Table of Contents

Hosting a Crossfire Server

This guide outlines useful information for installing, running and maintaining a crossfire server.


Make sure you have the following available to you:

  1. Hardware that can handle hosting a Crossfire server
    • Any hardware that can run or handle a relatively modern desktop OS should be adequate
  2. Enough bandwidth
    • One should estimate 10kbps down (in) and 20kbps up (out) per user (kbps = kilo bits per second)
    • The above should be consider an absolute minimum as data may be required in bursts (especially for clients downloading images)
  3. An ISP that allows for server hosting
  4. A hostname that is a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)
    • Connections issues can occur within the Crossfire client if the domain name is not full qualified.
  5. Network security to allow remote connections and communication to the metaserver (if a public server).
    • The server runs (by default) on port 13327
      • if you have a firewall, it will need to allow that port for incoming connections,
      • if you are running NAT, you will need to make sure that the connection to port 13327 gets routed to the correct server.
    • The metaserver runs (by default) on port 13326 and 80 (HTTP)
      • if you have a firewall, it will need to allow 13326 and 80 for incoming connections,
      • if you are running NAT, you will need to make sure that the connection to port 13326 gets routed to the correct server.
      • For metaserver2 updates, it is an outgoing connection to standard HTTP port (80), so very few firewalls should block it.


The watchdog feature can be enabled manually in the server/include/config.h at server_compiling as #define WATCHDOG 1 .
The watchdog port number is hardcoded inside void watchdog(void) located in the server/socket.loop.c source file as 13325 .
:!: The watchdog feature may not work as it should currently until incl. server v1.70.0 to create

:!: Further it would create an additional socket, and that may lead to problems that the code does not work to add a new client. You may better not enable that feature!

Installing a Crossfire Server from a Binary

Visit the Crossfire website for the latest binarys here

Compiling a Crossfire Server from source code

For information about compiling crossfire servers go to the crossfire server compile guide

Post Deployment

After your server and network is setup and configured, there are additional steps to consider.

Hosting the Server

Server Settings

Players accounts

Player account information is stored in the /var directory (on linux this is usually /usr/games/crossfire/var/crossfire/).

DM account

Example entries:
master:topsecret:*    (name must be master, password is topsecret, allow any host)
*:notelling:*         (only matches password)
DM notelling
help command

Crossfire Metaserver



One weakness of the crossfire-server binary is that any fatal error will result in your server going offline. To avoid lengthy delays whilst attending to other less important work, most server hosts choose to run the crossloop script. This handy script will restart the server if a crash occurs and create handy log files in the directory of your choosing. Crossloop is usually located within the server install directory (e.g. for linux /usr/games/crossfire/bin/).

Please note:

:!: NOTE : Make sure, that the crossloop script, if it is a #!/bin/bash script,
has the ulimit -c <SIZE> command ready;
Bash ulimit actually creates the core file by the -c argument, not the crossfire-server binary by itself. Until at least crossfire-server v.1.12.0 the ulimit -c unlimited line was not included in crossloop .

help ulimit
-c the maximum size of core files created

ulimit -a

core file size (blocks, -c) 0

ulimit -c unlimited
ulimit -a

core file size (blocks, -c) unlimited

Linux instructions

To start crossloop create a folder for the log files:

$ mkdir crossloop_dump

Change directory to crossloop_dump

$ cd crossloop_dump

You can now run crossloop simply by:

$ nohup /usr/games/crossfire/bin/crossloop

You can check that the server is running by running ps aux:

$ ps aux|grep cross

You should see something like:

username      1069  0.0  0.0  13696  2360 pts/40   S+   21:53   0:00 grep --color=auto cross
username      32126  0.0  0.0   4476   708 pts/39   S    21:37   0:00 /bin/sh /usr/games/crossfire/bin/crossloop
username      32129  0.6  0.0 284264 26240 pts/39   Sl   21:37   0:05 /usr/games/crossfire/bin/crossfire-server -d -tmpdir /tmp/crossfire -log /tmp/crossfire/crossfire-2016-04-18-21:37.log

Start crossloop on reboot

Crossloop does not of itself provide a means of starting crossfire upon a system reboot. Due to power failures and other uncontrolled reboots it is generally wise to include this in your system start-up to avoid server downtime. just make sure it su's to the appropriate user before running.

More Linux instructions

FIXME explain how to create init.d entry.

Other helpful automation considerations
  1. Have an automated and remote backup of player files and unique map files in case of hardware failure, data corruption or accident
  2. All crossfire files are text, so generally easy to back up and restore. Since files are text, one can even attempt to repair damaged/corrupted files.
  3. Consider using Munin ( for monitoring and tacking server resources, more of a server host or administration benefit

Social Management

General Tips

If you want to attract players and build a community on your server - your server will need to be reliable, which means:


If you intend to ban players who exploit bugs, PK other players, disrupt gameplay for others, etc. - say so in the server rules file so if/when something like this happens you can take action and avoid the long “debate” afterwards (filename rules)

There are two approaches to banning problematic player(s) and/or network(s)

  1. Use the ban_file (filename ban_file)
    • The ban_file can be used to ban certain IP addresses or IP ranges - this may be easier than modifying firewall rules. Note that the check is done at connection time, so would not cause players already connected to get dropped.
    • This can be done in game while in DM mode (command: banish)
  2. Create firewall rules for the extremely problematic player(s) and/or network(s)
    • It's advised that you learn how to block (ban) networks and subnets