The main server for the Worldforge MMORPG system.
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Cyphesis, the Worldforge server

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Cyphesis is the server for the WorldForge system.


If you intend to build this as a prerequisite for the Ember client or the Cyphesis server we strongly suggest that you use the Hammer tool to compile Ember. This is script provided by the Worldforge project which will download and install all of the required libraries and components used by Worldforge.

Otherwise the server can most easily be built through the following commands.

mkdir build_`arch` && cd build_`arch`
cmake ..
make assets-download
make install

Note that you also probably want to install the defaults worlds from Worldforge Worlds (this is done automatically by the Hammer build tool).


The test suite can be built and run using the check target. For example:

make check

API documentation

If Doxygen is available API documentation can be generated using the docs target. For example:

make docs


Cyphesis is built using CMake. It requires Python and SQLite 3 which are included with most Linux distributions, and Atlas-C++, varconf, Mercator and wfmath which are provided by the WorldForge project. GNU readline is required by some of the included tools. Boost is used as well, mainly for the ASIO library which drives networking.

If a PostgreSQL development package is detected the optional PostgreSQL database backend will be built. This has to be enabled through a config option; by default data is persisted through SQLite.

If built from source the software and data must be installed using "make install" before it will be ready. Go to the Section called Setup for information on the setup steps required after installation.

Running a basic server

Start the server with the cyphesis command. It will output some startup messages and then run in the foreground. If you want to run the server in the background, start the server with the option --cyphesis:daemon=true .

If an empty server is started, it will automatically be populated if the Worldforge Worlds definitions have been installed.

If you everything has worked so far, and you are not planning to do any server or world development at this time then you do not need to read any of the rest of these instructions.

Usage and configuration

The main server binary is called cyphesis. Its command line arguments and configuration are managed by varconf, which means options can be set in configuration files and on the command line. The main configuration file is called cyphesis.vconf, and server settings are stored in the [cyphesis] section. The file can be found in the cyphesis source directory, and is installed into the sysconf directory, which is by default /etc. Settings in this configuration file can be overridden in on the command line, and once overridden they will be stored permanently in .cyphesis.vconf in the users home directory. In order to drop back to the default settings, remove this file. Settings can be incrementally overridden in ~/.cyphesis.vconf non-interactively by passing them as command line options to cyconf. cyconf will store any settings it is given in ~/.cyphesis.vconf and then exited. If you are planning to have multiple servers run on the same system at the same or different times, the easiest way to handle the differences in configuration would be to use the ~/.cyphesis.vconf file, and avoid modifying the master configuration file.

As an example, the ruleset to be used is set in cyphesis.vconf as follows:


This setting can be overridden by invoking cyphesis with the following option:


For more details of varconf usage see the Varconf documentation. For full details on configuraton options for cyphesis, see the cyphesis(1) man page.

The ruleset specified indicates the entity types available, the set of scripts that will be used for these entities, and the initialisation script used to populate the server.

If an empty server is started, it will automatically be populated if the Worldforge Worlds definitions have been installed.

The default ruleset for this version is called Deeds.

Setup as a System Service

Running cyphesis as a service is the simplest way to get the server up and running. If you are using rpm packages, the cyphesis rpm handles creating a user account so that cyphesis does not run as the superuser. In order to run the server correctly, the cyphesis service must be started, followed by the cyclient service. This can be handled by configuring the system to start these services at boot time, or by running the init scripts manually as root as follows:

# /etc/init.d/cyphesis start
# /etc/init.d/cyclient start

If you are not using the packaged version of cyphesis, but wish to run it as a system service, the init script is included in the top directory of the source package and is called cyphesis.init. This file should be installed in the init script directory on your system, usually /etc/rc.d/init.d/. The procedure for enabling system services varies from system to system. One command used for controlling services is the chkconfig command, found on most Linux systems, and some Unix variants. Once installed the script can be activated as follows:

# chkconfig --add cyphesis

The service is then enabled as follows:

# chkconfig cyphesis on

For further details please see the chkconfig documentation. By default the cyphesis init scripts attempt to run the server and client as a user called cyphesis. An account with this username will need to be created before the service will work. The file called cyphesis.sysconfig can optionally be installed as /etc/sysconfig/cyphesis and edited to control the username used to run the cyphesis server and client processes.

When cyphesis has been run as a system service, any error message or other information are sent to the syslog. On most Linux systems this means that you can see these message by looking at /var/log/messages. Please see the syslog documentation for information about how to control these log messages.

Copyright notices

The server code in C++ is distributed under the GNU General Public License. See the file COPYING for details. The script files included with this distribution are also distributed under the GNU General Public License. Note that this copyright does not cover user scripts that use server services but do not use code from the scripts provided. Using such scripts is considered ordinary use of the server, and does not fall under the heading of derived work.

How to help

If you're interested in helping out with development you should check out these resources: