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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:57 pm 
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http://clanlcn.com/LCN/articles.php?article_id=7

Setting up a L4D server can be very difficult if you don't know what you're doing. It took me a full day of research to figure this out. I couldn't find a one stop source guide on how to do everything and most of the info you come across is very confusing to say the least.

So, I decided to write an article that will explain how to set up a perfect working Left 4 Dead clan server. Most of the articles I found that talk about setting up a server were way off, confusing, asking you to edit files that don't need to be edited and things like this, it's really ridiculous that no one could just make it easy. I am doing this to make it easy. I will cover one thing at a time but I'll start with a list of things you will have to do...

1. You will need to edit your server.cfg file. You'll want to at least have your server playable before doing anything else.

2. You will want to edit your L4D launch options so that you'll be able to connect to your server through a L4D lobby.

3. You'll want to make 2 banners with your clan information, one will need to be 673 X 135 and one will need to be 1000 X 700. This will be for your clan banner and MOTD (message of the day).

4. You'll need to make some HTML pages to display your Clan Banner and MOTD. Then edit and link to the web-pages in your host.txt and motd.txt on your server.

1. Setting up your server.cfg file. Copy the stuff in the quote box into your server.cfg making sure to delete what ever else may be in it. The server.cfg file should be located in your left4dead/cfg folder on your server. You will need to edit the settings listed below by reading what each setting is and deciding if you want it or not.

Anything after // end L4D cvars you can probablly just leave as is, or at least that's what I do...

server.cfg
Quote:
//note: 0 is disable, 1 is enable /

// this is your server name as shown in the server list
hostname "Clan Server Name"

log on

sv_password ""
// your server password. a pair of double quotes means it is not set and
anyone can join

// start rcon settings

rcon_password "your_rcon_pass_word"
// your rcon password to log into the dev rcon console or HLSW rcon console
sv_rcon_banpenalty 5
// Number of minutes to ban users who fail rcon authentication
sv_rcon_maxfailures 10
// Max number of times a user can fail rcon authentication before being
banned

// end rcon settings


// L4D cvars

motd_enabled 1
//This enables or disables the message of the day.

z_difficulty impossible
//Server difficulty set to expert, settings can be changed in lobby

sv_steamgroup 742631
//will make your server show up on steam group servers list (you'll need your steam group number)

//sv_steamgroup_exclusive 1
//Only your steam group will have access to the server if enabled.

sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 1
//People will only be able to connect from lobby, change to 0 to allow people to join a game in progress

sv_gametypes "coop,versus,survival"
//It's set up to allow both campaign and verses. You can decide which type of game to play in the lobby.

//sv_search_key "uniquename"
//This will allow you to connect to your server from the lobby. If you plan on having your group of people connect from the lobby you will have to use this cvars (obviously don't use uniquename, pick something unique).

// end L4D cvars


// start cvars for balancing un-even teams

mp_autoteambalance 0
// 0 is off and 1 is on. if 1 then should be used in conjunction with the
following 3 commands
mp_autoteambalance_delay 15
// Time (in seconds) after the teams become unbalanced to attempt to switch
players
mp_autoteambalance_warning_delay 10
// Time (in seconds) after the teams become unbalanced to print a balance
warning
mp_teams_unbalance_limit 1
// Teams are unbalanced when one team has this many more players than the
other (0 disables)
mp_idledealmethod 1

// end start cvars for balancing un-even teams


// start cvars for win conditions

//mp_maxrounds 0
// Max number of rounds to play before server changes maps
//mp_winlimit 0
// Max number of rounds one team can win before a server changes maps

// end cvars for win conditions


// start client specific cvars

mp_forcecamera 0
// force dead clients to first person mode disabling freelook. 0 is off 1 is
on
mp_allowspectators 0
// enable or disable spectators on the server. 0 is off 1 is on
mp_friendlyfire 1
// 0 is off and clients can do harm to team mates. 1 is on and players can
kill or injure team mates
mp_footsteps 1
// footsteps on or off. 0 is off and 1 is on
sv_cheats 0
// allow cheats to be used by the client. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_timeout 120
// the amount of time in seconds that a client is booted for no input
sv_maxspeed 320
// the maximun speed a client can move at
sv_consistency 1
// Force clients to pass a consistency check for critical files before
joining server. 0 is off 1 is on
decalfrequency 10
// the pause in seconds between a decal being sprayed

// end client specific cvars


// start cvars for communication

sv_voiceenable 1
// allow players to use a microphone. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_alltalk 0
// toggles whether both teams can hear each others voice comms or not. 0 is
off 1 is on. recommend it being off
mp_chattime 7
// players can chat for this amount of time (in seconds) after a game is
over

