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How to get Ark Mods working on Linux Dedicated Server

- Posted in Linux by

I don't play Ark or know anything about it, but with ECMB, people want game servers, and I'm their guy. I am running a dedicated server at OVH with Ubuntu 16.04. My brother "asabean" is the one who decided what config settings the ARK server should have, and he happily applied the variables in Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini. He essentially just copied from his local save in Windows and pasted in the parameters into the file in the text editor in putty. Yes, it was nano. ;)

I'm a fan of the scripts from gameservermanagers.com, which is what I used to install Ark. It's very easy and way better than doing it manually through streamcmd as I quickly learned with running CSGO servers. It's nice to be able to just type ./arkserver install and ./arkserver update and not having to think about 'did I set force_install_dir correctly'? Heck... it's annoying when you think ~ will work with force_install_dir (normally meaning home for those who don't know) but instead it actually makes a directory named ~. Been there, done that, so anyway...

Getting mods to work was a challenge. It seems quickly googling how to do it isn't that easy with Ark Servers as there's a ton of misinformation out there, however Ark is supposed to download and run them pretty much automatically now I guess. Initially we uploaded the mod files from the Mods folder on Windows, and adding ActiveMods= in GameUserSettings.ini. (FWIW these files are located in ~/serverfiles/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer That didn't work.

Then I decided to add

[ModInstaller]
ModIDS=

to Game.ini and tried to start the server with LGSM. It failed. Checking logs showed some sort of segfault crash.

Huh... progress, but still not working.

Googling around led me to this thread on the steam forums. User "TheKurrgan" explained that the automodinstaller or whatever it's called in Ark depends on SteamCMD that doesn't exist in the proper location (turns out, seperate from the steamcmd you used/lgsm used to install it), and so you need to add it yourself. To do so, in your serverfiles/ directory, navigate to Engine/Binaries/ThirdParty/SteamCMD. Then, make a new folder called Linux with mkdir Linux and then cd Linux. They then proceeded to download steamcmd with curl using curl http://media.steampowered.com/installer/steamcmd_linux.tar.gz > steamcmd.tar.gz (of course you can use wget or something else similarly if you don't have curl installed), extract it with tar -zxf steamcmd.tar.gz and execute ./steamcmd.sh.

SteamCMD will then update and whatnot, and when you finally get the Steam> prompt, just type exit and start your server.

It worked!

Now FWIW, I read elsewhere you need to have the mods in GameUserSettings.ini and keep them in order, so I kept just copied the same order from the desktop. How true or important this is was beyond me, I just took their word for it. The particular mods we used looked like this in the end:

ActiveMods=764326117,774762563,627340159,554678442

and in Game.ini

[ModInstaller]
ModIDS=764326117
ModIDS=774762563
ModIDS=627340159
ModIDS=554678442

Once I started the server with LGSM it downloaded the mods and all is well. Now onto figuring out admin commands and whatnot....

Anyway, that's what I learned doing this so far so anybody else who gets stuck on getting mods to work on a linux server, hopefully this helps!

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