Dedicated server

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Revision as of 20:17, 22 November 2021 by Left4pillz (talk | contribs) (Rcon Overview and Commands)

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Setting up a dedicated server

There are no Windows binaries, this guide is written exclusively for Linux, and covers Ubuntu/Debian/Debian-like and Red Hat RPM-based distros. Possible to run with other distros, but some of the commands won't work and you will need to know enough to figure out the software install of dependencies on your own.

If you are considering hosting from home, please read that section of the wiki first.

This guide assumes you know the basics of using a bash terminal: ssh'ing into a server, running bash commands, editing text files, etc.

If you have no experience using bash, maybe start here. Editing text files via commandline is often a challenge. Suggest using nano and reading guide here

If you are new to linux and accessing your server from Windows, highly suggest using MobaXterm as your SSH client as that can make required editing of text files easier using built in editor instead of the native linux command line editors.

And finally, ask yourself why you want to setup a server? If you look at the list, there are many, many more servers than players. If you don't have a team, discord community, or group of friends ready to play on your server, chances are it will go unused. Got one of these... great, let's go.

If you don't want to go through the hassle yourself and want to pay for a hosting service Arctic VR (PC and Shack) and Horde (Shack) provide a server hosting services and are trusted in the community. See links below.

Server Requirements

Pavlovserver can only be hosted under Linux. This can be running as a VM under windows, but this will increase the complexity of the setup beyond this guide.

Ubuntu 18.04 x86_64, Ubuntu 19/04 amd64, Ubuntu 20.04, and Rocky Linux 8 are confirmed working. Ubuntu 15.04 x86 is known to fail to install using this guide. Recommend not running on "minimal" images as some tools are missing.

  • 2GB RAM + 1GB RAM per each additional server with 10 players. More RAM is recommended for larger maps, higher player counts, or complex gamemodes. Not having enough RAM is a common cause of server crashes.
  • A 2.5Ghz CPU will support a 10 player server.
  • A 5Ghz CPU will support a maximum of 24 players. This is the highest number of players before serious server lag kicks in, higher player counts would require hardware that simply doesn't exist yet. Lower player counts are recommended for complex gamemodes (E.g. CodZ) and/or highly detailed maps.
  • Pavlovserver is functionally single threaded (one thread does vast majority of work). More CPUs only help if you are running more servers. More clockspeed = higher performance = more users per server.

The maximum number of servers you can run is dependent on how many threads you have. For example, if you have an 8 thread CPU (4 cores), the maximum number of servers would be 7. You should always have at least one thread free as overhead, as Pavlov servers can use slightly more than one thread.

Hosting at home

When hosting at home there are additional requirements regarding networking: Your router has to support port-forwarding, hair-pinning/LoopbackNAT, and respond to ping requests. These techniques are necessary to allow your server to be found and to talk back to the client. please see,, and for more info and google for these terms in addition to your router model to find guides on how to enable/configure it properly. If you have modern Router, it may have these features already enabled, in this case you just have to configure port-forwarding. If you can see your server but not join it while others can, this is indicative of a failure of LoopbackNAT.

A second challenge to hosting at home is CGNAT (Carrier grade NAT: Just like NAT on your home network that has to be gotten around w/ port-forwarding, CGNAT breaks the ability of external connections to be made back to your server, but the controls are solely in your ISPs hands. Sometimes if you ask, you can be removed from CGNAT pools and/or assigned a static IP. CGNAT rollouts are becoming very common now, so if your server worked then doesn't allow connections now, your ISP may have made this change.

You can check whether you’re on a CGNAT network by visiting a Web site such as or and comparing the IP address listed to the public/WAN IP address assigned to your Internet gateway. To find your gateway’s public IP address, check the status page in the administrative interface. If the two IP addresses differ, you’re likely on a CGNAT network. If so, this problem must be resolved before you go any further.

Not understanding these requirements and configuration is a frequent cause of failed setups and questions in discord. Don't skip this if you are trying to host from home

There are serious security implications of hosting this software at home. None of the devs are security experts and there has been no security review of the code. You are opening up your system to the world and publicity advertising this fact. Expect that any system hosting this software is open to compromise from the Internet and act accordingly. If your router offers a DMZ network, use it. Consider hosting on a cloud based server and think twice before running this software on any system that contains data you care about or has access to networks and computers you care about.

If you're hosting at home using Oracle's VirtualBox, there are steps you can take to prevent double NAT (which can cause issues later on)

1. Select your VM and then click Settings in VirtualBox's main window.

2. Click on Network and change Attached To from NAT to Bridged Adapter.

Once you've done this, your VM should be connected directly to your home router and double NAT should no longer be a issue.

Hosting Providers

Considering the suggested server specs, you may be interested in the following hosting providers. For providers promising dedicated "Pavlov hosting" as opposed to general VPS services please contact and ask how you change maps being hosted and how you get RCON access before you put your money down.