// end cvars for communication


// start download cvars

sv_allowupload 1
// allow custom decals to be uploaded. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_allowdownload 1
// allow files to be downloaded from the server. 0 is off 1 is on
net_maxfilesize 100
// Max download file size. Default is 15
sv_downloadurl ""
//redirect download location

// end download cvars


// start bandwidth rates/settings

// bandwidth rates/settings
sv_minrate 10000
sv_maxrate 25000
decalfrequency 10
sv_maxupdaterate 66
sv_minupdaterate 33

// end bandwidth rates/settings


// start server logging

// enable or disable server logging. on is on off is off
sv_logbans 1
// Log server bans in the server logs
sv_logecho 1
// Echo log information to the console. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_logfile 1
// Log server information in the log file. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_log_onefile 0
// log everything in one file

// end server logging


// start cvars for general operation

sv_lan 0
// is this an internet or LAN server. 0 is internet 1 is LAN
sv_region 255
// server location. is the world, 0 is USA east coast, 1 is USA west coast,
2 south america, 3 europe, 4 asia, 5 australia, 6 middle east, 7 africa
//sv_contact
// contact email for sysop
sv_pausable 0
// enables or disables whether the server can be paused. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_pure 1
// forces all clients on the server to use content that matches what is on
the server. 0 is off 1 is on
sv_pure_kick_clients 1
// kicks clients that do not have content that matches what is on the server

// end cvars for general operation


// start execute ban files

log on

sv_tags ""


// end execute ban files[-


Restart server when you're done...



2. L4D launch options Follow the instructions below and you'll be able to connect to your new working server. When you create a lobby you will be able to choose what game type you want and all other setting for the game as well. It will connect to your server as long as no one else is already playing on it. You may want to edit your config file again to make it exclusive to your steam group to keep unwanted players off your server. I normally make it public during the day when everyone is busy and change it to my steam group access only in the evening so that my clan can use the server.

1. On your server config put in :
sv_search_key "uniquename"
(obviously don't use uniquename, pick something unique).

2. Open steam, click on games tab. Right click on L4D and goto properties. Then goto launch options. Put this in the end of the launch properties:
+sv_search_key "uniquename" -novid
(the -novid makes it so the game starts without the intro movies, which is optional).

3. From now on, all you have to do is load L4D and start a friends only game. You can immediately change it to open to the public after the lobby is started.


3.Custom banner and MOTD. If you want a custom banner and MOTD for your clan you'll need to have made the banner and MOTD first. one will need to be 673 X 135 and one will need to be 1000 X 700.

Here are the first ones I made...
http://clanlcn.com/LCN/images/lcnbanner.png
http://clanlcn.com/LCN/images/bg_server2.png

4. Next you'll need to create 2 webpages. I named my webpages host.html and motd.html. Then add the code below to each one. You'll need to edit the image source in the code below to point to your banner and motd. The host.html webpage is for your custom banner image, and the motd.html webpage is for your custom message of the day image (MOTD).

Quote:
<html>
<head><title>Left 4 Dead 411</title></head>
<body style="margin:0px;padding:1px;background:#000000;">
<img src="www.location_of_your_image.com/image.png" style="width:100%;height:100%;" />
</body>
</html>


You will then need to edit your host.txt and your motd.txt files which can be found on your server in your left4dead folder.

All you will do is edit the link in those files to your webpages.
This is what is in my host.txt file:
Quote:
http://clanlcn.com/L4D/host.html


This is what is in my motd.txt file:
Quote:
http://clanlcn.com/L4D/motd.html


It's basically telling your server where to find your banner and MOTD images. It's also making sure everything is aligned properly. If you follow these instructions you will not have any problems setting up a perfect L4D clan server.

That is all there is to it. If something is confusing or if anyone can think of a better way to explain it, please feel free to modify this tutoral to make it better and easier for your adverage user to understand how to set up a Left 4 Dead server...

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Last edited by FoulPhil1 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Posts: 67
Nice, consolidates a lot of information into one post, certainly cuts down on my researching. Thank you.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 8
I cant seem to get joining through the lobby to work at all!
I've tried the sv_search_key...

heres my config:

hostname "Marlborough Gaming Collective Server 1"
sv_search_key "XXXXXXX"
rcon_password "XXXX"
sv_password "XXXX"

sv_steamgroup "836646"
sv_steamgroup_exclusive 0
exec banned_user.cfg
exec banned_ip.cfg

z_difficulty hard

director_no_human_zombies 1

sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0 (i've tried sv_search_key with this set to 1)
mp_disable_autokick 1
sv_alltalk 0
sv_cheats 0
sv_consistency 1
sv_contact "X@X.com"
sv_downloadurl

sv_voiceenable 1
sv_alltalk 0
sv_voicequality 5
sv_voicecodec vaudio_speex

sv_region 0
sv_maxupdaterate 120
sv_minupdaterate 20
sv_unlag 1
sv_maxunlag .5

sv_log_onefile 0
sv_logbans 1

setmaster add 68.142.72.250:27011
setmaster add 72.165.61.189:27011


any ideas why I cant use sv_search_key to find my server ingame? the only way I've managed to connect is the server browser and using connect <IP:port>

any other ways I can get the lobby to work?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:58 am
Posts: 16
Location: Sweden
Very useful guide, saved me hours of research!
Thank you sincerly, though i have one question!
Can i somehow host the motd and host pictures on the server ftp?

