Windows 10 Server Network Setup

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JamesCRocks
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Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by JamesCRocks » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:27 pm

Hi,

I am trying to get BZFlag working over a network (and eventually over the internet) so I can play against some family and friends while we all self-isolate due to the dreaded coronavirus :)

In principle what I am trying is dead simple and seemed easier to do a decade or so ago. I am using two machines (both Windows 10 Pro 64) and can run bzfs.exe on my "server" which has a static IP of x.x.x.60 and can connect a game on that machine to it so that proves the server is actually working. I can do the same with my client (i.e. server/client, same machine) but cannot get my "client" machine (DHCP currently x.x.x.133) to connect which, given the game will connect to itself on my server, suggests that my problem is network related; unfortunately, my networking these days is a little rusty and Windows 10 seems to be more secure than it once was.

I have (or I think I have, these days it's anyone's guess) opened TCP and UDP for ports 5154-5200 using Windows Defender Firewall but can't get a response (telnet x.x.x.60 5154) however I CAN get a response using telnet on the server itself so again I'm back to something blocking it across my local network.

I'll keep on trying, of course, but I retired from IT a while back and now I'm a bit lost so is there anyone here who has set up a BZFlag network on Windows 10 and can maybe help me out?

Thanks

James
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blast
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by blast » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:19 pm

You may need to go into advanced firewall settings and make sure that 5154 TCP/UDP is opened for both Private and Public networks. A test to see if the firewall is at fault would be to just disable it for a moment and see if you can connect. Also, if you're using WiFi, some access points have a client isolation feature (usually disabled by default) that prevents one wireless client from talking to another.

Do note that there may be more issues running a game server on Windows. It's not something we actively test and almost all the servers on the server list are running Linux (and the few that aren't are likely on some BSD, or maybe macOS).
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by JamesCRocks » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:26 pm

blast wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:19 pm
You may need to go into advanced firewall settings and make sure that 5154 TCP/UDP is opened for both Private and Public networks. A test to see if the firewall is at fault would be to just disable it for a moment and see if you can connect.
Brilliant! That worked so it's definitely the Windows firewall ... odd, because I thought I had configured ports through it. Clearly I have to figure out exactly what I did wrong there.
blast wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:19 pm
Do note that there may be more issues running a game server on Windows. It's not something we actively test and almost all the servers on the server list are running Linux (and the few that aren't are likely on some BSD, or maybe macOS).
OK. I've used Linux a bit in the past but not enough to know much. Oh, and I have a broken all-in-one Mac which works (at least I think it works since it makes various powering up noises one might associate with a working computer) but no display leading me to the tentative conclusion that the screen is duff (not working).

Right so now to figure out how to configure the windows firewall properly :)

James
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by JamesCRocks » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:14 pm

OK,

So I got it all working (including across the country to my daughter) using the provided "Start Server (Simple Jump Teleport 1 shot)" option however I couldn't get it to work if I started the server from the main play screen ... any idea why that might be?

Now I'm trying to figure out some good options for local friendly play :)

James
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by trpted » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:39 am

I see exactly what you mean on my Windows 10 computer. :(

Step 1 of 2.

#1 With-in Windows 10, find BZFlag.

#2 In it, select the bzfs (server) Manual pages HTML.

#3 Read it.

Stated reason(s) include but not limited to:

#1 because bzfs, is the exact server

#2 and will gives to you a lot more options/control over the server than what the GUI offers.

---

Step 2 of 2.

#1 With-in Windows 10, find BZFlag.

#2 This time, right click on the "Start Server (Simple Jump Teleport 1 shot)" option and right click on more -> open file location.

#3 Once there, select the file and right click and select properties.

#4 This will tell how to run bzfs by shotcut.

You can also use the command line or batch file.

For the batch file method, see viewtopic.php?t=2924

^^^^

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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by trpted » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:59 pm

While I said what I said above: For the Unix/Linux/BSD computer OS, there are Live distros that exist.

By Live distro REF = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_CD
A live CD (also live DVD, live disc, or live operating system) is a complete bootable computer installation including operating system which runs directly from a CD-ROM or similar storage device into a computer's memory, rather than loading from a hard disk drive. A Live CD allows users to run an operating system for any purpose without installing it or making any changes to the computer's configuration. Live CDs can run on a computer without secondary storage, such as a hard disk drive, or with a corrupted hard disk drive or file system, allowing data recovery.