Provider              | Base CPU | Details
Arctic VR             | 4.5 GHz  |
Amazon Web Services   | 4.0 Ghz  |
Pavlov Horde          | 4.0 GHz  |
VULTR                 | 4.0 GHz  |
ForestRacks           | 3.8 Ghz  |
Smishcraft            | 3.6 Ghz  |            | 3.5 GHz  |       
Google Cloud Platform | 3.2 GHz  |
Pavlov Horde

Pavlov Horde is the most feature-rich, easy and fast setup method to launch a Pavlov Shack (Quest) server. Starting at only $5 for a full-feature server!


The service includes:

  • Fast - Server launched within 15 minutes of purchase, bundled with all the features below
  • Online web dashboard - for server account management, allowing changing maps, PIN, server name, time limit etc
  • Ready-made - Pavlov Shack servers (Quest exclusively!) for TTT, SND, Zombies, and all other game modes
  • Low Pings - Choose from over 13 locations across the globe
  • Stats - Kills, Deaths, Assists, Headshots and much more is collected & offered via scoreboards& rankings
  • Maps - All available Pavlov Shack maps available, regularly updated (check out the full list here:
  • Discord Bot - to give items, kick, ban, manage, flush and much more from Discord. Grant permissions to friends/team via discord
  • Stream - all activity (active players, kills, plants etc) from the game to a discord channel
  • Horde Homes - in-game lobby maps that allow you and your community to select maps, view scoreboards, and set custom welcome text in-game for new visitors

You can find more about them here: or contact Chingghis for questions by joining the Horde Discord: The Horde discord bot can be invited with this link:


Arctic.png Arctic VR is the largest and longest running Pavlov VR hosting provider. They offer EU, NA East and NA West servers for both shack and PCVR. The In-Game Admin Menu is exclusive to the ArcticVR hosting service. ArcticVR offers the fastest Pavlov servers out of all the hosting providers as well as DDos Protection, RCON remote management, unlimited slots, and expert support.


You can find more about them here:


ForestRacks is a hosting provider that offers low priced Pavlov VR servers of all sorts including the base server and the beta servers (PC Beta/ Shack) They currently offer server hosting in North America, Germany and in Australia. All servers are controlled in a docker instance using a custom panel ontop of a heavy duty Firewall with 100 Gbps DDOS protection.

All servers owners are guaranteed 24/7 Support via LiveChat or Discord. For anymore information visit

Smishcraft Hosting

Smishcraft is a Game service provider that started in 2014 and originally specialised in Minecraft(hence the name) but has since branched out into many other games and services. There servers are hosted within docker containers with rcon and power actions controlled from a web control panel.

They also maintain a public file server with most of the maps for the Shack version of the game and a link for that can be found in there Knowledgebase, for more information use the link above.


Consider using a referral from the community:





Google Cloud Platform (90 day free credit available)

The below configuration is successfully running 4 pavlov PC instances with ~15 total maps and up to 24 players per server. If you want more maps use larger boot disk. Both can dynamically be scaled based on popularity.

Menu -> compute engine -> VM instances
create instance
- region: wherever you like
- machine type: n1-highcpu-4 (4 vCPUs, 3.6 GB memory)
- boot disk: Ubuntu 20.04
- boot disk -> size: 25gb
- network tags: pavlov-server
- [create]

Menu -> Vpc network -> firewall rules
[Create firewall rule]
Name: pavlov server
Target Tags: pavlov-server
Source IP Ranges:
Protocols and Ports -> Specified protocols and ports -> UDP: 7777, 8177 (Shack and PC)
Protocols and Ports -> Specified protocols and ports -> TCP: 7777, 8177 (Shack-only)
Protocols and Ports -> Specified protocols and ports -> TCP: {RCON port - default 9100}
Amazon Web Services (30 day free credit available)
Login -> Change Region: Choose your region
Services -> Compute -> EC2 -> Create
Choose an AMI: Ubuntu 18.04
Instance Type: z1d.large

Instance Details -> Tenancy: Dedicated (optional: this will more than triple the cost)

Storage: 50gb disk (or whatever, you're in control of the map roster)

Security Groups:
Create a new Security Group
Security group name: pavlov-server
Description: pavlov server
Type: Custom ICMP Rule - IPV4 / Protocol: Echo Request
Type: Custom UDP Rule / Port Range: 7777 / Source:
Type: Custom UDP Rule / Port Range: 8177 / Source:
Type: SSH (optional, but I assume you wanna SSH in..)

