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Admin Mod NEWS

 

Crashes with recent Steam update 03.12.2003

The last Steam update included some changes in the engine interface which introduced incompatibilities with Metamod and its plugins, leading to crashes of Linux servers. As a quick fix we provide you with recompiled binaries of Metamod and Admin Mod (SQL version).

In addition, deleting the custom.hpk file is also known to work for some.

-[ florian ]-


MetaMod 1.17 16.11.2003

Will has released a new version of MetaMod that supports yet more mods and adds support for a new engine version released by Valve. You should consider upgrading to this version to prevent crashes in future mod updates.

Go to MetaMod's homepage to get the update.



-[ alfred ]-


Admin Mod 2.50.58 release 06.10.2003

We have decided to release Admin Mod version 2.50.58. I'll explain below why this is somewhat noteworthy. This new version brings you full Steam support, which you had already been able to verify with the 2.50.57 Beta. It also finally fixes the dreaded access loss on mapchange in CS (thank god!). And we have included more fixes and also a few new features, e.g. being able to load plugins from a directory by simply adding the directory path to the plugins.ini file and the possibility to include config files in other config files with an #include keyword. See the change log for the full stroy. We even have an PostgreSQL version for you now, if you're into that.


So why is it that I am not totally happy with this? I hate to say so, but that is again due to Steam. We always strive to improve on the stability of Admin Mod and fix all bugs we find so that we know that we release a working product. That means hours of testing during the development process. This time is different. This time, I have to admit it, we have been able to do only a limited amount of testing. And that is because the Steam system is still too badly broken in many regards, which leaves me with disfunctional, partly finished installations to test on. Or rather, not test on. By now I even got a working CS client and a working (with Admin Mod) Steam dedicated server. But I am still waiting to get the HLServer installed. And I am not the one who was against Steam from the start. On the contrary, I thought of it having potential. But this just keeps to be a disappointment, to say the least.


So while we would have loved to do the same quality and quantity testing as usual, that was simply not possible. We still decided to release this version so that you get Steam support and important fixes now and don't have to wait for it another month. We still have tested the stuff, mind you, just not as extensive as we'd liked to.


There is another thing that is not as we would have liked it to be and that is the Windows installer for Admin Mod. If you have the HLServer (the one you get via the hldsupdatetool) then you should have no problems and everything should work a before. But if you have a server installed via the Steam program, you will end up with a server without a liblist.gam file. And since that file is crucial for running Metamod, which in turn is needed for Admin Mod, you'll have a problem: the installer cannot install Admin Mod for you. Nevertheless, we have updated the installer so that it should work if the file is there. (Again, tested to work but in no way on an extensive scale). We have written up some information on how you can get the installer working with a Steam server.


So here it is, Admin Mod 2.50.58, which will work as promised to the best of our knowledge. If something doesn't, we're real sorry. Let us know so that we can fix it. Sometime. When Valve finally get Steam to a usable, stable state. I'm sure they will get there eventually. But until then I can't do much about it, it is just way too time consuming (and nerve wrecking). But I won't give up the hope and will check back in a month what the situation is. I can understand that they have other things on their minds now. Let me add that I really feel for them in this cursed situation and my thoughts are with them.


Until then: have Fun with our Mod! =)

-[ florian ]-


Steamin' over Steam 13.09.2003

Yes, we are aware that Steam and with it CS 1.6 has been released. Or should I say, is still being released. And we do also know that there are a few issues with Admin Mod 2.50.56 and Steam. For one, the installer does not work for Steam installations as it cannot detect them. Second, reserved names, reserved slots and private servers do not work with Steam. For CS1.6 the weapon restriction script needs to be rewritten as it will no longer work with the new buy system. We would have loved to get up to speed with it right away and present you with a new package that handles all these issues. But we ended up just like everybody else; trying to get a little head start to be ready when you are, ended in the same desaster as for you, probably.

