next edition of techtips.

Starting the server:

Ok, you've got your name setup, you're ready to shock and amaze the Quake community with your l33t skilz as a server admin. Fire up Explorer and double click on the "lithium.bat" we created earlier (if your Win32 is setup to hide the extensions, just click on the thing with a gear on it titled "lithium". While you're there, click on tools -> options and unhide your extensions). A couple of black screens should pop up, this is normal. The part we're looking for is:

Winsock Initialized
====== Quake2 Initialized ======
execing server.cfg
==== InitGame ====
------- Server Initialization -------
Lithium II Mod v1.24
Map: q2dm1 Clients: 0 Mode: DM
-------------------------------------

The $.50 check to see if your server is running properly is to simply type status at that prompt.

Winsock Initialized
====== Quake2 Initialized ======
execing server.cfg
==== InitGame ====
------- Server Initialization -------
Lithium II Mod v1.24 Map: q2dm1
Clients: 0 Mode: DM
-------------------------------------
status
map : q2dm1
num score ping name lastmsg address qport
--- ----- ---- --------------- ------- --------------------- ------

Ok, our server is online and operational. If you get "server not running" or something similar, you did something bad. Let's get somebody to connect to it. Go to another machine (or call a friend to connect) and connect to it's ip address. (i.e. from the quake 2 client type "connect xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx", with the "xxx" being the ip address). You should see something like this:

ButtLumps connected (address = 207.16.54.48)
ButtLumps entered the game (clients = 1)

Woo hoo! You're well on your way to being very popular, handsome, and having a big tool. If you want to communicate to ButtLumps, type "say ph3ar my skilz". This will make you very popular with the users. To shutdown the server, simply type "quit". You can close out the extra black screens now.




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