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Game Server Hosting OS

Witch Linux should I use for just ONLY gameserver hosting only, such as Counterstrike, Quake 3,4, and the useual first person shooters, I am not looking for a free program to download, but if the free one is the best then I will use it, keep in mind that this will be running on a 1U Rackmount and I will not be there and must remotely control it from a laptop at home and will not need to load a graphical interface on system startup to save resources, it could be just running as a commandline server. The specs of the box will be:

Tyan S2925G2NR-E Serverboard

Quad-Core AMD Opteron‚Ñ¢ 1381 2.5GHz 2200MHz 6MB Socket AM3 75W

8GB, 4pcs of Kingston 2GB DDR2 667MHZ ECC KVR667D2E5/2G

1pc of Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATAII 7200 RPM

Sony NEC Optiarc AD7590A-01 Slim DVDRW E-IDE/ATAPI Black RoHS

Integrated Two nForce Pro 3400 integrated MAC w/ Marvell

If another OS would be better such as freeBSD in Linux mode please let me know, keep in mind that I dont know crap about Linux and will need all of you guys to help me untill it is up and running.


  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    First of all, let me start by saying I'm jealous of your machine ;)

    I don't run anything other than Linux lately, so I can't speak to other OSes, but I can say without a doubt that Linux can do what you need. My gues is that the machine will be completely headless, so you probably don't have a need for an X server or at least, you don't care about all the latest wiz-bang desktop effects etc. If that's the case, I would go with something as light weight as possible, to save you on memery and cpu resources. Frankl,y in this particular case, I would run Gentoo. The machine you have could make short work of all the compiling that needs to be done, and by rolling your own kernel and binaries, you can include only the code you need for your specific hardware, and nothing else. you could even chose to prelink some binaries that will be loaded on a regular basis to save you on load times, etc.

    That being said, if you're not a masochist and you don't expect thousands and thousands of users, then something like Debian Stable w/out install the Gnome / X stuff should do the trick, too. I would still consider rolling your own kernel, though, just to save on memory foot print, and boot time.

    good luck.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I agree with Adam, Gentoo running a custom kernel can offer the best performance, but if you are new to Linux based systems then that may be far beyond you at this point.

    I also recommend checking out CentOs as another simple option.
  • I was thinking of buying this CD to run my server

    You guys said something about roleing my own kernel, I have no idea what that means, I am thinking that this DVD will auto install and download the correct drivers or must I obtain the drivers source from the internet for that integrated bourd.

    If you say I will have more processor power by roling my own kernels then I must do this, and just pay someone to do it, If possible I can find someone on here that would like to do this, I need you guys to tell me if this will have limited client access or some crap like that, I will of cource need unlimited client access, I am still not knowing how many deditcated game servers I can run on this box and player slots, but by roling my own kernels will give me an extra 50 player slots then I am for paying someone to do this. But if it will only increase my processor power by 2% then I will just use the default.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I have not used gentoo much more than a trial setup, I am unsure if even an install for the Live-DVD is plug and play. But again if you want simple then gentoo is not the best path. Instead of paying a few bucks for the disk, you can just download it from and burn it to disk yourself.
    Your player slots will depend on bandwidth, RAM and CPU speed, running a custom kernel may get you and extra 5% out of the cpu and save you ~100MB of RAM, but it won't make the difference you want.

    Again as a warning, if you are new to linux system then don't just expect to install an OS in CLI mode and your game server software to make all well; you will need to configure the security, learn a CLI based text editor to configure the files, learn the basic command line arguments and understand remote administration to properly interact with it. If you are in a hurry to get up and running and don't want to learn much yourself, then you may be able to find a Linux geek through your local LUG to administer your server for you,
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    Vassilos, don't run Gentoo. I didn't realise how inexperienced you are. I would go with my other suggestion. Just install Debian or Ubuntu Server from the CD and go with that.

    Later on, if you want to learn a little more, and tinker, and really get a feel for how much you can customize a Linux install, then go for Gentoo. It will take you some time to get the OS installed the way you want to, but you will learn a lot! in the process.
  • Is there limited client access or connections with Ubuntu Server ?

    If so, then I must go a different route.

    I will need to be able to have hundreds upto a 1000 people connecting on the runnning game servers.

    Or maybe there is a Gameserver Linux package out there that has all popular linux dedicated server already included in the package and all you need to do is copy the game files.

    If not, that would be a good project for you guys to start, make a Windows program that will automatically copy IRQ settings and such in Windows and download ALL Linux drivers and create the CD image for you specific to your machine and all its hardware, then you just burn it.

    If the program cannot find the drivers it will notify the user to cancel or to provide the driver, you Linux logo can be the penguin with a red and sore Nintendo thumb.
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    "Is there limited client access or connections with Ubuntu Server ?"
    If you mean some sort of license restriction, then no. If you mean will it consume too many resources to allow that volume of connections, it all really depends on what software you install and run and the capability of your hardware.

    I personally haven't heard of any game server oriented distributions, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. I personally don't do a lot of gaming, myself. Have you looked at www.distrowatch.com? They have a pretty complete list of Linux distros out there.

    I still think, though that your best bet is going to be Debian w/ no X server, or Ubuntu Server.
  • Doing some research on the net, if found out that most and all Linux game servers are running CentOS 5.4

    And that will be my choice for the OS, it is said that CentOS is used by MOST webservers because it only takes the know how of just poping in the DVD and being able to read, it was designed to be a headless server so video card support sucks for it, and the CentOS team even admits that it will not be good for a desktop workstation, Redhat or Fedora would do good for that.

    Now the issue is actually controling my server from home, is there a free program for Linux that allows server control such as actually being at the desktop, mouse click/ drag and drop? DirectAdmin, Plesk, cPanel/WHM, Virtuozzo PowerPanel.

    Or do those listed above suck and you guys have a better recommendation?
    if so I will rent a VPS server from http://knownhost.com/vps_packages.html
    running CentOS so that I may practice before spend all this money.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    Most designated game software is meant to be controlled from a config file that is loaded when you launch the executable not from a point-and-click gui. The best form of administration would be to setup a secure ssh daemon on the server and call into the server remotely from an ssh client which can include putty for windows. Once in the server you can modify the config file(s) and restart the game all from the command line.
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    mfillpot is spot on. I tihnk you should try to stick to CLI. especially since you don't seem to want to waste any over-head. Howver, if you insist on a GUI, you have a few options. Something like c-pannel is probably not a bad choice, if it has the plugins for everything you want to control (I haven't looked at c-pannel in years). Or, you could install a minimal X server, and no Desktop Environment. Then via that same SSH session you could X11 forward you windows back to your local X server and use the GUI tools available to you as if they were on your local computer.

    Something like Cpannel would cost you the overhead of running a web server.

    Something like X11 forwarding would cost you the overhead of running an X server.


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