# Server Hosting Tutorial
This is a tutorial/brain dump of how to set up an SS14 server. This guide will cover everything you need, from private servers to play with your friends, to production servers for proper server hosts.
There are two methods you can use. A "bare" server that just runs the game server directly, or `SS14.Watchdog`. We recommend the latter for more proper deployments and also if you want to be accessible via the launcher.
If you have any questions, ping PJB on Discord.
These numbers were LITERALLY pulled out of somebody's ass so just get rid of them.
## Recommended Specs for hosting
!!! MAY VARY DURING DEVELOPMENT !!!
* 4 Core Cpu 2.6ghz or higher
* 2GB Memory
* 1GB Disk space
* 6 Core Cpu 2.8ghz or higher
* 4GB Memory
* 2GB Disk space
* 8 Core Cpu 2.8ghz or higher
* 4GB Memory
* 4GB Disk space
* 8 Core Cpu 3.2ghz or higher
* 8GB Memory
* 8GB Disk space
## "I want to set up a quick private server for my friends".
1. Install the [.NET 5 Runtime](https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download).
2. Download the latest version of the server from [our builds page](https://central.spacestation14.io/builds/wizards/builds.html), for your operating system.
3. Extract that to a directory somewhere.
4. Run `Robust.Server.exe` (or `Robust.Server` via terminal on macOS/Linux)
5. Make sure you have TCP port 1212 **and** UDP port 1212 port forwarded. If Windows prompts you about firewall allow that too.
6. Give your friends and yourself your IP address and have them paste it into the launcher.
<small>Just kidding, you don't have any friends.</small>
## Install .NET Runtime.
The server is not self contained (and neither are client builds) and needs a [.NET 5 Runtime](https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download) installed. For `SS14.Watchdog` you ALSO need the ASP .NET Core 5 Runtime.
## Running Bare Server
The "simplest" configuration is to get a build of the server for your platform, unzip it, and launch the server program (`Robust.Server.exe`/`Robust.Server`). We host our official builds [our builds page](https://central.spacestation14.io/builds/wizards/builds.html) or you can export them yourself if you have a fork.
This will not, of course, handle automatic restarts (in case of a crash) or updates.
Note that when you run a server like this, the build information that the launcher needs (so it has a version of the client to download) points to our central server. **We do not keep those builds around forever** so eventually people will no longer be able to connect to the server. Obviously this is not a problem if you want to set up a quick and dirty private server for your friends. Just make sure to download a new version of the server at least every week.
### Server configuration
You can configure settings in the server by editing the config file, `server_config.toml`. The config file is TOML which is basically INI ~~except better specified, somewhat more powerful, easier to misuse, and more annoyingly opinionated (comments NEED their own line)~~.
Settings have one key they fall under and then the name. So if I say `game.lobbyenabled` it goes under the `[game]` header like so:
lobbyenabled = true
Got that? Good.
**Some sane defaults you might want to set for your server if you actually intend to host this properly:**
# Reducing tickrate to 30 is basically unnoticeable
# but reduces server, client and network load dramatically.
tickrate = 30
# Changes the name of the server as it appears in the lobby and launcher.
hostname = "Foo Station"
# Enables the lobby instead of straight up throwing clients into a game.
lobbyenabled = true
# Enforces authentication so that ALL connecting clients must have a proper account.
# Otherwise, guest logins are allowed.
# Possible values here are: 0 (optional), 1 (required), 2 (disabled)
mode = 1
### Admin Privileges
By default, no admin privileges are set. Connections made from localhost are automatically full admin and bypass any authentication requirements. Of course, that's not very useful for real live servers hosted on a dedicated box, so you have a chicken and egg problem.
You can use the `promotehost` (e.g. `promotehost PJB`) command on the server's console to temporarily give a connected client full HOST privileges. This will allow them to set up further admin privileges (and set their own permanently) with the in-game admin permissions panel. The privileges are lost when the server shuts down.
Host privileges are dangerous to give and should only be given to people you can absolutely trust. They can, by design, be used as an RCE with the `scsi` command, allowing a complete takeover of the server.
### Build Configuration
If you *do* want to set up a more permanent server, you will have to re-host the client downloads somewhere. Anywhere accessible via a plain URL is fine.