Launch -> Create new Keypair -> Download -> Launch

Once it's started, SSH in like:
$ ssh -i your-key.pem

(I use cmder on Windows, if you're using putty or mobaxterm or something, might be different)

Starting Server Install

Obtaining an ApiKey

For your server to show up in the server list, there is now a requirement to have an ApiKey issued by vankrupt. This is to prevent DOS attacks against the master server

Get the key by going here: and using your mobile number to get a SMS (note that there have been reported failures of this SMS system for non-US mobiles. In this case DM davevillz your mobile and ask for a key)

Put this key in your Game.ini as follows:


or if you would like (personally untested..I would use game.ini) you can call it at server runtime with flag as follows:


This key can be re-used for a reasonable number of servers (a limit of 10 has been mentioned). Contact the Devs if you need more servers per key.

System setup and software installation

Install dependencies and create the `steam` user. (You only need to do this once):

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y gdb curl lib32gcc1 libc++-dev unzip
sudo useradd -m steam

For Ubuntu 20.20, change lib32gcc1 to lib32gcc-s1

For Rocky Linux, CentOS 8, and RHEL 8, run the following commands:

sudo sed -i 's/^SELINUX=enforcing$/SELINUX=permissive/g' /etc/selinux/config
sudo setenforce 0
sudo yum install gdb curl glibc.i686 libstdc++.i686 libstdc++-devel.i686 libstdc++-devel.x86_64 unzip wget -y
sudo rpm -i libcxx-3.8.0-3.el7.x86_64.rpm
sudo useradd -m steam

[Optional] Set a password for steam.

sudo passwd steam

Login as the steam user. (You will need to do this each time you connect to your server):

sudo su -l steam

Install Steam:

mkdir ~/Steam && cd ~/Steam && curl -sqL "" | tar zxvf -

There are different dedicated server versions for Pavlov Server - choose which server version you want to host (PC non-beta, PC Beta, Shack Live, or Shack RC) (You will need to run this command each time there is a Pavlov Server update).

To host PC Server (non-beta):

~/Steam/ +login anonymous +force_install_dir /home/steam/pavlovserver +app_update 622970 +exit

To host PC BETA:

~/Steam/ +login anonymous +force_install_dir /home/steam/pavlovserver +app_update 622970 -beta beta_server +exit

To host Shack Live (Quest):

~/Steam/ +login anonymous +force_install_dir /home/steam/pavlovserver +app_update 622970 -beta shack +exit

To host Shack RC (Quest): [At the moment Shack RC is same as LIVE, use LIVE] - [delete if RC returns]

~/Steam/ +login anonymous +force_install_dir /home/steam/pavlovserver +app_update 622970 -beta shack_beta +exit

Now that we've installed the server, all pavlov server versions should continue.
Install a fresh copy of (May have to do this after each update):

~/Steam/ +login anonymous +app_update 1007 +quit
mkdir -p ~/.steam/sdk64
cp ~/Steam/steamapps/common/Steamworks\ SDK\ Redist/linux64/ ~/.steam/sdk64/
cp ~/Steam/steamapps/common/Steamworks\ SDK\ Redist/linux64/ ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Binaries/Linux/

Make the PavlovServer script executable. (You only need to do this once):

chmod +x ~/pavlovserver/

Server Configuration

Before starting the server we need to configure it. Start by creating some directories:

mkdir -p /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Logs
mkdir -p /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/LinuxServer

Configuring Game.ini

Create a new Game.ini file using following command to open an editor and copy/paste the following block into it then save it. Note not all of these options are required. For instance remove or comment out the Password=0000 line to make a public server with no pin.

nano /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/Game.ini
MaxPlayers=10     #Set this to 10 for Shack. 19 is reasonable max for PC large maps. 
bCompetitive=false #This only works for SND
MapRotation=(MapId="UGC1758245796", GameMode="GUN")
MapRotation=(MapId="datacenter", GameMode="SND")
MapRotation=(MapId="sand", GameMode="DM")

  • bEnabled - whether the server appears in the server list (unconfirmed)
  • ServerName - name it will be listed as. (approx 35 chars max)
  • MaxPlayers - See suggested specs for limits. 10 standard (10 for shack), 20-24 is max recommended for large maps like Stalingrad or PUSH/RUSH modes
  • ApiKey - Unique ApiKey required to register server with master server. Replace with your key
  • bSecured - enabled Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC)
  • bCustomServer - activates some new modding tools (save and http functions. Required to write to blacklist.txt for bans)
  • bCompetitive - sets the server to competitive mode for SND. If removed the server will default to false
  • bVerboseLogging - enables verbose logging, mostly detailed statistics. Be prepared for significant increase in logging.
  • bWhitelist - Only allow users in whitelist.txt to join
  • RefreshListTime - sets how often the running server checks for updates in ban/whitelist/mod files
  • LimitedAmmoType - sets limited ammo mode

0 = Unlimited 1 = Limited Generic 2 = Limited Specific 3 = Custom (for modders) 4 = Limited Special 5 = Boxless Mode

  • TimeLimit - sets time limit for each map
  • TickRate - sets the server tickrate. (so far minimum stable seems around 50 and max around 120)
  • Password - PIN number for server #FYI - this is now also changeable via rcon.
  • BalanceTableURL - Points to a custom balance table from github. See for instructions. This line isn't needed if you don't have one.
  • MapRotation - you can add multiple of these. The MapId must be “UGC” followed by the map ID. you can find the map id in the URL of the steam workshop page. When a match ends, the server will load the next map in the rotation. You can also use RCON to switch to a map not included in rotation.

