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Management Ultimate guide to Hosting a server.

Comments in 'General Discussion' started by iamadpond, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    iamadpond
    Before I start, please be aware the guide is phrased in a way that understands you have some/moderate knowledge over how to even run linux and pocket mine.

    In this guide I will show you all my knowledge for beginners status at least, on everything from running your server to the OS, where to buy, what to buy, what to do with what you bought and some general tips along the way.

    A good VPS Provider to use when you've finished reading this:


    digitalocean.com
    Get a VPS for one month free from DigitalOcean if you sign up with that link!


    IF YOUR SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR SERVER, READ IT ALL!

    Chapter one.
    Location, Location, Location.
    So firstly, where should you actually host your server?

    Yourself.

    Hosting your server on your local machine, that is either the computer or laptop your reading this on, *can* run the server with good performance depending on your hardware. I strongly advise against it. For one your laptop isn't build to stay on all day and night, and when it's off. Your server goes down.

    Your internet speeds are usually the one thing stopping most people from hosting a server. If you have below a 2mb connection download, and at least a 3-5 mb upload speed please don't host a server off your laptop/dekstop. I will lag to s.h.i to the t.

    If you have decent uploads/downloads then here's what I suggest you do. Get a copy of windows 2012 datacenter, standard, I prefer datacenter. Hack it, torrent it, do whatever. But please don't do it illegally, I was extremely fortunate to get a 4,000 dollar software key from a friend. But if you must, you must.

    Why get Windows server? We'll I like it over ESXI (google it) because it has a built in virtual machine manager (Hyper-V) which means you can run linux machines inside your computer while you watching youtube lets say.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I can install plugins easily by just downloading them and inserting them to my virtual machine if your not liking the process of finding a link suitable for wget.

    Hosting Provider

    Okay so you didn't match up to the first two recommendations: Hardware and internet, but there's still hope! What you'll be looking for is a service called VPS, virtual private server. Basically these are virtual computers you pay lets say $10 dollars a month for. They should come with at least 1GB of RAM and 10GB of SSD space. People like digitalocean.com are my favorite. Why should you buy one? Well they have the money to fund google grade (It's a word now, shut up) internet connections around the world, so while your running your pocketmine server, you can have a website for your server as well running on it with Apache! As you don't have direct access to the server, you'll be "SSH'ing" into it via either
    Putty (Windows) or if your on a mac, just use Terminal with the command: ssh [email protected]<Ip address>

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Two
    Look Ma! No hands!

    So you've bought or home made your arrangements for your server! Lets get started on some handy tools made by the community.

    Iamadpond: Keep your server always online script: Here
    Glitchmaster_PE: Windows based pocket mine control panel: Here
    Veteran, Falk: Web based RCON (Remote Control) to administer you server over a browser: Here

    And there's plenty more in the tools section. Now the aim of the game is keeping your server online and on time. Making sure your TPS doesn't fall below 17 (It WILL drop to 16 when no ones in-game). You can solve this by making sure: No one's abusing your server, your computer can handle it, your not using excessive plugins, and if your a plugin creator, optimizing your plugins can help.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Three
    You so seductive linux.
    Linux is a lot more powerful than windows, so that's why I run it on my macbook! But anway, the reason I said Hyper-V from Chapter one was that you can use your computer while you have your server running, I have a huge tower PC meant for power so I keep it on and use it whenever. While still being able to have my server online and accessible from the outside internet. If you're still reading, I can help you port forward with Server 2012, it's a lot more different, but turns your computer into the main router.
    Linux used by the 'Murican Navy for their super ships, is a lightweight, mostly OS for repetitive tasks (Okay maybe not repetitive) but server intensive tasks. It's built to run day out and day in. So that's why most VPS merchants use it. It's flexible ,all from my one linux machine I can: Run a FTP server, Run a website, Run a pocketmine and Minecraft server, Run a proxy for lets say getting past a schools firewall (If your trying to access disneychannel you funny people) and accessible from anywhere in the world.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Four
    Security
    The do's and don't's of running a server.
    1. Always check source code of a plugin (Ahem VanishedKevin) and if in a .pmf format from a really new author, Wait for people to download it first. In fairness the community is your first line of defense.
    2.Firewalls my son! If your running ubuntu make sure you have ufw enabled,
    Code:
    sudo ufw enable
    To allow the ports you need to your server, as to avoid interuption.
    Code:
    sudo ufw <your pocketmine port number>
    sudo ufw 22
    sudo ufw <listner port>
    sudo ufw <RCON port>
    sudo ufw <any other port you want> 
    To block a spammer or banned player
    Code:
     sudo ufw deny from <ipaddress> to port <port number> 
    If you have just bought your VPS and are installing, enable file encryption so you don't have to have hassle with it later. Make sure you remember your encryption keys though!

