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Internet MiniChess Server

Copyright © 2007-2013 Bart Massey
Please see the file COPYING in this distribution for license information.

This package is a communications server and referee for games of MinitChess played online. See for more information on MinitChess.

Building this package requires a Haskell compiler; it is known to work with GHC 7.6. This package requires the following extra packages available from Hackage:

  • parseargs: provides System.Console.ParseArgs, my argument parser
  • regex-tdfa: provides Text.Regex.TDFA
  • network: provides Network
  • random: provides System.Random (may be provided in newer libs)
  • unbounded-delays: provides Control.Concurrent.Timeout

All but the last are also available as Debian packages.

The program provides a service to which a client can connect and either offer a game or accept a game from an existing client. Once both players are in place, the service accepts moves from each side in turn on its connection. The server prompts each side with the game state to allow easy sanity checks.


There should be a subdirectory called imcsd/ of the invocation directory in which imcs can write game state and logs. You can get this set up by running imcs with the --init flag. This is also how you upgrade to new versions of imcs. You may run --init to initialize or upgrade, or just as a convenient way to stop the server. From version 2.2 on, --init takes an argument which is the password for the user "admin", who should be registered with imcs. This password is used by the new "stop" command, which will put the server in a stopping state, wait until all current games have been played, and then cause the server to exit.

The --port <n> argument sets the server listening port; the current default port is, for no very good reason, 3589.