You will want to edit the server config file (`server_config.toml`) to add the following to it:
# Download locations of the entire client build in a zip, as a HTTP (or HTTPS) URL.
download_url = ""
### ADVANCED Server Build Configuration
This is for people running their own codebase and server.
The launcher needs to download the client binary to be able to run the game. It gets information about this client binary from the game server via an info API.
The information returned from this API is configured in two ways: `build.json` and `build.*` configuration variables.
`build.json` is a file that gets put next to the server executable automatically by the build system. This is how the server knows what the build info is when just downloading a bare server zip. (note that this is NOT done by `package_release_build.py`, since it relies on extra build information. `gen_build_info.py` does it in a separate step)
The second option is by specifying configuration variables (from command line or config file, both work):
# "Identifier" of your codebase. This is used by the launcher to manage installations.
# Try to keep this unique between different codebases.
# Nothing will break if you don't (or if there's a malicious actor),
# but the launcher WILL be forced to redownload files more often than otherwise necessary.
fork_id = ""
# Version string of the current build running on the server.
# This just prompts the launcher to redownload if it's different.
version = ""
# Version of the engine to download.
# Engine versions are hosted by us and will probably stay up forever.
# At least, as long as they are not found to be vulnerable to any security exploits, then we may pull them.
engine_version = ""
# Download locations of the entire client build in a zip, as a HTTP/HTTPS URL.
download_url = ""
# SHA256 hash of client zip files specified above.
hash = ""
Note that `SS14.Watchdog` specifies *most* of for you if you have configured it with auto updates (depending on update provider). It notably cannot provide `engine_version` or `fork_id` version, so you're best off specifying the former in build.json (your build system should be non garbage for this) and the latter in a config file.
[`SS14.Watchdog`](https://github.com/space-wizards/SS14.Watchdog/) (codename Ian) is our server-hosting wrapper thing, similar to TGS for BYOND (but much simpler for the time being). It handles auto updates, monitoring, automatic restarts, and administration. We recommend you use this for proper deployments.
To set it up, download the code (linked above), and publish it for your platform (`dotnet publish -c Release -r linux-x64 --no-self-contained`), since we currently don't provide any publishes ourselves. Note that you need to have the ASP.NET Core Runtime installed. Then copy `SS14.Watchdog/bin/Release/netcoreapp3.1/linux-x64/publish` to a directory on your server or something.
You will want to edit `appsettings.yml` to add a server and configure some stuff. Example from our official servers (obviously tokens redacted):
# API URL that your watchdog is accessible from.
# This HAS to be set so the game servers can communicate with the watchdog.
# If you don't want the watchdog to be publically accessible, do `http://localhost:5000/` here.
# ID of your server.
# Name of the server
Name: "Wizard's Den"
ApiToken: "foobar" # API token to control this instance remotely like run updates, restart server.
ApiPort: 1212 # API port OF THE GAME SERVER. This has to match the 1212 HTTP status API (described below). Otherwise the watchdog can't contact the game server for stuff.
# Auto update configuration. This can be left out if you do not need auto updates. Example is for our officially hosted builds.
# See below for alternatives.
### Server Instance Folder
The watchdog will automatically create a folder structure for each server instance. This is at `instances/<instanceId>` relative to the current working directory when executing the watchdog.
Each instance folder has the following files and folders:
* `binaries/`: Is used to store client binaries when using the "Local" update type, see below.
* `bin/`: Contains the actual extracted server binaries.
* `data/`: Stores server data like player preferences.
* `config.toml`: Is the config file the server will load (the watchdog overrides the default location, `server_config.toml` next to the .exe, to avoid it getting deleted when the server resets).
### "Manual" Local Updates
You can use the watchdog with local files, and have it automatically generate the necessary build information. This will also host the client binaries for you.
To configure this, use the following update configuration in your `appsettings.yml`, in the entry for your server instance:
Version: "foobar" # Version string to use.
The watchdog will automatically host client binaries. Where does it pull them from? The `binaries/` folder in your server instance folder! Note that for this to work, the watchdog HAS to be publically accessible via `BaseUrl` in the config file.
