Run Half-Life 2: Deathmatch as a Windows Service with FireDaemon Pro

Half-Life 2 Deathmartch Logo

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (HL2:DM) is a first person action game. The dedicated server component can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro, which allows you to have the dedicated server start automatically at boot prior to login. This guide will show you how to set it up. You can also use FireDaemon Fusion to manage FireDaemon and other Windows services via a web browser.

Download and Run SteamCMD once

First download and extract SteamCMD to C:\SteamCMD. At an elevated command prompt run SteamCMD once:

cd C:\SteamCMD
steamcmd +quit

Download and Install Half-Life 2: Deathmatch Dedicated Server

Now download the game server. Type the following at an elevated command prompt:

cd C:\SteamCMD
steamcmd +login anonymous +app_update 232370 validate +quit

Download and Install FireDaemon Pro

Download and install FireDaemon Pro.

Download and Install DirectX

Download and install the Microsoft DirectX End User Runtime.

Create the Server Configuration File (server.cfg)

Use the sample config.cfg file at the end of this guide. At an elevated command prompt type:

cd "C:\SteamCMD\steamapps\common\Half-Life 2 Deathmatch Dedicated Server\hl2mp\cfg"
notepad server.cfg

Cut and paste the sample configuration found at the end of this guide into Notepad and save the configuration.

Create the HL2 Deathmatch Dedicated Game Server Windows Service

Start FireDaemon Pro from the desktop shortcut. Click on the "Create a new FireDaemon service" button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl+N) and enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the paths to suit your installation. Note the various parameters listed in the tables below.

FireDaemon Pro Service Configuration

FireDaemon Pro Service Parameters

ParameterFireDaemon Pro Parameter Description
Short NameShort Name of the FireDaemon Pro Service
Display NameDisplay Name of the FireDaemon Pro service
DescriptionDescription of the Service
Startup TypeAutomatic (Delayed Start)
ProgramFull path to srcds.exe
Working DirectoryDirectory you want the program to execute in
ParametersVarious parameters passed to srcds.exe

Source Dedicated Server Parameters

ParameterSource Dedicated Server Parameter Description
-consoleRuns the dedicated server in text based display mode
-gameLoads the mod hl2mp
-secureEnables VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat)
+mapLoads a specific map in the map in the map cycle (e.g. dm_lockdown)
-autoupdateEnables auto-update
+log onTurns disk logging on. Alternately you can use +log off
+maxplayersLimit the number of players that can connect to the dedicated server
-portThe server port the dedicated servers runs on (e.g. -port 27015)
+ipThe server public or private IP address the dedicated server is to listen on (e.g. +ip
+execExecute a specific server configuration file located in the cfg directory

For more information regarding Source Dedicated Server parameters please see this Valve article.

Run the Dedicated Server Service!

Click on the tick box in the FireDaemon Pro GUI. The dedicated server should start on Session 0 per the screenshot below. You may need FireDaemon Zero and FireDaemon ZeroInput to access Session 0. Alternately, you can right click on your service in the FireDaemon Pro GUI and choose Start (in Session) via the Context Menu.

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch Dedicate Server

Sample Configuration File

Paste the lines below into the text file server.cfg in the cfg directory.

hostname "Half-Life 2: Deathmatch"
rcon_password "CHANGEPASSWORD"
fps_max 600

sv_allowdownload 1
sv_allowupload 1
net_maxfilesize 64
// Voice Comm
sv_voiceenable "1"
sv_alltalk 0

sv_pure 0
mp_chattime 20

sv_allowdownload 1
//sv_downloadurl ""

mp_timelimit 20
mp_friendlyfire 0
mp_fadetoblack 1
mp_falldamage 0
mp_weaponstay 1
sv_region 0
sv_lan 0

// bandwidth rates/settings
sv_minrate 0
sv_maxrate 0
sv_minupdaterate 10
sv_maxupdaterate 66
sv_mincmdrate 10
sv_maxcmdrate 66
sv_client_cmdrate_difference 1
sv_client_predict 1
sv_client_min_interp_ratio -1
sv_client_max_interp_ratio -1

//sv_timeout 300
sv_timeout 21600

decalfrequency 60

log on
sv_logbans 1

sv_rcon_banpenalty 60
sv_rcon_maxfailures 10
sv_rcon_minfailures 5
sv_rcon_minfailuretime 45

// Source TV
tv_enable 0

// Exec Configs
exec banned_user.cfg
mapcyclefile mapcycle.txt