Cheers

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 8
Lithen wrote:
Very useful guide, saved me hours of research!
Thank you sincerly, though i have one question!
Can i somehow host the motd and host pictures on the server ftp?

Cheers


get the originals off of ftp

copy and paste the following, replacing with your details into both the MOTD and HOST .txt's

<html>
<head><title>GENERIC TITLE (REPLACE)</title></head>
<body style="margin:0px;padding:1px;background:#000000;">
<img src="www.location_of_your_image.com/image.png" style="width:100%;height:100%;" />
</body>
</html>

then upload the images you want to imageshack.com or photobucket.com (image hosting website), then on imageshake on photobucket, find the DIRECT LINK to your image (it should be http://www.blahblahblah.X.Y/XY.jpg) it will always start with http and end with .jpg or .bmp or whatever the image type is.
get the direct link and pop it into the code above where it says www.location_of_your_image.com/image.png.

re FTP them back up, restart your server... and test!

-----
if everying goes to pot, the you can simply put just the direct image link into the host.txt and the motd.txt, though it may display funny...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 pm
Posts: 58
Location: TEXAS
For some reason when I was testing different ways to display the banner and MOTD it didn't work for me. I found quite a few different articles on the subject while I was surfing the net. So, I only included stuff that I know works for sure when I made this guide.

If you don't have a host for the web pages, I'm almost sure any free hosting plan can have a few custom pages added just for that purpose.

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Last edited by FoulPhil1 on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 pm
Posts: 58
Location: TEXAS
01993james wrote:
I cant seem to get joining through the lobby to work at all!
I've tried the sv_search_key...

heres my config:

hostname "Marlborough Gaming Collective Server 1"
sv_search_key "XXXXXXX"
rcon_password "XXXX"
sv_password "XXXX"

sv_steamgroup "836646"
sv_steamgroup_exclusive 0
exec banned_user.cfg
exec banned_ip.cfg

z_difficulty hard

director_no_human_zombies 1

sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0 (i've tried sv_search_key with this set to 1)
mp_disable_autokick 1
sv_alltalk 0
sv_cheats 0
sv_consistency 1
sv_contact "X@X.com"
sv_downloadurl

sv_voiceenable 1
sv_alltalk 0
sv_voicequality 5
sv_voicecodec vaudio_speex

sv_region 0
sv_maxupdaterate 120
sv_minupdaterate 20
sv_unlag 1
sv_maxunlag .5

sv_log_onefile 0
sv_logbans 1

setmaster add 68.142.72.250:27011
setmaster add 72.165.61.189:27011


any ideas why I cant use sv_search_key to find my server ingame? the only way I've managed to connect is the server browser and using connect <IP:port>

any other ways I can get the lobby to work?



Yeah, you should be able to connect just fine if you do all the stuff I put into the guide... Read this once more.

Here is a quick guide to help people connect to a specific server or list of servers automatically when they start a lobby:

1. On your server config put in :
sv_search_key "uniquename"
(obviously don't use uniquename, pick something unique).

2. Open steam, click on games tab. Right click on L4D and goto properties. Then goto launch options. Put this in the end of the launch properties:
+sv_search_key "uniquename" -novid
(the -novid makes it so the game starts without the intro movies, which is optional).

3. From now on, all you have to do is load L4D and start a friends only game. You can immediately change it to open to the public after the lobby is started.

This is part of my server Config, minus the rcon pass LOL. Should be a helpful example, it's set up to work with my steam group and also to connect to the server from a lobby.

Quote:
// this is your server name as shown in the server list
hostname "www.ClanLCN.com | La Cosa Nostra"

log on

sv_password ""
// your server password. a pair of double quotes means it is not set and anyone can join

// start rcon settings

rcon_password ""
// your rcon password to log into the dev rcon console or HLSW rcon console
sv_rcon_banpenalty 5
// Number of minutes to ban users who fail rcon authentication
sv_rcon_maxfailures 10
// Max number of times a user can fail rcon authentication before being
banned

// end rcon settings

// L4D cvars

motd_enabled 1
z_difficulty impossible
sv_steamgroup 742631
//sv_steamgroup_exclusive 1
sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0
sv_gametypes "coop,versus"
sv_search_key "lcnowns"

// end L4D cvars

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Last edited by FoulPhil1 on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 8
thanks, I guess the only thing I haven't tried is using the config from your guide

I'll backup the one I have, and use your config to see if it works..