As CD and DVD drives have been steadily phased-out, live CDs have become less popular, being replaced by live USBs, which are equivalent systems written onto USB flash drives, which have the added benefit of having write-able storage. The functionality of a live CD is also available with a bootable live USB flash drive, or an external hard disk drive connected by USB. Many live CDs offer the option of persistence by writing files to a hard drive or USB flash drive.
For a list of them, one of the places that you can check out is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_live_CDs

Besides the info that I quoted:

#1 Most of the distros will only offer you to download and install BZFlag.

#2 Which means without persistence or remastering the Live Distro, you will have to re-download BZflag over and over again each time that you want to use it. This will count against your cap if your ISP has a data cap.

REF = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_cap
A data cap, often erroneously referred to as a bandwidth cap, is an artificial restriction imposed on the transfer of data over a network. In particular, it refers to policies imposed by an internet service provider in order to limit customers' usage of their services; typically, exceeding a data cap would require the subscriber to pay additional fees based on whether they have exceeded this limit. Implementation of a bandwidth cap is sometimes termed a fair access policy, fair usage policy, or usage-based billing by ISPs.

U.S. ISPs have asserted that bandwidth caps are required in order to provide a "fair" service to their respective subscribers. The use of bandwidth caps has been criticized for becoming increasingly unnecessary, as decreasing infrastructure costs have made it cheaper for ISPs to increase the capacity of their networks to keep up with the demands of their users, rather than place arbitrary limits on usage. It has also been asserted that bandwidth caps are meant to help protect pay television providers that may also be owned by an ISP from competition with over-the-top streaming services.

Although often referred to as a "bandwidth cap", it is not the actual bandwidth (bits per second) that is limited, but the total amount of data downloaded per month.
#3 Note: I believe that most of the Live Distro will allow you to use the Distro without the need to install the OS when remastering.

#4 With-in most if not all all of the Live distro (or installed if either you want to dual boot or gid of Windows), for starting the server:

As long as the server is not listening by default after you log-in to the OS, you can start the server with-in the UI. Start BZFlag -> Join Game -> Start Server -> Select the options you want -> Final Start Server button/Link.

One of the reasons as to why it would listen by default, you installed the OS to the HD (spinning or otherwise). At this time I do not know about persistence or remastering the Live Distro, if the server will listen by default after you log-in to the OS as I have never done persistence or remastering before.

Server listening by default REF = Help: Server Setup and Administration -> Starting server - Failed (exit = 2)

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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by Zehra » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:59 pm

For local (and non-local play), it comes down mostly to preferences.

If you're looking for more of a "classic battlezone" like feel, the default settings tend to work alright.(Single shot, no-rico, no-jump, FFA.)

Ideally, you'll want to have a general idea of the preferred play styles and game modes of the players and perhaps choose a map based on it.
(Do they like Free For All or do they like Capture the Flag? Do they want quick based action or more slow going and easy? Is there a certain game mode or plug-in they wish to have run..etc)
Also, try and experiment with the settings and configs and see what you like as well.
Additionally a few custom scripts tend to save quite a bit of typing in the long run.
(This is one template I tend to use when writing my start-up scripts. Note: You'll need to adjust some of the variables, and if you're using a randomly generated map, remove the "-world" option from the script.)

Code: Select all

cd C:\Program Files\[BZFlag version]
@ECHO OFF
bzfs.exe -world "C:\Users\[username]\Desktop\MyMap.bzw"
PAUSE
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by JamesCRocks » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:24 pm

Thanks for the help.

I have got it all working now :)

James
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Re: Windows 10 Server Network Setup

Post by alfa1 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:47 am

As far as I know, starting the server from the Main Menu or GUI is not recommended (due to bugs; but, also, it s not very flexible). You should use the bzfs command line into a console. I recommend Linux; try always to have a Linux machine by hand (for this and other tasks) :) . Read "manual pages" documentation (bzfs, bzflag, bzadmin and BZW); I think, on Windows, you have them as HTML files.

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