Server Questions for existing admins out there

I have been working on getting a T2 server running but so far no luck.

My first attempts were with Linux/Wine which seems to start but gives me the Check Your Ip Port configuration error.

My second attempts, too numerous to count, were with Windows based operating systems but again more errors (UE's, various other glitches)

So my questions to the actual admins out there (hint actual ;) )

1. If you are running a server, what operating systems/service packs ARE working for you?

2. If you are running a Linux based server, other than whats already mentioned in the thread here about the subject, any additional tips and tricks?

3. I see posts listing port numbers to open that are all over the map for running a server. Some say all you need is 28000 udp, some say a huge list of ports from here to there. I find it hard to believe the latter would be the spec. Does someone know EXACTLY which ports tcp/udp are required?

4. Attempting to run a basic server using a Dell Power Edge with Rage XL and WinXP Pro is giving me UE's. Is Tribes 2 so finicky that running a dedicated server requires a specific video card and driver?

I know this seems like it should be basic information but having spent quite a bit of time seeking it in Google searches I can attest to how much of what is out there contradicts itself or is too vague to be understandable. Like much Tribes 1 and 2 information this stuff is disappearing from the net. At least the really good stuff is. It might be a nice idea to have an actual section devoted to this information here at the TribesNext site that is separate from the actual forum.

If you are an admin running a server I would love to hear from you.

If you are a server admin wannabe ;) please save your posts for other threads. :)


  • edited November 2010
    1. If you are running a server, what operating systems/service packs ARE working for you?

    I run Windows Server2003 with all packs/updates, but this is irrelevant. Reason why is T2 dedicated server will run just fine on 2k, xp, etc. You do not need a fancy server os to host a T2 server. What is needed is a stable and secure os, and some os tuning to make it respond best as a T2 server.

    3. I see posts listing port numbers to open that are all over the map for running a server. Some say all you need is 28000 udp, some say a huge list of ports from here to there. I find it hard to believe the latter would be the spec. Does someone know EXACTLY which ports tcp/udp are required?

    All one needs is to ensure a single udp port is open to the net. The port can be set in the startup string or in serverprefs.cs. I use 28000 for one T2 server, 28001 for my T1 server, 28002 for the next T2 server, and all these ports and protocols must be entered into the firewall that runs in the server as part of the s2k3 os. If all you can do is select a port but not the protocol, no matter, just set the port. I have found things to go much easier by placing the ip of the server into a dmz in any external hardware firewall or router, but one must have a firewall running in the server to do this safely.

    4. Attempting to run a basic server using a Dell Power Edge with Rage XL and WinXP Pro is giving me UE's. Is Tribes 2 so finicky that running a dedicated server requires a specific video card and driver?

    That should run fine. No need for a vid card at all if you run the server via rdp even. But a vid card can be helpfull if you need console access at that system. I run my servers via rdp, the remote desktop protcol. This is just like being at the keyboard and mouse with the desktop right in front of you but the server can be 8000 miles away. The ue issue is likely either a networking issue or a settings issue. You must have an open port to the innwerbs, and the serverprefs needs to be set properly as well as the startup string.
  • T2 server takes around 50 megs ram so it is easily covered by most system, a 650MHz single core cpu can host about as many players as you want, and the T2 server has hardly any cpu usage. The most cpu usage is when maps change, and that settles down after the map is loaded and is caused by disk access more than anything else. What you need is bandwidth. On a lan this is not an issue, online to the inerwebs it is. Also, there is network tuning you can adjust to conserve bandwidth if you like. T2 servers have hardcoded limits to packet rate and size, from 10 packets per second to 32 per second, and anything lower than say 256 size is useless, max size is 450. Servers often play very well at a rate of 16 and a size of 256 as T2 netcode is lefendary for efficiency, but for high player counts or bots, 32x450 is great. A server has max caps on packet size and speed, but a client can alwasy ask for less and the server will comply, this is how a server can be set to 32x450 and yet dialup guys who would be lagged at 32x450 can have their netcode set to ask for 16x256 and play just fine, the server sends that client 16x256. You can alter these settings and test gameplay to see what works well, I find that 32x450 often runs worse than say 18x256.

    A small gameserver primer:
    The way the server works is more or less as an observer. This observer compares everything done by players to the ruleset it has; base. classic. ulra, etc. Then it allows or disaalows certain things such as step size, max speed of players according to use of vehicles or on foot and various weapon/projectile settings, judges who shot who first, etc etc, and then spits out a snapshot of gamestate of more or less everything that happened to each client. That is why outgoing server packets are much fatter than incoming client packets, the server has to send an image of gamestate to each client that includes everything that happened in that tick of the clock, again, running at a max of 32 snapshots per second. All client packets (to the server) have is mostly join/move/fire/drop data, and this is often very small compared to the outgoing server packets, almost insignificant sizewise. So what do you see on screen if all you get is 32 update packets per second from the server? For example, if you are at 100fps and you get 32 updates per second from the server, what is it you are seeing for the other 68 fps? Your client uses an algorithm called interpolation that simulates a persistent game world for the rest of the free frames where your client has to actually guess/predict what is going on according to the last frame sent by the server. When you lose contact with the server momentarily and you see someone trail off somewhere in the game and then snap back to their current actual position according to the server you have just seen an example of how your system was using interpolation to determine the movement of that player while net contact was lost.

    just some server stuff for you
  • As to tuning of an MS os used for a T2 or any other server, there is one setting that that is most usefull. This setting gives equal and longer timeslices of cpu time to the background apps (network activity, disk access) rather than forgorund activity (what is going on on the screen such as games and so on) and thusly the network response time is reduced if set to background apps rather than forground.