James

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 pm
Posts: 58
Location: TEXAS
You should be able to do it using your own cfg. You just need to also edit your game launch settings in steam for it to work. There is a way to launch it from the console of your game, but it's easier to just set your game to connect automatically to your server. If your server is full the game will start searching for an empty server if you want it to.

EDIT I just noticed you should probably remove your server pass word. It's probably not letting you connect because you need a pass word to connect to your server...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:28 pm 
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FoulPhil1 wrote:
You should be able to do it using your own cfg. You just need to also edit your game launch settings in steam for it to work. There is a way to launch it from the console of your game, but it's easier to just set your game to connect automatically to your server. If your server is full the game will start searching for an empty server if you want it to.

EDIT I just noticed you should probably remove your server pass word. It's probably not letting you connect because you need a pass word to connect to your server...




that could well be it... Although it would have been nice if passwords intergrated well with the sv_search_key function...

I'll have to rent a public server then, at the moment I only have a private server.

thanks for your help

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 pm
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You should still be able to connect to it. If you use the same L4D cvars I use, and set it up so that lobby launches to your server, you wont need the private server pass word. Just leave it blank.

Like this:

sv_password ""

It wont be open to the public unless you turn the lobby public. You'll have to keep your games "Friends Only" to honor your private server account. My public server does not have random people connecting to it, but sometimes I make a public game in the lobby when no one else is online to play with, which is really rare. So, technically it would still be private, as long as you keep it private to you and your friends only in the lobby...

Quote:
// L4D cvars

motd_enabled 1
z_difficulty impossible
sv_steamgroup
//sv_steamgroup_exclusive 1
sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0
sv_gametypes "coop,versus"
sv_search_key "your_search_key"

// end L4D cvars



I would also suggest that you use the whole config I posted and edit it accordingly to your needs. It's got just about all the server settings you could possibly need... These servers don't come set up and ready to play, which they should. I had such a hard time setting mine up properly and that config pretty much solved all of my problems.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:58 am
Posts: 16
Location: Sweden
FoulPhil1 wrote:
For some reason when I was testing different ways to display the banner and MOTD it didn't work for me. I found quite a few different articles on the subject while I was surfing the net. So, I only included stuff that I know works for sure when I made this guide.

If you don't have a host for the web pages, I'm almost sure any free hosting plan can have a few custom pages added just for that purpose.


Ok, i tried photobucket and such but the image isnt aligned properly in the box
I got a free website with the Server im renting, i just havent had the time to figure out how to "build it" ^^

Cheers

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:23 am 
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Posts: 8
Lithen wrote:
Ok, i tried photobucket and such but the image isnt aligned properly in the box



if you have a white border, did you use the code in your motd and host files? I've posted the code you need to put in below:

<html>
<head><title>Lithens server</title></head>
<body style="margin:0px;padding:1px;background:#000000;">
<img src="www.photobucket.com/image.png" style="width:100%;height:100%;" />
</body>
</html>


Quote:
I got a free website with the Server im renting, i just havent had the time to figure out how to "build it" ^^


if you've "ordered" your website, the best thing you can do is use one of their scripts. I'm assuming you've got one in the form of: [name].clanservers.com... if this is the case then go to [name].clanservers.com/cpanel and click on scripts... these are automated pieces of code to set your website up for you, in about 5 seconds :D if you want a forum, I personally think that XMB is the best one there. click on XMB and follow the instructions

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:58 am
Posts: 16
Location: Sweden
Ok so i tried that piece of html and copied it straight into my host.txt file on my ftp, but all that was in the "host box" ingame was the url in text format :P i feel so retarded, not being able to fix this, but if i just can get my website to work i can host it on an empty page there and there shouldnt be a problem with white borders right?

And i found the script's section in the controlpanel, but im not quite sure what to do here :P
I've come to understand that wordpress is a popular blog script-thingy...but it says
"Sorry, invalid module"
"[a fatal error or timeout occurred while processing this directive]"

Any ideas as to why? is there any else good blog scripts you could recommend?

Thank you :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 pm
Posts: 58
Location: TEXAS
Same problem I had when I tried doing the things you're talking about. You just need to host the web pages and the image files... It's really a simple things to do, but may take up to 30 minutes to set it all up if you have to create a free web hosting account. You'll be able to upload a few pics and web pages, then just make sure your URLs are correct and you're good to go.

Google is your friend :lol:

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