Available game modes as of 10/11/2021: SND, TDM, DM, GUN, ZWV, WW2GUN, TANKTDM, KOTH, TTT, OITC, HIDDEN, INFECTION
PC Beta only: PUSH, PH (Prophunt), HIDE (New mode name for The Hidden)

For maps running a Custom gamemode (CodZ, BR, Duel, etc.) it doesn't matter which gamemode you choose, as the map will automatically override it with the custom mode.

UGC###### are for custom maps from Steam workshop (PC Only). Find the map you want in the workshop. This is the URL for Mirage ( The 10 numbers at the end of the URL are what you need, so UGC1661803933 would be the MapId for Mirage.

Firewall/Port forwarding

Using the default settings there are two UDP ports (7777, 8177) that need to be allowed to access the server either by firewall setup or port forwarding.

You may also need to allow Pings (ICMP) for the server's true latency to appear in the master list.

If you are running multiple servers and have set additional ports (see then you need to allow access to the defined port plus the port 400 higher. So if you use 7000 as your port, then UDP 7000 and 7400 need to be open

If you have setup rcon via RconSettings.txt (below) then that port also need to be allowed access via TCP

If you are running Shack/Quest and want to have maps that are downloadable from your server, your server ports (ex. 7777 & 8177) must also be open via TCP

Shack Maps (Quest)

If you try to use the steps above to add maps for Shack, youll run into issues very quickly. This is because Shack has no affiliation to Steam, and therefore cannot use Steam Workshop maps like above. In the future, these steps will apply to PC servers as well, allowing a server to hold the map itsself, instead of offloading to Steam.

To get started, first create the directory to hold the maps

mkdir -p /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/maps

You can use any number of methods to move the map files onto the server, but ill go over the two simplest, starting with a GUI approach

Download and install CyberDuck onto your "home" PC (Whatever PC you use for access to the server, but not the server itsself):

Next, download and unzip your map of choice from ,, or look in #shack-map-showcase channel in the discord server. I'm going to use Cheeto's WW2 Items test ( ) for this example, you do what you like

In the top left corner, open a connection, set the connection type to SFTP, and fill in the rest of the information. User will be root, password is whatever you set the root pw as (toor in Ubuntu by default)

In the directory dropdown (itll say /root) go back to /

Follow the directories until we arrive back at our "maps" folder

Drag and drop the unzipped map folder into the main window, in this case itll be SVR_Cheeto_Items

Hit Allow

Youll now see a folder named SVR_Cheeto_Items, and within it should be nothing but 3 files. If there is another folder in it, move this folder to the maps directory, otherwise the server wont work. The 3 files (2 .PAK one .JSON) should be in home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/maps/SVR_Cheeto_Items, no more, no less.

To play the map, you can either use RCON switch map command, or to add the map to your servers automatic map rotation list, add the map's folder name to your Game.ini. This replaces the MapID section, so for our example it would be

MapRotation=(MapId="SVR_Cheeto_Items", GameMode="TDM")

And thats all! Disconnect CyberDuck from your server before playing, otherwise youll have difficulty joining.

Automated Shack Maps (Quest)


This script can only pull the maps provided by

Keep in mind this will install 160+ maps if your server has limited space, you may want to avoid doing this.

You can always just download the and open it in your preferred text editor and choose the maps you want.

cd ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/maps
sudo chmod +x

If you would like to remove all of the maps:

rm -rf ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/maps/*

This link will give you a list of all included maps in the format for your Game.ini file. They will be commented out so make sure you remove the # from the start of the line to activate that map and add # to stop it from being added to the rotation.

#MapRotation=(MapId="SVR_007_Basement", GameMode="TDM") 
#MapRotation=(MapId="SVR_007_Facility", GameMode="TDM")

Below, you can find the and maplist.txt

Adding Shack Maps over Command Line Interface

A bit more complicated, but adding maps over CLI has its benefits

First, CD to the maps directory you made above

cd ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/maps

Download the map files from whatever you use to upload them. To do this, you can either use curl or wget

curl -O insertURLhere

If you download your map from Google Drive, make sure that your .zip folder is shared to anyone.

Then, get the file's url from the shared link.

Example :

will be 19bI8gUHaN5tUrDvnadAacUnchQf6_k

Edit "fileId" and "fileName" before you execute the command.

curl -sc /tmp/cookie "${fileId}" > /dev/null
code="$(awk '/_warning_/ {print $NF}' /tmp/cookie)"  
curl -Lb /tmp/cookie "${code}&id=${fileId}" -o ${fileName} 

To keep with the Items example:

curl -O

Next, unzip the file. If this next step errors out, saying the command is unknown, switch back to the root user (su root), and install unzip (sudo apt install unzip), then return to the steam user, and continue.