You can edit the `Version:` specified in the config to tell the launcher that it should update the game next time you connect.
You will have to manually move files around and extrac the server binaries.
### Custom Auto Updates
Not supported, but it should be relatively trivial to edit the code for `SS14.Watchdog` to add support for whatever update mechanism you need. See `UpdateProvider.cs`.
## Port Forwarding
The server obviously needs network ports to be forwarded so that people can connect.
The game server uses two ports:
* UDP `1212` is used for main game netcode. This is necessary for the *client* to be able to connect to the server. This can be configured with the `net.port` configuration variable.
* TCP `1212` is a HTTP status API. This is also necessary for the *launcher* to be able to connect to the server. You do not need this to connect with a bare client. This can be configured with the `status.bind` configuration variable (which takes in a string like `*:1212` or `127.0.0.1:3000`).
You can slap the HTTP status API behind a reverse proxy if you want. This is recommended for production servers since then you can do HTTPS (slap it behind nginx and turn on HTTPS). Note that if you do this you have to set the `status.connectaddress` config variable to specify the UDP address the main netcode should connect to. This has to look like this: `udp://server.spacestation14.io:1212` (for our server, obviously substitute with your params).
## SQL Setup
SS14 uses an SQL database to store server data like player slots. By default, an **SQLite** database is automatically used which is sufficient for local testing and small servers. If you want the ability to share the database between multiple servers or such however, the server also supports connecting to **PostgreSQL**. ~~(If you have need for MySQL/MariaDB or others, tell us, should be easy enough to add.)~~ Nevermind that last line MariaDB is pathetic compared to postgres and it would require non trivial amounts of engineering effort of make work. I'm fine merging PRs that add it but I'm not taking the initiative myself.
Relevant configuration properties, along with default values:
# Server config file
# Database type to use. Can be "sqlite" or "postgres" currently.
prefs_engine = "sqlite"
# Path to store the database at when using SQLite. Note that is NOT a disk path.
# This is relative to the server data directory, which is specified by --data-dir when starting the server from the command (or automatically set by SS14.Watchdog)
prefs_sqlite_dbpath = "preferences.db"
# PostgreSQL database configuration, should be self explanatory.
prefs_pg_host = "localhost"
prefs_pg_port = 5432
prefs_pg_database = "ss14_prefs"
prefs_pg_username = ""
prefs_pg_password = ""
The game server automatically does migrations when it starts up, you do not have to do them manually.
## Getting Your Server In The Launcher
The server list the launcher pulls is hosted by us at `https://builds.spacestation14.io/hub/api/servers`. If you would like your server to get on this list, please contact us via Discord or such (adding your server is completely manual at the moment).
## Prometheus Metrics
SS14 supports hosting a metrics server that [Prometheus](https://prometheus.io/) can scrape, with which you can then make fancy graphs in [Grafana](https://grafana.com/) or such. Ask on Discord if you actually want our Grafana configuration.
To configure this, you can use the following config variables:
enabled = true
# Address to bind the metrics server to
host = "localhost"
# Port to bind the metrics server to
port = 44880
You can then scrape this with the following Prometheus config (for example):
- job_name: "wizards_den_us_west"
- targets: ["localhost:44880"]
## Loki Logging
SS14 also supports pushing structured log data to [Loki](https://grafana.com/oss/loki/). Because this is modern DevOps crap the website doesn't say what it actually does but when combined with Grafana you can go and look at and filter logs in a debatably more sane way than bare text files.
No, you do not need Promtail set up for this to work. SS14 pushes directly to Loki.
To configure this, you can use the following config variables:
enabled = true
# HTTP address of the Loki server.
address = "http://localhost:3100"
# Name of this server, gets included in all log messages.
name = "wizards_den_us_west"
# Parameters for HTTP Basic authentication, if you have Loki configured behind it.
# If left out, no authentication will be attempted.
# username = ""
# password = ""
#### Server keeps restarting every 30 seconds
This means the server isn't communicating with the watchdog correctly and the watchdog is forced to assume that the server is locked up or similar. This happens if `BaseUrl` in the watchdog configuration is set incorrectly or otherwise inaccessible by the game server.