Our game server is a 64 bit AMD box with 4 GB of RAM running 64 bit Debian Linux. One of the many games we run on this powerful server is Quake 2.
The altFIRE Quake 2 server runs a mixed map cycle in sequential rotation. The max players is set to 8. Maps run with a timelimit of 15 minutes and a fraglimit of 20. When either is reached, the next map will load. Voting for map changes is allowed via the menu. Type "menu" at the command console to see options.
Getting and installing Quake 2
For Linux users, you can grab the installer script from here. What graphics engine you use is up to yourself, there are many out there (someone even rewrote the whole thing in Java!). We find sldquake2 (included with installer) to work quite well on most desktops, and quake2max if you have a high-end system. If you want to save download times (and possible crashes) during games, you can grab the servers map files from here (HIGHLY recommended).
Sound issues with Quake 2 on Linux are very common - you may need to hit the net for solutions on your particular system. We will say this however, be sure to delete the config file in ~/.quake2 every time you try something new. Hopefully however, you will have no issues and the game will just run for you, first time!
Even though you may now be running Linux and the source of Quake 2 is available under the GPL license, you will still need a copy of the Quake 2 installation disk to connect to the server and play. This is because the maps, textures, sounds etc are not yet free material.
However, if you used to play on Windows and still have your Windows partition within reach, copy the pak files to to your new Quake 2 /baseq2 directory on Linux. You can skip the CD copy bit of the Linux installation if you plan on doing this.
Windows users can simply purchase and install Quake 2, plus install the 3.20 and 3.21 patches. Then proceed to connecting to the server.
If you have a 64 bit processor and/or require custom resolutions (eg. netbooks, widescreen monitors) check out Yamagi Quake 2. This particular engine installs quite well, is powerful and seems to get around a lot of the sound issues mentioned earlier. We like it a lot!
Connecting to the server
As long as your version of Quake 2 is up to date, connecting to the server is simple. To connect to the server, do the following:
1) Start Quake 2
2) Drop the command console using the ' key (usually beside number key 1)
3) Type the following to initiate the connection:
Your client should now connect to the server. If you are missing any files, they will be downloaded at this time (eg. you'll immediately be offered sabotage.wav, our custom map intermission sound).
To use the laser grapple hook, you will need to bind it to a key. Drop the command console and type something like bind mouse2 +hook to assign a key (you could put this permanently in an autoexec.cfg file - you can create one at .quake2/lithium/autoexec.cfg under your home directory).
Battleground & CTF
Quake2 Battleground was written with a single purpose in mind: team games. The mod is server-side only (no files required), and the server will enforce team skins, keep track of team scores, and announce the winner at the end of a match. Multi-round matches are fully automated.
We run a Battleground server at quake2.altfire.com:27969 on week nights (Mon -Fri). If you have some friends and would like to play in teams or run a small league, then this server is the job. Contact us if you need an admin password to fine-tune the server for your match.
The same server runs Threewave Capture The Flag on the weekends, a mod that needs no introduction. Grab the required files (for Linux) here to play this awesome mod with your friends on Saturday or Sunday!
Note: Windows will require the setup program instead, found here.
There is, of course, a completely 100% alternative to buying a copy of Quake 2. Alien Arena is a free, stand-alone deathmatch game based on source code released by id Software. The game uses modified Quake 2 physics. You do not need Quake 2 to play this game.
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