Steam Users' Forums L4D Dedicated server guide
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 11-07-2008, 12:33 PM #1 Slyguy42o   Join Date: Jul 2003 Reputation: 4 Posts: 491 L4D Dedicated server guide Hey everyone! There has been alot of info flying around about L4D dedicated servers and I wanted to try and compile it all into a single thread. Installation ------------------------------------------------ Left 4 Dead servers are more or less the same as any other source based game server, for the finer details on getting the update tool see here http://www.srcds.com Here are the update commands for each server type. Windows Code: HldsUpdateTool.exe -command update -game left4dead -dir c:\serverpath Linux Code: ./steam -command update -game left4dead -dir /home/zombie/serverpath General info ------------------------------------------------ openserverbrowser - in the console of the L4D client - all games are listed under the custom tab Banner File to edit - host.txt Dimensions - 500 x 100 - 673x135 The banner changes size based on the resolution the client is playing the game in. I would recommend making a 500x100 image and adding black borders up to 673x135 to accommodate those who play in higher resolutions. Simple HTML to center the banner image in the frame provided Example - Code: 
 motd File to edit - motd.txt standard motd, same as any other server Different types of servers you can run ------------------------------------------------ public server public server steamgroup enabled - player is a specifid steam group will be able to connect to the server private server *** public server *** Code: -- startup options -- -console -game left4dead -maxplayers 4 -autoupdate +map l4d_hospital01_apartment +ip xx.xx.xx.xx -port 27015 -nohltv +sv_lan 0 -- server.cfg -- // server name hostname myserver // password for rcon rcon_password "rcon_pass" // Difficulty of the current game (easy, normal, hard, impossible) z_difficulty normal *** public server steamgroup enabled *** Code: -- startup line -- -console -game left4dead -maxplayers 4 -autoupdate +map l4d_hospital01_apartment +ip xx.xx.xx.xx -port 27015 -nohltv +sv_lan 0 -- server.cfg -- // server name hostname myserver // password for rcon rcon_password "rcon_pass" // Difficulty of the current game (easy, normal, hard, impossible) z_difficulty normal // steam group that has access to the server sv_steamgroup 12345 *** private server with steamgroup and search key option *** Code: -- startup line -- -console -game left4dead -maxplayers 4 -autoupdate +map l4d_hospital01_apartment +ip xx.xx.xx.xx -port 27015 -nohltv +sv_lan 0 -nomaster -- server.cfg -- // server name hostname myserver // password for rcon rcon_password "rcon_pass" // password for server sv_password private_pass // Difficulty of the current game (easy, normal, hard, impossible) z_difficulty normal // this will allows you to find a server through matchmaking with a specific search string sv_search_key unique_key_for_server // steam group that has access to the server sv_steamgroup 12345 // only for members of certain steam group sv_steamgroup_exclusive 1 VS - CO-OP ------------------------------------------------ L4D offers two gameplay modes. VS - 4 on 4 survivor versus zombies.. human players on both sides. CO-OP - 4 survivors fight together through the single player maps. 4 human players vs AI The style of play is determined by the type of map loaded. the maxplayers startup option does not appear to have any affect on the max number of players. l4d_hospital01_apartment - coop map 4 players max l4d_vs_farm01_hilltop - versus map 8 players max Also this CVAR controls the game server mode "director_no_human_zombies" = "1" - Prevents humans from joining the zombie team ------------------------------------------------ Forking ------------------------------------------------ Here are the notes I have found on server forking. **Forking only works with Linux** Here is A 16 server thread with several incrementing ports. the ## function will increment the number plus the number for the server instance. -- startup line -- Code: -netconport 90## -netconpassword foo +hostport 27015+## -steamport 27960+## +clientport 25030+## +exec server##.cfg -nohltv +map l4d_hospital01_apartment -fork 16 if your going to use per server configs, delete server.cfg and create server01.cfg server02.cfg and so forth Broadcasting if you're using netconport. Telnet into the first netconport console (the one belonging to the parent) and type "broadcast say Servers going down for updates" or "broadcast map l4d_dem_hospital01_apartment" or "broadcast any_normal_command_here" This will send commands to all the forks in one shot. Type find into the console to see the other commands you can do. Notes ------------------------------------------------ sv_search_key - lets you set up a server that can be found via matchmaking, but only by people with a matching sv_search_key. This allows you to set up a server you or your friends can play on and still use the existing matchmaking lobby to set up avatars, difficulty, map, etc. To use the sv_search_key here is what you do. 1.) Set sv_search_key on your server. ex. sv_search_key myserver 2.) Have the host client (the one who will be creating the lobby) set the same sv_search_key in their console. 3.) Host client should now create the lobby. 4.) Other clients connect. Once the game is ready to be started, have the host hit start game. Now you should join your server as long as there is a server available with that search key. sv_steamgroup - takes the Steam group number (which is now visible on the group's administrative page). The server will still be part of matchmaking, but users that are in that group will be able to browse directly to it from the main menu. Also, if this value is set, there will be a button near the message of the day that allows users to go directly to that group's page. This allows them to join that group if they like, and then be able to browse back to it in the future. You will only be able to see the steamgroup number if you are the group creator, group members with admin access will not be able to see the group ID ------------------------------------------------ Please let me know if you spot any errors, this is by no means a definitive guide. I am just trying to compile all the info I have found into one spot. If you have anything to add or change please feel free to suggest accordingly. Last edited by Slyguy42o: 12-01-2008 at 11:09 AM. Reason: adding search key option - Thanks Zoid!
 11-07-2008, 01:20 PM #2 DeeBeeP   Join Date: Nov 2008 Reputation: 0 Posts: 44 Thanks Sly. I've been wanting to test out sv_search_key. The only problem is my clients don't know where to place their key?
 11-07-2008, 01:32 PM #3 Slyguy42o   Join Date: Jul 2003 Reputation: 4 Posts: 491 Actually valve emailed me and gave me the details, So I haven't had a chance to test it out myself but I believe the party leader will have a place to enter it in the lobby when they are ready to begin their game.
11-07-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
Slyguy42o