    3. Ignore this if your using Ubuntu.
    Never use your root account supplied by your VPS login, instead login with root, create an account and while still in root use
    Code:
     sudo adduser <account name you just made> sudo 
    And from now on while logged into your new account use this for commands that require root
    Code:
     sudo <command> 
    It's safer and it's almost like changing your shades whenever you want something done, instead of constantly being root which is dangerous to exploits.

    4. Install sshguard so people cant brute force your ssh login and break into your server, please be aware you'll need UFW/ a firewall enabled for this to work.
    Code:
    UBUNTU: sudo apt-get install sshguard
    CentOS: sudo yum install sshguard 
    5. Someone asks you for root? Tell them to f*** off!
    6. Someone asks you to install their software into your machine? Fack off.
    7. Someone asks for your ssh password? Tell them to take a hike.
    8. Someone asks for password to X, tell them to go back to never land.
    Stop DDOS Attacks from Script Kiddies on CentOS (RedHat style OS')(Basic Defence)
    Copy these into your server's command line on your VPS to set up a basic IPTABLES networking defence

    Null Packets (Recon Packets)
    Code:
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL NONE -j DROP
    
    Syn-Flood Attack (Inquiry but no reason packet)
    Code:
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp ! --syn -m state --state NEW -j DROP
    
    XMAS Packets (Recon again)
    Code:
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL ALL -j DROP
    
    Then save your config with

    Code:
    iptables-save | sudo tee /etc/sysconfig/iptables
    
    It is recommend to not execute the command below from any stranger that has asked you to
    Code:
    iptables -F
    
    Doing so will remove all these defences from your iptable setup and allow that same stranger or any person really to start attacking you.​

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Five
    Free guns with car insurance!

    Alright so you have your server up and running, you've got a nice firewall going, your plugins are optimised and configured correctly, and you've a smile on your face. Okay now what you need to do is actually get people to join. There's many ways to do this. You can advertise on the forums here from this link HERE. If you got a good budget, go for it! But if you want the conventional way of doing it heres what I suggest you do. Okay for one make a nice forum post in our server section about your server, it should include pictures, an IP THAT WORKS , plugin list, a description of your server, your staff and finally put your own spin on things to get views. Next make a website, you're gonna need a domain name for your website. I suggest GoDaddy for your domain, not hosting! Places to host your server's website

    Shadowhost (Not working so far, ignore!): Here
    Register365: Here
    Blacknight: Here
    HostGator (Prices are Not the best): Here

    Or you can host your own website! Remember the way I bragged about linux superiority? Well you can download and install a program called Apache
    Code:
    Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install httpd
    CentOS: sudo yum install httpd
    
    You can follow a guide here to setup apache, Here. If you bought a VPS I highly recommend doing it this way as you can save time and money, well not time, but money! Since you already have good internet connections, and full control! Use cloudflare in this approach as it make its easy to just connect your domain to your VPS You can contact me at the email below for assitance on that.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Six
    This new virtualization software gives me the willies

    Okay so what happens when you want to run more than one OS on your machine? Well you need something called virtualization. Virtualization runs on the processor level normally in assembly. Many tools exist here:
    Here
    I personally like SolusVM and Hyper-V because you can use your native OS while they're running unlike ESXI. It's also a more cost effective way to run server by buying a 35 euro Dedicated server from
    Online.net or Soyoustart.ie and running mutliple virtual machines on it, again help is below. You can run up to 16 servers on your one machine instead of buying $10 x 16 VPS = 160 dollars when you could do it for 35 + 2 euro PER IP so if you really wanted 16 servers, it would cost you 64 euro instead of 160 dollars/euro.

