I was wondering if anyone could make a recommendation for a good linux distro to make a game server. I am not entirely new to linux but this will be my first game server. I am making the server for our LAN party and we will be running each game server within vmware. Currently the main OS is Gentoo but I am not entirely comfortable with compiling Gentoo and would like to look into something else for the virtual machines. The machines that we are running off of are only Pentium 3s so I would like to be able to get the best possible performance out of them.
VMware is not a good option on a Pentium III..
Try to run a server on the native OS, because its always a good option.
Virtual servers are used when there is need for very large scale implementation.
But you can try using a Lightweight insall of Debian GNU/Linux or CentOS
what game? I'm running srcds on Debian Etch. as soon as my new hardware arrives, I'm going to switch to Debian Sid since Left4Dead requires kernel 2.6.28.
if you're looking for performance, DO NOT VIRTUALIZE. also, you might want to upgrade hardware. my 866 Xeon starts to wig out when the CSS server fills up. the CPU cant keep up with the network load.
I am trying to setup Counter Strike 1.6 and Battlefield 2 right now. Also the reason we are using virtualization is because last time we just ran the game servers on the native os and they kept crashing. Unfortunately we can't upgrade our hardware because it is a school club and we just don't have the funds. Most of the equipment that we are using now was donated to us.
If you use the same old OS on virtual machine..and install server on it..
It wont make difference. it wont cure those errors and crashing.
Virtualization is used for easy backup and utilizing the hardware efficiently on high end computers.
yeah, virtualization isnt going to solve your problems and will probably create more. you might consider running some hardware tests since bad RAM or a CPU can cause random failures. try memtest86 and prime95 and see if you get errors or crashes there.
if the hardware checks out, you should probably run each server independently and try to debug them. watch your swap and CPU usage ('top' should do a decent job) and check your logs. keep in mind that testing these servers requires _players._ bots dont cause the same kind of stress.
if the hardware DOES wind up being faulty, you can probably salvage up some hardware easily. find some small computer store and say you're trying to salvage some machines for a school club. most of the time, broken machines just get stacked in a pile to be sold for scrappers that strip the copper out. odds are, between two or three "broken" machines, you can create a functioning machine. I've salvaged many many machines doing just this. you'll learn a ton :D
I'd love to help you so keep in touch on here or email me (I should be easy to find.)