Now finish like before by adding the map to your Game.ini

nano /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/Game.ini
MapRotation=(MapId="SVR_Cheeto_Items", GameMode="TDM")

Admin/Moderator list (optional)

ADMIN MENU NO LONGER EXISTS FOR PC AND IS LIMITED IN SHACK, BUT IS EXPECTED TO RETURN/IMPROVE IN THE FUTURE (Delete comment when it returns) In the mean time, the only working admin menu is through Arctic VR server hosting (see below).

If you add moderators to your server, they will have an "admin panel" in their menu which will allow them to:

  • kill player
  • teleport to player
  • kick player
  • ban player (note this ban is only in memory and clears when server restarts. If you want it to be permanent, use blacklist.txt file (below) and/or Rcon ban command)
  • rotate to next map
nano ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/mods.txt

Example Mod List:

76541198397498572 #Optional Comment: Player name
76541198397498573 #Some Other Player

ArcticVR Admin Menu


Arctic-VR Offers an advanced In-Game Admin menu that is exclusive to their hosting service. Features include:

  • Switch Maps+Modes
  • Teleport Players to Players
  • Change Player Skins
  • Control Player Buying+Cash
  • Spawn Items
  • Clean up corpses + guns
  • Spawn Bots
  • Spawn Items for other players
  • Control Teams + Balance/Shuffle Teams
  • ResetSND
  • And More

You can read more about the ArcticVR admin menu on their website:

Blacklist/Whitelist (optional)

If you want the ability to ban players or only allow players based on their steamID you can use blacklist.txt and whitelist.txt to define these players

Both files should be written in ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/ and have same format as Mod list above.

touch /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/blacklist.txt
touch /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/whitelist.txt

Currently bans actioned by admins in-game are only held in memory and not written to blacklist.txt. As such, they go away when server is rebooted.

(Shack - with b24 and move to app labs, blacklist/whitelist are based on oculus name. This may change.)

Handy tools for finding steamIDs

Steam ID finder:

You want to enter in the steamID64 format.

This tool can convert or lookup IDs:

If you are looking for a steamID of a player that has been on your server recently this is technique to find them:

grep -i playername ~/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Logs/* | grep TicketValidation

Starting the server

cd ~/pavlovserver && ./

That's it, your server will be automatically broadcast to the master server! :)

Two handy tools to determine quickly if your server is broadcasting are Pablub (PC only) and Horde (Shack) and Horde (PC version)

Note that when you close your terminal, the server will go down. See the "supervisors" section below for how to prevent this.

Auto-updating the server

Assuming you have followed this guide and used the default paths, users, and install instructions, you can paste the following into your terminal to auto-update your Pavlov server:

cat << 'EOF' > $HOME/


echo -e "Beginning Pavlov VR update run on $(date)\n\n"

systemctl stop "$SERVICENAME"

sleep 5
sudo -iu "$USER" "$USERHOME/Steam/" +login anonymous +force_install_dir "$USERHOME/$INSTALLDIRNAME" +app_update 622970 +exit
sudo -iu "$USER" "$USERHOME/Steam/" +login anonymous +app_update 1007 +quit
sudo -iu "$USER" cp "$USERHOME/Steam/steamapps/common/Steamworks SDK Redist/linux64/" "$USERHOME/.steam/sdk64/"
sudo -iu "$USER" cp "$USERHOME/Steam/steamapps/common/Steamworks SDK Redist/linux64/" "$USERHOME/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Binaries/Linux/"

systemctl start "$SERVICENAME"

echo -e "Ending Pavlov VR update run on $(date)\n\n"


chmod +x $HOME/
mkdir $HOME/pavlov_update_logs && touch $HOME/pavlov_update_logs/
CRONLINE="00 2 * * * $HOME/ >>$HOME/pavlov_update_logs/ 2>&1"
(sudo crontab -u root -l; echo "$CRONLINE" ) | sudo crontab -u root -

These commands will:

1. Create a shell script in the "steam" user's home directory that automatically stops the Pavlov server, pulls any updates via steam, pull updates to the Steamworks SDK Redist, and copies the latest version of to the Pavlov server directory

2. Make the shell script executable

3. Create a new directory called "pavlov_update_logs" in the "steam" user's directory, and create a logfile inside that directory called "". You can check this logfile to see the output of the Pavlov and Steam SDK update commands.

