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Jonah's Blog

Jonah's blog is here

Just posting this quickly (excuse any typos or brainfarts, going for dinner soon ;) ) to say ExtraVM goes above and beyond to be awesome. Been using them to host a teamspeak server since last August (2016). We decided to get a dedicated server for ECMB since you need a good chunk of memory to start an Ark server, even though we're small (only ~50 members on discord last I checked eg).

Kimsufi has great deals on dedicated servers. I got my hands on one with an i5-3570S.

[email protected]:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 58
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570S CPU @ 3.10GHz

Sure, it's not great, but handles Ark server perfectly for us and should be able to run a couple CSGO and Minecraft servers too. If it grows to the point we start getting lag, then of course we'll move things around and upgrade to a better server (from SYS or OVH directly eg).

However one of the issues we experiences in the past is the dreaded DDoS of script kiddies getting a kick of null routing me drawn in from the teamspeak server. We publicly list teamspeak as this is one of the ways we've found some cool people, but it seems to draw in the "cancer" too from time to time. To protect it, I've been a fan of ExtraVM after it being recommended on forums like r4p3.net.

It is great, but there comes a point that Kimsufi is still more affordable for certain projects, aside from not having the DDoS Game protection OVH seems to famously (or infamously when it doesn't work) offer.

Luckily, the awesome Mike A who owns ExtraVM goes above and beyond and gave me, at no extra cost a free IP I can use to setup a GRE Tunnel to the Kimsufi. I opened a ticket asking ExtraVM and he's quick to respond as always... unlike pretty much any other host I've been with (SYS was notoriously slow to respond to tickets eg). He did say that despite GRE kernel module existing on all nodes, some people have trouble setting up GRE tunnels on his VPSes (suggestion others have tried and he has no issue with it) so my milage may vary. Only took a couple minutes and it worked without any issues! WOOT!

Given that ExtraVM's OpenVZ plans are hosted by OVH just like Kimsufi the pings are ~0.5ms, so it's not noticeable to any players. Even if I have to buy an extra TB or so of bandwidth it's still cheaper than buying SYS/OVH Game servers, and if we grow the point that I end up using too much bandwidth hopefully by then we'll be able to easily upgrade to a real game server anyway.

Anyhow, just thought I'd give a shout out to ExtraVM as it's an awesome company for anyone looking for an OVH reseller. I've seen some people criticize r4p3.net's reputation on zero day exploits, and I'll hold out my opinion on that too, but they do know their stuff when picking a good affordable host :) There's been a lot of hit and run hosts that resell OVH but it seems ExtraVM certainly is the exception as I've had no issues with them.

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!