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Here you will find step-by-step information on how to download, install, set up, configure, and optimize your Linux box to become a great Earth Special Forces server.

This how-to was designed to make it as easy and fast as possible to get your Linux box up and running with a dedicated ESF server.

I know that there are many flavors of Linux, so in order to keep things simple and make this tutorial applicable for all versions, we will configure and setup your Linux box exclusively from the command line interface (CLI).

The only notable exception to this will be for downloading the files for running your server.
To do so, you need to have an internet browser installed, configured and working, but after all, if you are reading this then you already have that set up!

I will assume that you already have a *newer* version of Linux installed and configured correctly on your network.
If you need help with this, I suggest you use "linuxconf" to configure it and/or head on over to linux.org http://www.linux.org to get some help. Here we go!

Log in to your Linux box, as "root" if you can - but be aware that you do not need to log in as root if you have another user account created that has the necessary access and privileges.

In fact, it is not recommended that you run your server as "root" at all due to inherent security risks.

There are many tutorials here http://www.linux.org that can help you create additional user accounts on your Linux server if you need help.

Once logged in, do not start x-windows, rather stay in the command line interface (hereafter referred to as the CLI).

If your Linux box automatically starts x-windows don't worry... when it starts up, just click on the Terminal Emulation icon - you may have it on your taskbar or you may need to look in the "Start Menu" to find it.

When you do find it and click on it, a box should open up that has something similar to this:
[[email protected] /root]#

What you have may differ slightly depending upon who you logged in as and the name of your Linux box. In this case, user "root" is logged into the Linux server named "server" which defaults to the directory "/root".

Now at your CLI, you want to type:
cd /

Now type this:
mkdir /halflife

Now type:
cd /halflife

If all is well, you should see this at the CLI:
[[email protected] /halflife]

Again, it may differ slightly depending upon who you logged in as and the server name, but you need to make sure you have the "/halflife" part in there.

If you don't see it there, go back and start again from the beginning - you did something wrong.

Now a quick side note that you do not have to use this directory ("/halflife"), and in most cases it would be better to use a directory such as "/usr/local/games/halflife" to install your ESF dedicated server into.
If you choose to use this directory instead (usually there is more disk space there) simply substitute /usr/local/games/halflife
wherever you see /halflife And just start over at the top using this new directory.

Just remember to substitute your directory( /usr/local/games/halflife) wherever you see (/halflife) for the rest of this tutorial if you chose to go that route!

Now you have a new directory at the top level called "halflife".

This is where we are going to install your ESF server.
We need to download 2 files to get started.

You should be in the "/halflife" directory on your server, so when we download the files, they will be saved in this directory.

If you are not in the /halflife directory we created, or are not sure, simply type:
cd /halflife
You should now be in the correct directory.

Next, Using FTP upload the hlds dedicated server tar.gz file to the /halflife directory you just created.
Then go and type:
tar zxvf hlds_l3110.tar.gz

The computer will then proceed to unpack and install the dedicated server in the halflife directory we created earlier in a directory called "hlds_l". When it finishes, type:
cd /hlds_l
You should now be in the directory "/halflife/hlds_l".

Next, Using FTP upload the ESF dedicated server tar.gz file to the /halflife directory you just created.
**The latest version is ESF110b.tar.gz
Mirrors are located at http://www.esforces.com

Once the file has uploaded, type this in the CLI you are at:
tar zxvf ESF110b.tar.gz

This will unpack and install the ESF mod on your dedicated server. When that finishes, you will need to type the following in your CLI:
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/halflife/hlds_l:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

What this does is tells Linux to look in the "/halflife/hlds_l" directory for dynamic libraries.

You should now be able to run the basic ESF dedicated server. Let's test it and see if it works.

Make sure you are in the "/hlaflife/hlds_l" directory and type the following in the CLI:
./hlds_run -game esf +maxplayers 10 +map esf_city

The computer should then proceed to start a dedicated 10 player server with the esf_kami map.
At the end of starting the server you should see the following if all went okay:

WON Auth Server
. . .

If you see the above, but are missing the "Auth" portion, there is most likely a problem with your server using the incorrect IP address.
A few things could be the cause of this.
First you need to see which IP address your Linux server is using for ESF. Type the following:

status

It will give you something similar to this:
hostname: ESF 1.1 Beta
version : 46/4.1.1.0 2056 secure
tcp/ip : 216.19.201.82:27015
map : esf_city at: 0 x, 0 y, 0 z
players : 0 active (10 max)

If your IP address is not what it should be (one you don't recognize), quit the server by typing this:
quit

Now let's try running it again with a new line, type:
./hlds_run -game esf +ip <your IP here> +maxplayers 10 +map esf_city
For instance, if the IP address of my server were 213.12.111.23, I would type this:
./hlds_run -game esf +ip 213.12.111.23 +maxplayers 10 +map esf_city

Now after you run that, let the game load and wait to see if it gives you "WON Auth Server" this time. If it does, you re set!

If you still do not get the "WON Auth Server" it could be that you are behind a firewall. If so, the only hope for you my friend is to speak to the network administrator and have him open the ports you need (27015 is the default). In any case, he will be able to help you get it opened up to the internet.

Now that you have your server running, we need to optimize it. You can run the server just as it is now - stock - but your clients won't get maximum performance from your server. You need to edit your server.cfg file in your esf directory (/halflife/esf/server.cfg).

We will be posting a stock server config with comments on the variables shorty.

If you get miscellaneous errors or are otherwise unable to get your server running, go to the ESF Forums and browse the Server forum.

For you Linux newbies, here is a really good resource link:
http://linux.com/howto/DOS-Win-to-Linux-HOWTO-4.html
 
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And for users behind a router you need to set your IP manually. +IP doesn't work. Thats what I have to say about this.
 
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Yeao pommy right you can set your ip manually or turn off the firewall. or diconnect your routor and plug your modem cable to your computer so its direct with not router interface i do that alot when i host dedicated servers for esf and cs at the same time :)
 
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Its hard to understand you. You have this 'BLEH' sort of typing were you want to type it all at once....slow down a bit :D

Also going direct completely takes away the use of a router. I had 5 computers running on my network when I hosted a dedicated server and it needed the router since my ISP only provides one IP. And even if you do go direct it still would always say' could not set ip/port' bs everytime unless I set it manually. Also I found that when you forward UDP ports 27000 - 27020 instead of just the port your using (were the port hosting is in between those port ranges) and don't use the DMZ host on the router it fixs most or all of problems that occur when using a linksys router.
 
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Good guide |PT|Mars. I just started using red hat and without this guide I would not have got my esf server working on linux.

One question, how do I run the esf server, so I don't have to have the telnet window open all the time?
 
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Use Screen to launch the server

screen -A -m -d -S esfserver ./hlds_run -game esf +port 27017 +maxplayers 12 +map esf_kami

Then press Control-A D to put it to the background
Then when you want to get back to the console type

screen -r esfserver
 
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I have noticed something confusing. After you create hlds_l it tells you to type cd hlds_l to go into it. Then it tells you to dl esf into /halflife. So which folder do you install esf into... halflife or hlds_l??????????? Also what folder are you in when you export the library?
 

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