    This setting in xp and s2k3 is found at system properties/advanced/performance/processor scheduling then set for background services. Might as well set visual effects to "adjust for best performance" if the system is truly used as a server.
  • edited November 2010
    Thanks for all the effort there Blakhart. I took a look at the site link. It serves as an example of what I meant by so much disappearing from the net. Its from the Wayback Machine.

    Anyway I do appreciate the effort but perhaps I should have mentioned I have been running game servers for years, just not Tribes 2.

    The site lists the following ports, some of which seem doubtful as to whether they are actually needed for port forwarding to a basic dedicated server.

    TCP Port Used For/When
    15104 Update check during ONLINE game load.
    15204 & 15206 Update check & Authentication during ON-LINE mode.
    6660-6699 IRC Ingame chats

    UDP Port Used For/When
    27999 Master Server Announcements
    28000 Master Server Announcements, LAN Server Discovery, Game Play
    28002 Master Server Announcements

    ICMP Pinging Servers during master server list enumeration

    I currently run 3 "Legends" servers which only need 28000 tcp and udp port gorwarded for a dedicated server. I am just trying to nail down which ports are actually need port forwarded for a dedicated Tribes 2 server and if there is anything unusual needed that has been added by the Ruby based auth system TribesNext uses. In the past I have run Tribes1, Quake, and UnReal servers so I am familiar with the subject in general, just not Tribes2.

    I have attempted running a dedicated server using Linux and Wine with 28000 tcp and udp forwarded and am getting the Check your IP port configuration error there. Otherwise it seems to start and run fine. as far as I can tell. Yes, the appropriate firewall ports are forwarded at least if all one needs is 28000 tcp and udp.

    I also tried running in VirtualBox using both Win2K and WinXP Pro with various errors there.

    I also set up a separate dedicated system using WinXP Pro SP3 on a Dell PowerEdge server. Server statrts and then gets the dreaded UE crash every time. Hence the question regarding how finicky a T2 dedicated server is regrading the cheesy Rage XL video card that server uses....which I assume shouldn't even be an issue in a dedicated server.

    I'm not really at the point where packets rates and all that make any difference. Gotta get the basics running first. I do thank you for the extra info though. I'm sure it will come in handy once I'm past this first stage.

    A server admins out there that have any insight into these areas?
  • You need to make sure you have internet access to the port in question. if you have a firewall or router inline you need to open ports or a port for this access or the server will crash. Even in a lan or offline server the server for some reason wants to see a net connection. I have often seen it in routers that when you specify a port to open or forward and set it in the router it still doesn't work for whatever reason, wich is why I recommend running the server in a dmz, wich should be an option in the router or firewall. Anyway, all my T2 servers get along fine with a single udp port to the world. Another thing to do is clean up any dso files found in the server. if you have a dso mod - a mod that comes only as so files) then you are screwed if you don't have a backup copy of the dso mod. Even servers can use a dso cleanse untill they run perfectly, and then if they crash later on you will want to clean the dsos out. But yeah you need to get your network sorted out before anything.
  • The only port that must be reachable incoming is 28000 on UDP, or if you've changed the port the server is operating on, whatever port you set it to. TCP is not required for incoming connections. As far as outgoing connections, the server will need to be able to communicate over port 80/HTTP to the list server (which is a webapp in the TribesNext system). The list server will send a query packet back to your IP address on the port that the server specified it is listening to. If the list server does not receive a T2 server response, it will indicate as such in the reply back to the game server (which will print in the console).

    The TribesNext authentication system communication between clients and the game servers is encapsulated within the normal gameplay connection, and there is no communication with the account server (cryptographic verification is used as part of this process, not a networked validation exchange with the account server).

    Video card shouldn't be an issue at all if you are initiating a dedicated server from the command line.

    If the list server is giving you a port check message, it's almost certainly a port forward not being set up correctly. If you don't believe it, you can try connecting by IP directly from outside the server LAN (press the Insert key while on the server list in game, then type in the IP address + port in the dialog box that pops up).

    The UE's you are reporting are also suspect. There should be no issues running the game in any of the Windows OS configurations you've described. It would be prudent to run a checksum (MD5 or SHA1) on the Tribes2 GSI installer that you've downloaded. It sounds likely that the installer you are using is corrupted.

    Checksums for the installer and main executable can be found in this thread:
  • Thanks Thyth. Your comments got me looking in the right direction. It turned out to be something really unusual. After reading your comments I remembered that I had seen a few devices not pick up DNS properly from my firewall in the past. Linux systems seem to have no problem but once in a while I have run across a system or device that seems a bit wonky in this area. For whatever reason the Windows based systems were not auto picking up DNS from the firewall's DMZ even though the networking was otherwise functioning perfectly. Apparently no DNS causes the UE's I was seeing. Manually inputting known outside DNS servers corrected that issue.

    So at this point the Windows based systems all will work no matter whether its through VirtualBox or stand alone.

    My ultimate goal is to not have to use Windows at all and run the future version of the server in Linux. I do have that setup as per your instructions using the latest Wine version available for the distribution I am using but its no go so far. It starts up fine and looks like its going to run but I get an error when attempting to connect as a client. No worries, eventually either a new Wine version will correct that or hopefully you are working behind the scenes on an update that better supports Linux.

    In the meantime I will continue wrecking science on the Windows based servers as I work out various items and features I want the server to eventually have. I'll try to read through the forum here for solutions before pestering you all too much. :)

    Thanks much for the help.
  • Set the server bindIPaddress to your internet address. see if that works.
    I know mine was not resolving correctly because the ISP always sent back my lan address.
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