Dedicated server

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Dedicated server window
A dedicated server is a OpenTTD network game server that does not have a local client taking part in the game. A dedicated server can run in the background on a computer.


Starting a dedicated server

Run the OpenTTD executable using the -D (capital D!) command line option.

In Windows

Method 1:

  • Create a shortcut to openttd.exe
  • Right-click on the shortcut and click Properties
  • Add -D onto the end of the Target line
  • Click Apply
  • Run the shortcut

Method 2:

  • On the start menu click Run
  • Enter: "c:\(path to openttd)\openttd.exe" -D
  • Click OK

In Linux

  • Run openttd -D in a terminal. If you are connecting to the server via SSH and would like the game to run when you logout you should use GNU Screen or dtach.

You can also start openttd with -f option. It means that the process will run in the background, but no console will be avaible. All output will be sent to the file openttd.log. You can display the log with tail : tail -f openttd.log to follow events.

In OS/2

  • Run the dedicated.cmd file. If you run openttd -D, you will not see a console window and will be unable to provide commands to the program.

In Mac OS X

  • Open Terminal.
  • cd into the directory with OpenTTD
  • type cd
  • type ./openttd -D
  • OpenTTD should start up in Dedicated Server.

Configuring the server

There are 3 ways to change the game options:

  • Launch a single player game, change the settings, and close the game.
  • Use the console commands to control the server while it is running.
  • Edit the openttd.cfg file manually. See diff custom for some help.

Available Tools:

Change the network settings in the Network section of openttd.cfg:

Controlling the server with rcon

Configure the dedicated server to accept rcon commands:

  • In the dedicated server window, type rcon_pw <password>.
Example: rcon_pw x8na7f

Connect to the server as a client:

  • Launch OpenTTD normally.
  • Find your server on the multiplayer list and connect to it.
  • Open the console (~ key).
  • Type rcon <password> "<command>".
Example: rcon x8na7f "kick 5"

Install online content

If you want to install content using the in-game content download facility, you can do that from the console in your dedicated server. The benefit of using this compared to copying the files manually to your server is that it will automatically get all dependencies that the content author has declared when uploading it to the content system.

  • First, you need to load the list of available content from the server:
content update
Wait until "Content server connection closed" is printed in the console.
  • List all available content
content state
A list of available content is now printed. Find the content you like to download and read its ID which is written in the beginning of the line. Eg. 2947 for Simple City Builder.
  • Next, select the content to download using its id:
content select 2947
  • You can add more content by repeating the content select command.
  • Then download all selected content:
content download

Hint: If you use nightly r26000+ or stable 1.4+, you can type content state city to only list content that contain the word 'city' in their name.

Loading a game

In the dedicated server window (or with rcon):

  • Type ls to list the files of the current directory, a number will be beside each one, which represents <number> below.
  • Type cd <number> to go to that directory.
  • Type load <number> to load that file.
  • You can also load savegames and scenarios with the -g "<filename>", command line option.
Example: openttd.exe -D -g "scenario/echo.scn".

Automatically start/stop and save your game

If you run your dedicated server in ubuntu/debian you can download and install a init.d script You will get the following functions:

  • Automatically startup when your server box bootup
  • Automatically shutdown when you server box is shutdown
  • Automatically saving your game at a defined interval

For more functions, install guide and download, visit:

See also

  • Autoclean companies in order to specify what happens when a player logs off during a game and a company becomes inactive
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