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Category: Gaming

Running a Terraria Server on Linux

In this quick tutorial, I’ll run you through how to quickly setup a dedicated Terraria server on Linux.

In this setup, I’m using Ubuntu Server 14.04 64-bit. I have tried it on CentOS without success (mono libs aren’t up-to-date), so I can’t guarantee it’d work on other platforms. Your server will also need at least 2GB of RAM. Any less and the server will fail to start.

First, we’ll need to install some prerequisites.

$ sudo apt-get install screen wget mono-complete

We’ll need wget to download the server files, screen to ensure the server doesn’t stop when we disconnect/logoff, and mono because Terraria is written in .NET.

Now that we have all that, let’s grab the server files. My example URL is current as of this posting, but you can grab in URL of the current version here.

$ wget http://terraria.org/server/terraria-server-linux-1308.tar.gz
$ tar xzf terraria-server-linux-1308.tar.gz
$ mv terraria-server* terraria
$ cd terraria

What we’ve done here is download the server files, unarchived them, renamed the folder to ‘terraria’, then moved into that folder.

At this point, we’ll want to start our screen session. Screen will allow the server to keep running in the background, so we can logoff the server without having to stop the Terraria server.

$ screen -S terrariads

Now, we’re inside the screen. To leave it, press Ctrl+A then Ctrl+D. To get back into the server console, enter screen -r terrariads and you’ll be right back in.

Once inside the screen session, we can start the server with the following:

$ mono –server –gc=sgen -O=all TerrariaServer.exe

The --server option reduces the header size and let’s Mono know that we won’t be using a GUI. --gc=sgen helps reduce memory fragmentation. -O=all turns on all optimizations.

That’s it. You now have a running Terraria server on Linux!

Fallout 3 Fails to Launch on Windows 8

This morning, I discovered that Fallout 3 would fail to launch after clicking ‘Play’ on the launcher. This is the first time I’ve tried playing Fallout 3 since moving to Windows 8.

The solution is actually quite easy: install Games for Windows Live. This can be acquired here. Install it, sign in with your Live ID, and Fallout 3 will run just fine.

Setup a Day of Defeat:Source Server on Linux

This is the basic method I use to create a number of game servers that I run for my gaming clan. All of these servers get a pretty decent load and work very well.

I am using an Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS server here, but this should work with most Linux distros.

Create A Game User

Here, I create a new user that the DoD:S server will run as. I named mine hlds, like the old version of the dedicated server, and have it use bash as it’s shell.

$ sudo useradd -s /bin/bash -m hlds
$ sudo passwd hlds

Then, I logout and log back in as this new user.

Install SteamCMD

First you’ll need to install the require packages:

$ sudo apt-get install lib32gcc1

As the game server user, run the following commands to download SteamCMD:

$ mkdir steamcmd && cd steamcmd
$ wget http://media.steampowered.com/client/steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
$ tar -xzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
$ ./steamcmd.sh

This will auto-update SteamCMD and leave you at a Steam> prompt. Now, we install the DoD:S server files.

Steam> login anonymous
Steam> force_install_dir ../
Steam> app_update 232290

This will take a while, as SteamCMD downloads all your server files. When it is done, it drops you back at the Steam> prompt and you can type quit.

Create Your Server Configuration

The game server does not come with a default configuration file, so without knowing what you’re doing, creating one can be kind of difficult. I like the dodbits DoD:S Server Config Maker, which will let you create one via fill in the blanks.

Take the server.cfg that this generates and place it in the dod/cfg/ folder.

Create A Startup Script

Using your favorite text editor (vim, emacs, etc), create a file called start.sh in your home directory. Place the following in there (obviously, change IP to match your server):

screen -A -m -d -S dod ./srcds_run -game dod +map dod_avalanche +maxplayers 30 +ip <server's ip address>

Save the file and exit your editor. Now, make that script executable with the following command:

$ chmod +x start.sh

You’re all ready to go at this point.

$ ./start.sh

will fire-up your server, but you won’t see anything. That’s because we used the screen command to separate the game from your terminal session. You can logout, but the game will keep on running.

So, how do you get in? Simple:

$ screen -x

Now, you are attached to the game server’s console. You can exit back out, keeping the server running, by pressing Ctrl+A then Ctrl+D.

VeeServers.com is awful

I don’t normally trash companies online, but this one deserves it. VeeServers.com offers Minecraft servers at great prices, but is not worth even their low cost. Ordering a hosted service (other than domains, which take about 24) should take no more than 6 hours. My server wasn’t setup for FOUR DAYS! During that time, I haven’t received a single reply to any of my emails.

I’m now in a PayPal dispute to get my money back, as I’m not paying a full months prices for less than a month of (crappy) service.

TL;DR: Avoid VeeServers at all costs.

Monkey Island: Special Edition

Dealing with the Cannibals
Original Monkey Island

As a gamer who started playing computer games in the days of DOS, I remember the time when the fun-factor of a game was the most important part. You couldn’t take a mediocre game and make it sell with awe-inspiring graphics. Your game just had to be really fun to play.

LucasArts did an amazing job with their adventure games. They had good stories, interesting puzzles, and often some pretty funny writing. As far funny writing goes, Monkey Island took the cake. You played as Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who ends up trying to save the Governor from the Ghost Pirate LeChuck. Sword fights are won by out-insulting your opponent (“You fight like a dairy farmer!”) and conversations are directed using dialog choices (“Look behind you! A three-headed monkey!”).

Xbox Live Arcade has been making a habit of re-releasing older games from different platforms (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of my favorites) nearly as is. However, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is an overhauled version of the original. The graphics have been redone, voices added to replace the original text, and the original music has been spectacularly redone, creating a modern experience for this classic game.

Inside the SCUMM Bar (Xbox)Users familiar with the original SCUMM system will have no problem getting around the newer interface: use the D-Pad to select your action (push, pull, pick up, use, etc.) and move the left stick to move the cursor around the screen. For added throw-back action, press the Back button to revert to the original graphics, music, and interface.

Overall, the game is great and worth the 800 Space Bucks Microsoft charges.