4. Create a crontab entry for the root user that runs this shell script automatically every day at 2:00AM local time

If you want to change the time that this script runs, edit the numbers "00 2" in the line that starts with "CRONLINE=". In the example provided, 00 is the minutes column, and 2 is the hour column. For example, if you wanted the server to automatically update and restart at 4:17AM every day, change the line starting with "CRONLINE=" to:

CRONLINE="17 4 * * * $HOME/ >>$HOME/pavlov_update_logs/ 2>&1"

If the time is PM, use 24-hour time format, e.g. "32 18" for 6:32PM.

Supervising the server using systemd

Running ./ in your interactive shell is easy, but the server will shut down when you close your terminal. If you want to run the server in the background, you'll want to run it under a supervisor. There are many options, ranging from the simple (nohup, screen or tmux), to the more robust (supervisord, systemd).

Systemd is running by default on Ubuntu Linux, so we'll use that here.

To run the server as a systemd service, create the file /etc/systemd/system/pavlovserver.service (as root) by typing

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/pavlovserver.service

Copy contents below into the file and save.

Description=Pavlov VR dedicated server



WantedBy =

If you'd like your server to start as competitve without editing the game.ini copy and paste this instead,

Description=Pavlov VR dedicated server

ExecStart=/home/steam/pavlovserver/ -COMPETITIVE=1


WantedBy =

Change the user or paths as appropriate. After saving the service file, to start, restart, stop, or monitor the server:

sudo systemctl start pavlovserver
sudo systemctl restart pavlovserver
sudo systemctl stop pavlovserver
sudo systemctl status pavlovserver

To view the logs:

sudo journalctl -u pavlovserver
# to live-tail the logs
sudo journalctl -u pavlovserver -f

If you want to run the pavlov server as soon as your server boots (e.g. a VPS you turn on and off), add pavlov as a startup service:

sudo systemctl enable pavlovserver

Rcon Overview and Commands

If you are here looking for a quick tool to use RCON on your server. The most user friendly option is here: You will of course expose your credentials to the horde admin, but Chingghis is a trusted member of the community unlikely to turn you into a clown using RCON.

To enable Rcon access create config file:

 nano /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/RconSettings.txt 

Copy in the following text - change password, and if desired the port:


You must specify a port for the Rcon server to use as well as a Password (use a different port per sever instance if running multiple server instances off the same hardware)


If you want Ban/Unban to work file /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config/blacklist.txt needs to be writable by user running server. (If you followed the instructions on the wiki, username steam is running the server and creates the file).


Help                                -Returns the full list of commands
Ban {UniqueID}                      -Bans the player from the server (adds them to blacklist.txt)
Kick {UniqueID}                     -Kicks the player from the server
Kill {UniqueID}                     -Kills the player 
Unban {UniqueID}                    -Unbans the player from the server (tries to remove the unique id from blacklist.txt)'
Banlist                             -Shows the current list of banned players
AddMod {UniqueID}                   -Adds a mod ID to the mods.txt file 
RemoveMod {UniqueID}                -Removes a mod ID to the mods.txt file
ItemList                            -Shows available items for GiveItem command
RotateMap                           -Rotates to the next map in the game.ini
SwitchMap {MapName/ID} {GameMode}   -Switches to the map/gamemode specified, ex "SwitchMap DataCenter TDM" or "SwitchMap UGC1080326389 DM"
SwitchTeam {UniqueID} {TeamId}      -Switches the specified players team
GiveItem {UniqueID} {ItemId}        -Give the specified player the Item
GiveCash {UniqueID} {CashAmt}       -Give the specified player cash
GiveTeamCash {TeamId} {CashAmt}     -Gives all members of the teamId cash
GiveVehicle {UniqueID} {VehicleID}  -Spawns Vehicle on top of player, see below for vehicle IDs
InspectPlayer {UniqueID}            -Returns information about the player specified (PlayerName, Cash, KDA, TeamId etc)
RefreshList                         -Returns a list of players on the server (unique/steamId)
Slap {UniqueID} {damage amt}        -Inflicts damage amount on player.  From zero to 100.
ServerInfo                          -Returns information about the server (ServerName, CurrentMap, PlayerCount/MaxPlayerCount etc)
Disconnect                          -Disconnects the player from Rcon
ResetSND                            -Resets the match back to round 1 keeping the same teams
SetPlayerSkin {UniqueID} {SkinId}   -Sets the skin for the specified player, see below for IDs
SetLimitedAmmoType {0-5}            -Sets the limited ammo type for the duration of the match. See below for the different ammo types available
SetPin {####}                       -Sets the password on your server, must be 4 digits e.g. "SetPin 0000". Running SetPin without a number will remove the pin from the server.

TTT-only commands:

tttflushkarma {UniqueID}            -Resets a player's karma
tttsetkarma {UniqueID} {####}       -Sets the karma of a player to a value
tttsetrole {UniqueID}               -Currently broken
tttendround                         -Ends the round
tttpausetimer                       -Pauses the timer
TTTAlwaysEnableSkinMenu             -Enables the skin menu mid-round

{UniqueID} is a player's Steam ID 64. It's the 17-digit number that appears next to their names in most Rcon tools. Alternatively, if you have a player's profile URL, you can find their ID at:

Limited ammo types:

0 = Unlimited
1 = Limited Generic
2 = Limited Specific
3 = Custom (for modders)
4 = Limited Special
5 = Boxless Mode

Item, skin, and vehicle IDs:

A full list of all items, vehicles, and skin can be found here.

