Linux Server with Amazon Linux AMI

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Current game stage: 1

Listed below are the steps required to launch a dedicated game server on an Amazon Linux 64bit HVM EC2 instance. They do not cover any basic or general information regarding linux server administration, but they should be pretty straight forward to follow.

Note that Amazon Linux is a RedHat-like distribution, so a similar set of steps can probably be used to get a server running under Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, etc. (though you will have to have appropriate yum repositories configured and some package names may differ).

The code snippets below should all be directly paste-able into a command prompt (hence the bash comment characters and the creation of scripts using echo). There are a couple of files that will need to be edited though. The AMI should come with vim and nano, but if you prefer something else you will have to install it.

Create EC2 instance and connect[edit | edit source]

How to use Amazon Web Services and EC2 is beyond the scope of this document, but a few notes are given below:

  • You will want an instance with more than 6GB of RAM and enough CPU to not get bogged down as the game runs
  • You might want to create a second storage volume in which to store SteamCMD and games (leaving the root volume as the standard 8GB)
  • At the time of this writing, a c3.xlarge instance gets your 4 vCPUs, 7.5GB of RAM, and built in Enhanced Networking for around $0.21/hour. An rc3.large is cheaper with more RAM but less CPU.
  • Make a new security group and add access for the port you want to run the game on PLUS the 2 ports after it (so if you run on 26900, your policy should allow UDP ports 26900-26902)

Bring server up to date[edit | edit source]

sudo su -l
yum update -y

Install prerequisites[edit | edit source]

# Install SteamCMD pre-reqs
yum install -y glibc.i686 libstdc++48.i686

# Install 7 Days to Die pre-reqs
yum install -y mesa-libGLU libXcursor libXrandr

Create a location for SteamCMD and Games[edit | edit source]

mkdir /opt/games

# Format and mount game storage drive, if using another volume for storage
# Your device name might be something other than /dev/xvdb, so edit the lines
# accordingly
mkfs.ext4 /dev/xvdb
echo "/dev/xvdb   /opt/games  ext4    defaults,noatime  1   1" >>/etc/fstab
mount /opt/games

Create a user to run games as[edit | edit source]

# Add a steam user and setup the home directory
adduser --home /opt/games steam
cp /etc/skel/.* /opt/games
chown -R steam:steam /opt/games

Install SteamCMD[edit | edit source]

# Switch to steam user
su -l steam

# Create SteamCMD directory
mkdir ~/steamcmd && cd ~/steamcmd

# Download SteamCMD
wget 'http://media.steampowered.com/installer/steamcmd_linux.tar.gz'

# Unpack SteamCMD
tar -xzvf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz && rm -f steamcmd_linux.tar.gz

# Launch SteamCMD
./steamcmd.sh

# Downloads updates and all that. Once it is done, verify that logging in 
# works (and enter SteamGuard code if required)
login YOURSTEAMUSERNAME YOURSTEAMPASSWORD

# Exit interactive session
exit

Create a script to install and update 7 Days[edit | edit source]

# Create a directory for scripts
mkdir /opt/games/bin

# Create general app installing/updating script
# (re-usable for other games)
# NOTE: You will either have to edit the YOURSTEAM lines below, or edit
# the script afterwards to put the correct username and password in
echo '#!/bin/bash' > /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh
echo 'APP_ID=$1' >> /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh
echo 'APP_DIR=$2' >> /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh
echo 'STEAM_USER="YOURSTEAMUSERNAME"' >> /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh
echo 'STEAM_PASS="YOURSTEAMPASSWORD"' >> /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh
echo '/opt/games/steamcmd/steamcmd.sh +login ${STEAM_USER} ${STEAM_PASS} +force_install_dir ${APP_DIR} +app_update ${APP_ID} +exit' >> /opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh

# Create 7days installing/updating script
echo '#!/bin/bash' > /opt/games/bin/update_7days.sh
echo '/opt/games/bin/steamgame_update.sh 294420 /opt/games/7days' >> /opt/games/bin/update_7days.sh

# Set script permissions
chmod 750 /opt/games/bin/*.sh

# Run update script to download and install 7days
# (also used whenever you need to update the game)
/opt/games/bin/update_7days.sh

Modify server config and launch scripts[edit | edit source]

Since our EC2 instance is 64 bit, we need to adjust the server launching script. That script should be located here: /opt/games/7days/startserver.sh

Uncomment the x86_64 start line and comment out the x86 start line, so that this:

#if [ "$(uname -m)" == "x86_64" ]; then
#        ./7DaysToDieServer.x86_64 -logfile 7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log__`date +%Y-%m-%d__%H-%M-%S`.txt -quit -batchmode -nographics -dedicated $PARAMS
#else
         ./7DaysToDieServer.x86 -logfile 7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log__`date +%Y-%m-%d__%H-%M-%S`.txt -quit -batchmode -nographics -dedicated $PARAMS
#fi