Join Date: Jul 2003
Reputation: 4
Posts: 491
I was wrong

Quote:
 You put it on your server, and then set it on your client in your console or whatever. Then when you do a lobby and create the game it searches for servers with that key.

 11-07-2008, 01:53 PM #5 mbmonk   Guest Posts: n/a Could you add the system specs required to run a dedicated server? Or do you know where I could find that info out? Thanks
11-07-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
Slyguy42o

Join Date: Jul 2003
Reputation: 4
Posts: 491
There aren't any official specs for L4D servers, but userland testing has determined that they are about the same as a 24 man TF2 server.

Additionally if your going to run it under linux you might want to take a look at the following notes

Quote:

11-07-2008, 04:22 PM   #7
TheMG

Volunteer Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Reputation: 1899
Posts: 10,287
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Slyguy42o There aren't any official specs for L4D servers, but userland testing has determined that they are about the same as a 24 man TF2 server.
Haha yeah I was thinking "oh I'll just put up 6 servers on my box" but then it occurred to me - the AI for all those zombies must chew up some serious CPU resources. Indeed it does.

 11-07-2008, 04:39 PM #8 Slyguy42o   Join Date: Jul 2003 Reputation: 4 Posts: 491 hehhe.. yup Those zombies eat alot more than just brains
 11-07-2008, 07:14 PM #9 TragicManner   Guest Posts: n/a Hey great topic. This has been a huge help getting the details worked out on my server! Keep up the good work, guides like this just don't exist for l4d yet.
 11-07-2008, 09:33 PM #10 PsychoSnowMan   Guest Posts: n/a Thanks for posting this, very well done. That sv_unreserve option is exactly what I was looking for when I came across your thread.
 11-07-2008, 10:26 PM #11 DexterSinister   Join Date: Sep 2007 Reputation: 12 Posts: 241 Help a server noob? I'm hoping someone here can give me a clue. I used to run a dedicated HL server at small LANs back in the day, but haven't tried with Source/Steam. I figure my bandwidth isn't enough to support a decent number of players. (Comcast cable) TheMG suggests that the server specs should be close to a 24 player TF2 server. Assuming I have the hardware to support this, I am wondering: if L4D has only 4 players connecting, can I run a decent dedicated server? Or does the number of zombies increase the amount of bandwidth I need as much as a client/player? Also, It looks like I need a second Steam account to run a a dedicated server and play on a second machine. Is that correct? Thanks in advance for any help.
 11-08-2008, 08:19 AM #12 Junpei   Guest Posts: n/a -console -game left4dead -maxplayers 4 -autoupdate +map l4d_dem_hospital02_subway +ip xx.xx.xx.xx -port 27015 +sv_lan 0 the ip in each of your start strings is listed as this, do i replace this with my servers IP? i asked since my servers port is also not 27011 it is 27145. also setmaster add 68.142.72.250:27011 setmaster add 72.165.61.189:27011 are these also supposed to be left as this? NOTE: I am not running my own server, i am renting from INX-Gaming. i do have full ftp access and such, just mentioning in case you know of any issues. thankyou
 11-08-2008, 10:37 AM #14 OriginalOreo   Join Date: Jan 2008 Reputation: 0 Posts: 70 I keep having issues with the sv_search_key myself... Everytime I attempt to use it, and then try to connect using the key in a lobby. It always say "No Dedicated Server Host found, Would you like to host?" I have changed the sv_search_key to many words, it just doesn't want to accept. Any help?
 11-08-2008, 10:56 AM #15 TragicManner   Guest Posts: n/a I haven't tried the search key stuff out yet. I haven't heard of anyone using it successfully, either, so I don't know if the kinks have been ironed out for that yet.

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