You can also run the ItemList command through Rcon to receive the most recent and up to date list of all items.

Game Modes:
DM - Death Match
KOTH - King Of The Hill
GUN - Gun Game
OITC - One In The Chamber
SND - Search and Destroy
TANKTDM - WW2 Team Death Match
TDM - Team Death Match
TTT - Trouble in Terrorist Town
WW2GUN - WW2 Gun Game
ZWV - Zombie Wave Survival
HIDDEN (HIDE in beta) - The Hidden
INFECTION - Hidden Infection
PUSH - Push (Beta only)
PH - Prophunt (Beta only)

Connecting to RCON

Make sure whatever port you used is open in your firewall for TCP connections. Connections are simple TCP port/telnet style connections.

To test connecting to the rcon port and issuing simple commands use netcat or telnet:

nc {ip address} {port}
telnet {ip address} {port}
For the password use the md5 hash of the password in the file (this may change in the future). You can get this using
echo -n password | md5sum

If successful you should get an Authenticated=1 reply

Tools available to access Rcon interface

A good first place to start is the Horde web interface. You can find your PC server at and Shack servers at

Enter the port and the plaintxt version (not md5sum) of the password and connect to your server using this site. You will of course expose your credentials to the admin, but Chingghis is a trusted member of the community unlikely to turn you into a clown using RCON.

If you want private control of your server, you will need to do a bit more work for it. At the simplest, using netcat (nc) or telnet as described above will give you basic access to all commands

If you want to batch commands (i.e. for moving players on to teams and triggering ResetSnd) the following script can be useful to call a pre-written batch files of commands. Call with your batch file as the first argument to the script. The file should have one command per line with first line being the hashed password as above.

function slowcat(){ while read; do sleep .05; echo "$REPLY"; done; }
cat  $1 | slowcat | nc {ip address} {port}

Example batchfile:


Rcon access from within VR

PavlovRconWebserver, pavlov-vr-rcon and pavlov_rcon_tcl have been designed to be accessible within VR using virtual desktop view.

pavlov_rcon_tcl: This is a tool designed to run on your desktop for access within VR

PavlovRconWebserver is an interface designed to be usable from everywhere all the time. (also in VR over desktop view)

Manage multiple Linux servers with multiple pavlov servers.
Start / Stop / Update
Public player lists
Do almost all rcon commands
Change the map rotation
Determine which users can do what via roles
Manage whitelists and blacklists
Integrate the player lists on all other websites
Good Linux knowledge
SSH access to a linux server

While functional, the PavlovRconWebserver is still in development.

If you do plan on using this tool, we recommend asking for help on the official Discord or, or contacting the creator on the Github page (devinspitz) for the latest info on how to use it. Failing to do so will likely result in you breaking your servers.

pavlov-vr-rcon: This is tool designed to run on your desktop for access from within VR with SND team setup

RCON access from Discord

For the ultimate in both control and complexity of setup, use the open-source pavlov-bot. This is a discord bot that will listen for commands in your discord and execute them. Supports all RCON commands with handy features such as discord role based authentication and authorisation, player, map and team aliases (No more SteamIDs or UGC####) and enhanced "all" and team based commands. Has support for flushing non-registered players from server. Advanced features to include alerting when servers are kicking off, team killing player kick/ban and large server (PUSH/RUSH/TankTDM) player balance (count) control.

For shack users it has been updated to support Oculus ids and map aliases, so is fully functional for both server versions. See for shack specific tweaks.

Horde also offers a Discord Bot to grant RCON permissions to friends in Discord, and run commands from specific channels. Invite the Horde Bot to your Discord server with this link:

Tips on developing apps to use RCON

What is important if you are issuing commands using a program at high frequency is that you open one connection and put all of the commands through that open connection with a small (.1 sec is fine) delay. What you don't want to do is open a new connection for each command or shove all of the commands through super fast. First causes performance issues and the second dropped commands.

Advanced Server Administration

Running multiple servers on one host

  • Pavlovserver is functionally single threaded (there are multiple threads, but vast majority of work occurs in the primary one). Make sure you have # of pavlovservers + 1 CPU available. More CPUs= more servers. Faster CPU = more players.
  • Make multiple server installs by defining a separate install dir for each server.
  • Run each server with a unique port. eg: ./ -PORT="Desired Port"
  • The Server will use the Desired Port and the Port 400 above (Example: You choose 8200 as Port. So Port 8600 will be used as well)
  • If you are using RCON, each server will need a unique port defined in RconSettings.txt
  • Ensure the ports are forwarded and opened in your firewall

To duplicate directories:

be in the steam home folder

cp -r pavlovserver pavlovserver1
/home/steam/pavlovserver1/ -PORT=[Desired Port]

Starting server in competitive mode

Competitive mode will prevent dead teammates from being able to see the match, to prevent ghosting. You can either enable this via Game.ini (described in Game.ini file), or using the -COMPETITIVE=1 parameter.