Becomes this:

#if [ "$(uname -m)" == "x86_64" ]; then
        ./7DaysToDieServer.x86_64 -logfile 7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log__`date +%Y-%m-%d__%H-%M-%S`.txt -quit -batchmode -nographics -dedicated $PARAMS
#else
#       ./7DaysToDieServer.x86 -logfile 7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log__`date +%Y-%m-%d__%H-%M-%S`.txt -quit -batchmode -nographics -dedicated $PARAMS
#fi

We will also want to set a few settings in the server config file. That file is located here: /opt/games/7days/serverconfig.xml

Things you might want to change right away:

  • ServerPort : If you want to run on something other than 26900-26902
  • ServerIsPublic : Defaults to true, should control whether you server gets listed or not
  • ServerName : Name of your server
  • ServerPassword : Password for your server, if you want it locked
  • ServerDescription : Description for your server
  • TelnetEnabled : Whether you want the console telnet accessible (recommended for use from localhost only!)
  • TelnetPassword : Password required when accessing telnet
  • SaveGameFolder : Initially commented out, you can use this option to hardcode where save files go. Make sure the director you specify exists

Initial test: can we start the game?[edit | edit source]

Launch the game and watch the log output

# Start game server
/opt/games/7days/startserver.sh -configfile=serverconfig.xml &

# Watch the log file (the grep command weeds out some known warnings and blank lines)
tail -f /opt/games/7days/7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log*.txt

There will be some shader errors, downsize warnings, etc... but eventually you should start to see some stats periodically reported. That means the game thinks it is up! Try launching 7 Days on your computer and see if you can connect!

Creating services[edit | edit source]

Assuming everything is now working, you can turn 7 Days into a service so it is easily started and stopped.

7days service[edit | edit source]

If the game is still running, you will want to stop it.

# In the terminal you launched the game from, this should do the trick
ps | grep 7DaysToDieServe | cut --delimiter=' ' -f 1

Create the file /etc/init.d/7days and make it executable. This requires elevated privileges, so be sure to exit the out of the steam user shell first:

touch /etc/init.d/7days
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/7days

Open the file for editing and paste in the following contents:

#!/bin/bash
#
# chkconfig: - 90 13
# processname: 7days
# pidfile: /opt/games/7days/server.pid
#
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: 7days
# Required-Start: $local_fs $remote_fs $network Xvfb
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $remote_fs $network
### END INIT INFO

##############
### CONFIG ###
##############
#
# This is the section to modify for different install
# directories, game user accounts, etc.
#

# Parent directory for all games
GAME_ROOT_DIR='/opt/games'
# Name of the game; assumed to match init script name
GAME_NAME='7days'
# Directory name for this game
GAME_DIR_NAME=${GAME_NAME}
# User to run the game as
GAME_USER='steam'
# Name of this game
# Binary used to start the game
GAME_BIN_NAME='7DaysToDieServer.x86_64'

# Derived game dir
game_dir="${GAME_ROOT_DIR}/${GAME_DIR_NAME}"
# Game command line options
game_options="-configfile=${game_dir}/serverconfig.xml -logfile 7DaysToDieServer_Data/output_log__`date +%Y-%m-%d__%H-%M-%S`.txt -quit -batchmode -nographics -dedicated"
# PID file location
pidfile="${game_dir}/server.pid"
# Game binary full path
game_bin="${game_dir}/${GAME_BIN_NAME}"

##################
### END CONFIG ###
##################

RETVAL=0

# Source function library.
. /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions

start() {
        echo -n $"Starting ${GAME_NAME}: "

        su -l ${GAME_USER} -c "${game_bin} ${game_options} 1>/dev/null 2>&1 & echo \$! >${pidfile}"
        sleep 1
        service ${GAME_NAME} status >/dev/null 2>&1
        if [ "$?" = "0" ]
        then
                success
                RETVAL=0
        else
                failure
                RETVAL=1
        fi
        echo
}
stop() {
        echo -n $"Stopping ${GAME_NAME}: "
        killproc -p ${pidfile} -d 10 ${game_bin}
        RETVAL=$?
        echo
}

# See how we were called.
case "$1" in
  start)
        start
        ;;
  stop)
        stop
        ;;
  status)
        if ! test -f ${pidfile}; then
            echo ${GAME_NAME} is stopped
            RETVAL=3
        else
            status -p ${pidfile} ${game_bin}
            RETVAL=$?
        fi
        ;;
  *)
        echo $"Usage: ${GAME_NAME} {start|stop|status}"
        exit 1
esac

exit $RETVAL

We can now use the service command to start, stop, or check the status of 7days.

Starting 7Days on boot[edit | edit source]

We can have the game server start on boot by turning them on with the chkconfig command:

chkconfig 7days on

See also[edit | edit source]