    Virtualization works like this, you either install it via USB to your own computer or install it on your dedicated server you bought, For ESXI, it will require a lot of setup but if done right you can have your servers' power settings (Start,Stop, Reboot, Reinstall, Duplicate etc.) accessible via a web browser or your mobile device. For SolusVM, you install it via the command line on linux based systems, but ONLY ON CENTOS/RED HAT SYSTEMS. You then administer it via a web browser and can be used to give certain users (Admin) access to power settings and control over the server itself via their own login to the control panel.
    For Microsoft Hyper-V it comes preinstalled on server editions, it comes with little or no outside support other than Remote Desktop to the host machine and adding a new VM. There is guides to installing it on Windows 8.1 only.
    For Virtualizor, it's the same as Solusvm. It's like coke verses Pepsi, you know ones better than the other but which one? *Cough* Solusvm *Cough*


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Seven.
    Oh so we're not supposed to be dicks?
    You can have all the equipment, the man power and the dedication to your server. But in the end it's all about how you conduct the mood and responses of yourself and the staff. If you're generally nasty or dismissive of players, they'll leave trust me. And if you're nice, supportive and welcoming, people will develop a feeling of the server to be their "Home Server" which is ultimately your goal. Here's some tips in getting that goal reached.

    1. Above all be fair, if two people are fighting on your server. Neither one is right. Remember to take the Wikipedia approach of neutrality above all.
    2. If someone is giving you, the server owner trouble don't hesitate to remove them from the scene. Monkey see, monkey do, you need to create respect on your server and a level of power. Most people sometimes forget it takes you five seconds to type a command to remove them.
    3. If you see someone taking advantage as in terms I'll refer to as "bullying and harassment". Remind them of the server rules, and try not to ban outright. Please remember the age group of the players on your server and the level of maturity outright. I would give one warning and then off they go.
    4. Be nice, run events on your server to develop a community such as a parkour competition to earn prizes.
    5. Be active, don't be the man behind the console not playing at all on the server. You need to show the players even if they don't actively know it, that you're actually alive and play here.
    6. And finally, pick the staff wisely. You don't want a badmouth steamer who knows nothing about minecraft who bans for their own pleasure. Think of it as subway, if one subway store doesn't taste nice then you generalize subway, disregarding that each subway store is separate to each other. And why subway has extreme levels of compliance with each other. You never see a different kind of subway store ever, why ? They want you to have the same image of subway in each store. And in the case of your server, all your staff should be the likable and share the same level of traits as one another. You don't want one staff member souring your server do you?
    ----------------------------------------------
    Chapter Eight
    Maintaining a health community

    The best way to keep your community alive is to well, interact with your players! You can do it
    in a number of ways like:

    IMPROVING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK STATUS
    Get players to "Like","Follow","Subscribe" to your various social media outlets in exchange
    for in-game currency, prizes etc make something nice up!

    KEEPING PLAYERS COMING BACK
    For anyone that knows, I play Arma 3 too much, 1,500 hours+ last time I checked.
    And I keep going to the same Server over and over again why? Because they keep
    me interested with nightly events "Hunger Games","CTF" etc. Fun things that are
    easy to set up and keep players coming back every night to enjoy the fun.
    So that's another way to keep players, give them a reason to come back.

    TALK TO YOUR PLAYERS

    Some plugin broken? Some player griefing, trolling whatever? Parts of
    the map broken? You're only one person, you'll never know everything
    that's wrong with the server so it would be a good idea to get started
    on learning what's wrong! Start by asking players about their
    opinion and how other players act and their attitude to being civil
    while playing. Ask if they have any suggestions, whatever! Just
    make sure you are informed of what goes on in your server. It is like
    running a restaurant in a sense, keep your Customers/Players
    satisfied can only be accomplished if you know how to !



    AVOID INTRA/OUTER SERVER CONFLICTS
    SPECIFICALLY DDOS ATTACKS DUE TO HOSTILE AGGRESSION

    I once said to a friend the best way to destroy a community was to have members
    try to DDOS each other offline so everyone would go to the respective side's server
    and play with them instead. Why did this happened? Conflict. Two servers became
    un-needlessly hostile towards each other fighting over playing numbers, and ending up
    destroying each other. It's best to not fight with other servers, but if you must, have the
    bigger gun *wink*. But in all seriousness, don't fight. And if they DDOS you first, do
    a Liam Neeson on their asses and find where they are being hosted, explain to the
    hosting companies by hosting them they are actively attacking you
    through illegal malicious means and by the continual
    hosting without remanding , you are harbouring criminals! [Well maybe not like that, but
    you get the point, it's illegal and the hosting companies know that so don't counter DDOS
    them just call up where they are being hosted and they won't be online that much longer!

    IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT...

    In the unlikely event that your server is destroyed through your hosting companies
    actions (Usually a data corruption issues that may / may not be restored) It is
    extremely important not to cause panic for your players and especially do not say
    "The Server is deleted, etc" IF you want to kill your playerbase faster than you can blink
    go ahead. But don't. Instead inform via social network, website
    whatever that "Emergency Maintenance must be made to fix a Crucial Server Bug,
    and it will be back up soon". You then have a small
    timeframe to get SOMETHING UP, just get a simple parkour map up use ANYTHING!
    If you don't players will deem your server unfortunately "Dead" And that's all folks!
    Keep some bit of the fire going!


    In the unlikely event your map gets corrupted and you don't have a backup
    (Silly you!) You have to get some map out in-time for players or they'll
    go play somewhere else. I remember when pocketmine was pretty young
    memory leaks, crashes etc would basically corrupt the map every so often and
    at that time I didn't have any dedicated backup systems in place
    (Inspiration for my Server Wrapper) so we had to have a map out 20 minutes later.
    So if you are caught, create a larger enough "Lobby Area" make it look nice , detailed
    etc. They get some friends, staff to create different rooms as time goes by and maybe
    next time you'll backup your worlds!

    If your staff goes rouge. Shut the server down and remove clear the ops.txt / whitelist.txt
    create a backup of the server and store it away safely. Then turn the server on again and
    act like nothing ever happened in your players eyes. Remove the said staff from the server
    if they cause any trouble. This again is highly unlikely, but hey this is the ultimate
    guide after all!

    If your server is breached from an OS level and said person deleted everything,
    follow the same procedure as the first issue.






    ----------------------------------------------
    Like what you see here?
    Consider donating to pocketmine to fund our services for you!

    Here
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    archie426, Spaldam, KubixQ and 17 others like this.
  2. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    This is awesome dude!
    LDX likes this.
  3. LDX
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    LDX Notable Member Plugin Developer

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    "Linux used by the 'Murican Navy"

    I don't get that meme. I accidenally left my server's console open when I was at my emo friend's house, and he typed these commands when he saw some dudes speaking Russian.
    Code:
    say GET OFF MY SERVER
    say THIS IS 'MURICA
    Sorry for going a little off topic, but I wanted to share this with you. :p
    DesPlaysMC and DANOPLOID like this.
  4. SwissFoxtrott
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    SwissFoxtrott New Member

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  5. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    Here
  6. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    I want need that!
  7. LDX
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    LDX Notable Member Plugin Developer

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    Popular Science did an article on that last year. :p
  8. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    Added security chapter.
  9. DA_Swagnemite
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    DA_Swagnemite Notable Member Plugin Developer

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    I think the chapter titles are my favorite part of this thread XD
    "Look ma! No hands!" XD (if you lived in my house you'd LOL until you died)

    Great post though @iamadpond :D
    jellybeanx, LDX and Darunia18 like this.
  10. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    I just did all the security stuff! I as well LOVE the chapter names
    jellybeanx likes this.
  11. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    I did the fire wall thing and now the server Lister I use has all 4 of my servers offline. Players are on them and all of them are up! Could something have blocked the Lister from querying the servers?
    Martin77Epic and jellybeanx like this.
  12. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    Ok So ufw disable made everything back to normal. I tried the
    sudo ufw <your pocketmine port number> && sudo ufw 22

    and all that did was just show the help menu of ufw meaning the command did not work. Possible typo?
    jellybeanx likes this.
  13. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    Alright updated ufw instructions.
  14. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    Added two new chapters.
  15. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    Just bought an ad for the mobile site. I hope it was worth it!!! Thanks pond!
  16. iamadpond
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    iamadpond Banned

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    According to buysellads, you'd get around 50,000 views a month aprox.
  17. LDX
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    LDX Notable Member Plugin Developer

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    I put my server on MCPEStats.com and got at least 80 new members in two days. Server lists are a great way to get people on your server.
  18. tnpxxsheepdog
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    tnpxxsheepdog Notable Member

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    I already use many server listers but they are not bringing in that many new players.
    LDX likes this.
  19. luca28pet
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    luca28pet Active Member

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    It's because server lists usually give priority to big servers
  20. shoghicp
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    shoghicp Staff Member PocketMine Team

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    so it was you :)

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