Installing an Arma III Server on Ubuntu

Notice: The Linux binaries for Arma III server are unstable and should be considered beta, at the time of writing this guide. There may be issues.

Bohemia Interactive have released Arma III Linux server binaries just before the close of 2013! For this guide I'm using a Ubuntu 13.10 (x64) server droplet provided by Digital Ocean.
(2GB Memory, 2 Cores, 40GB SSD Storage, 3TB Transfer)

This guide will only cover installing and running the Arma III server and will not cover configuring your game server settings.

Time investment: ~15 minutes

Requirements

  • Ubuntu server running 13.10 (x64) AKA Saucy Salamander.
  • Basic understanding of Linux terminal commands.
  • Understanding of using PuTTY/Terminal/SSH to connect to your remote server. (if applicable)
  • Steam account with ArmA III purchased.
  • These server ports open.

Initial Setup

Login as root to the server you'll be using, For security's sake, create a new user to keep the game server separate from the server server. Also, download all the packages we'll be using for the server and change into our new arma3 user.

adduser arma3 Follow the prompts. You can skip over name/phone/etc.

Install screen, incase we didn't already have it:
apt-get install screen

The Arma III server requires lib32stdc++6 to function:
apt-get install lib32stdc++6

The following package is required for SteamCMD to function:
apt-get install lib32gcc1
Note, if you're running a Ubuntu version older than 13.10, install this instead:
apt-get install ia32-libs

Allow arma3 to use screen:
chmod o+rw /dev/pts/0

Switch user from root to arma3:
su arma3

Change directory to the home of current user. i.e. /home/arma3/:
cd

Create some folders

In an ongoing effort to keep your server neat and tidy, lets create some install folders for SteamCMD/Arma III.

  1. mkdir steam Make a Steam directory.
  2. mkdir arma3 Make a Arma III directory.
  3. cd steam Go ahead and change directory to Steam.

Installing SteamCMD

SteamCMD is the command line version of Steam built for server hosts. It is quite intuitive and automatable once you learn the basics.

Download the SteamCMD executable for Linux/Ubuntu:

  1. wget http://media.steampowered.com/client/steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
    Download SteamCMD for Linux.
  2. tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
    Unpack the tar file. Think unziping.
  3. rm steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
    Remove the tar file after we've extracted its contents.
  4. ./steamcmd.sh
    Run SteamCMD to update it.

Once the update is complete, input exit. If it errors during the update, re-run this command.

Installing Arma III from SteamCMD

To save us from entering many commands whenever we need to update the server, we'll create a small install/update script that we can invoke with sh arma3update.sh.

Open a new file with the nano text editor:
nano arma3update.sh

Enter the following line, while replacing user and pass with your Steam credentials:

./steamcmd.sh +login user pass +force_install_dir ../arma3 +app_update 233780

Press Ctrl+X when finished to save and quit.

Execute sh arma3update.sh to install and/or update the Arma III server! If you're hosting with Digital Ocean, the download should take around ~3 minutes.

Protip: If you would rather play on the beta branch of Arma III, add the -beta flag to the end of the app_update command like so:

./steamcmd.sh +login user pass +force_install_dir ../arma3  +app_update 233780 -beta

Launching the Arma III Server

Change directory to where we just installed Arma III: cd ../arma3

Open a screen and name it something rememberable: screen -S ARMA

Run ./arma3server -netlog -config=Arma3_Server.cfg and your server is now LIVE!

Confirm that your server is running proper by direct connecting to the server IP using the "Remote" button under the in-game server browser.

Protip: To leave the screen, hit Ctrl+A then D. To return to the server console, use screen -r ARMA! To stop the Arma III server, use Ctrl+C while viewing the server console.

Configuring the ArmA III server

This guide will not cover configuring your server, but here is a link to a helpful thread on the Bohemia Interactive forums to set you in the right direction.

Note, anyone who connects to your new server will be able to instantiate themselves as an administrator.

Notes

I used a server droplet from Digital Ocean to test and refine this guide. The server in use had 2GB of RAM which was the minimum listed in the arma3server_readme.txt. Recommended RAM is 4GB, according to Bohemia Interactive.

Digital Ocean is a pretty great VPS host for this type of server. You can have a performance Arma III server for $20/month.

If you found this article helpful and do choose to run with Digital Ocean, please consider using my referral link provided in this post and here:

When you use this link and bill $10, I get $10 dollars towards my server costs! I'd really appreciate you and it would help me continue to pay for the server I use to produce these guides in my spare time! ♥

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Ethan Trawick

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