/home/steam/pavlovserver1/ -COMPETITIVE=1

Useful Linux Commands

Check if pavlov is running by checking process status. If the only row you see is the grep command, pavlov server is not started.

 ps -ef | grep pav 

Sample output:

steam      34044       1  0 16:52 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh /home/steam/pavlovserver/
steam      34066   34044 80 16:52 ?        00:00:04 /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Binaries/Linux/PavlovServer
zombies+   34101   34013  0 16:52 pts/0    00:00:00 grep --color=auto pav

Dump the log to the console so you can scroll through it:

 cat /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Logs/Pavlov.log 

Search the log for a string - replace my_string with case-sensitive string

 cat /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Logs/Pavlov.log | grep my_string 

Default Map ID's





siberia (Prison Break)

hospital (Zombies map)







ogcontainers (Shack only)

haguenau (Shack only)

foundation (Shack only)

stalingrad (PC only)

stalingrad_night (PC only)

santorini_night (PC only)

sand_night (PC only)

station_night (PC only)

industry_night (PC only)

bunker (PC only)


To run the server without outputting the heartbeat:

./ | sed '/heartbeat/d'

To monitor the logs (without heartbeat) from another terminal:

tail -f -n10000 /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Logs/Pavlov.log | grep -v 'Sending heartbeat to masterserver'

Check your CPU Clock Speed with:

lscpu | grep MHz

Server won't start

Error message:

ln: failed to create hard link '/home/steam/.steam/sdk64/': File exists
ln: failed to create hard link '/home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Binaries/Linux/': File exists
/home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Binaries/Linux/PavlovServer: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

First two errors are harmless. The third one is because libc++ step was skipped or failed. Using sudo capable id (probably not steam id), [re]run this line:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y gdb curl lib32gcc1 libc++-dev unzip 

Map wont load (kicks to datacenter)

try deleting all the downloaded workshop maps with:

sudo rm -rf /tmp/workshop/7777/content/555160/*
for all maps or
sudo rm -rf /tmp/workshop/7777/content/555160/whatever-UGC
for specific map

Map wont load when running in a container

The three typical container problems I have seen:

1) Steam can't write to /tmp for some reason

2) /tmp is actually tmpfs instead of real filesystem and a few gigs of maps runs you out of RAM

3) Made worse by fact that pavlovserver unpacks downloads to ram, then writes to /tmp/workshop. Not enough RAM to do this, no map for you.

Server stuck rotating forever

Run these 2 commands, then restart your server:

cd ~/Steam && ./ +login anonymous +app_update 1007 +quit
cp ~/Steam/steamapps/common/Steamworks\ SDK\ Redist/linux64/ ~/.steam/sdk64/

If this doesn't fix it, double check that your server isn't running on the same port as another, by running this command:

ps -ef | grep pav

Then if 2 servers are on the same port, you can fix it by editing the pavlovserver.service file, and making sure the following line:

ExecStart=/home/steam/pavlovserver/ -PORT=Number

has a unique number after the port for each server you're running.

Google server - ping 999

Make sure your compute engine has a network tag and your network rules are applied to the tag. Make sure you opened the specified ports.

Can't connect to RCON

Check the file and group owner of RconSettings file. It should be steam, or the ID used to run the pavlov server.

cd /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config 
ls -la 

If the owner/group are not steam, using root or an id with sudo authority, change them to steam, confirm they are now set properly, then restart the pavlov server. (Note - if Rcon has wrong permissions, after fixing you should also to check the other config files like Game.ini, mods/blacklist/whitelist for the same issue. If steam can't access these files, it could cause problems.).

cd /home/steam/pavlovserver/Pavlov/Saved/Config
sudo chown steam RconSettings.txt
sudo chgrp steam RconSettings.txt
ls -la 

PC ONLY - Map Download stops

When downloading a large map from the steam workshop make sure your VPS/Dedi or Shared hosting provider (Otherwise known as a GSP's) has enough RAM assigned to store the map files in its tempfs (stored in ram)!

This is less likely to happen on Dedicated servers and VPS with a decent amount of ram unless you are using docker with RAM limits!

Most GSP's will be using docker or some other type of jailing method to limit system resource allocations and direct access to the host machine, if they are and you know what map you want to use make sure you order a service with enough ram to store your map. If in doubt contact your GSP's support team.

Getting Help

There's a #pc-custom-servers channel on the official Pavlov Discord - Lots of helpful people there!