Death by Steam


So we have to change our plans. The issues with the Admin Mod DLL (i.e. the reserved slots, etc.) had already been resolved. If you really want to stick with the "early adopter" plan, beta testing for Valve, we link you up with the Linux and Windows DLLs of Admin Mod that will work with STEAM ids even with reserved slots, etc. Note that these are still tagged beta as they come fresh from our beta testing lab. They are not quite what we will have for you as the next release candidate, missing a few minor changes here and there, but they should work with your Steam server. At least as far as we were able to test under these conditions.


If you decided to wait with your transition to Steam until Valve releases a version that actually does work, you can either happily ignore the DLLs mentioned above or you may still try them as they have been running on large servers without problems now for some time. They do also fix the problem of admins losing their access rights upon a mapchange which is why you may be interested in trying them out on your server, too.

As for a complete Steam/CS1.6 compatible Admin Mod package, I am afraid that that will have to wait. I am not willing to ruin my nerves totally over this "software", if you really want to call it that. Thus we wait for Valve to fix Steam and bring it to a usable level before we try it again and then attack any leftover problems that Admin Mod may have with it and also have a working installer for you. (Windows, that is. The Linux installer should work just as usual.) Thank you for your patience and understanding.

-[ florian ]-


Admin Mod on CS 1.6, this time with link 09.09.2003

Well, a month ago I posted some news about a tutorial on installing Admin Mod on a CS 1.6 server (see below). It's a really nice webpage (content-wise, not design-wise) but what good is it when you can't find it? And how should you find it when there is no link?
Huh, no link? Oh damn, I forgot to give you the link! The bad thing is I forgot the address myself and I didn't find it anymore. But now some kind soul has send me the URL again so finally I can provide you with
-->the link to the AM-CS1.6 tutorial<--


Sorry about that mishap. :(

-[ florian ]-


Minor Admin Mod package update to 2.50.56a 08.08.2003

The Admin Mod 2.50.56 package has received a minor update, called 2.50.56a. Note that the Admin Mod DLL binaries did not change, this update only includes a few fixes in configuration and scripting files. The changed files are:
  • adminlib.inc
  • plugin_base.sma
  • adminmod.cfg
  • Win32 only: install_admin.vbs
  • Win32 only: the .chm manual file

In addition this version comes with the new Metamod version 1.16.2. See the Change Log for a list of the things fixed. If you already have Admin Mod 2.50.56 installed and want to get the new files, we have an update package with only the changed files in the downloads section available for you.

If your Admin Mod 2.50.56 is running without problems, you probably do not need to care about updating your files.

Since the DLL files did not change, the MySQL package of Admin Mod stays at version 2.50.56. You don't need to update anything special to the MySQL version.

Please note that there are still some known issues with the DLL files, like slot reservation with VALVE ids, that we are currently working on. These should be fixed with the next release.

-[ florian ]-


Metamod 1.16.2 07.08.2003

Metamod was updated to version 1.16.2. This version has updated support for a few MODs:

  • Mod recognition and entities for The Point of No Return v.Beta 4.0.
  • Mod recognition and entities for Master-Sword v1.3, The Wastes RC
    1.2, and Monkeystrike v1.2.
  • Additional entities for Natural Selection v2.0, The Specialists v.Beta 2.0, Earth's Special Forces v.Beta 1.1, The Battlegrounds v1.2,and International Online Soccer v2.0.


If you run any of these MODs you should get the new DLL or DSO version from www.metamod.org to replace your current one. Otherwise you don't need to update your Metamod.

-[ florian ]-


Admin Mod on CS1.6 by oscar 07.08.2003

Someone called oscar has put up a tutorial on installing various addons for a CS1.6Beta dedicated server, one of them being Admin Mod. So if you were wondering how to get Admin Mod running on your CS1.6Beta server, make sure you have a look at this. Many thanks to oscar for putting that on the Net. If you still have questions about that tutorial, you can find his email address at the top of the tut.

-[ florian ]-


Admin Mod 2.50.56 released 16.07.2003

Admin Mod version 2.50.56 has been released. The main goal of this release is to bring support of VALVE and STEAM IDs, which are used in DoD Retail and CS 1.6. Password encryption now works under Linux and Windows and also supports MD5 hashes. Admin Mod will now convert script binaries between Linux and Windows format on the fly when loading them.

Please note that while this lets you load Windows scripts on a Linux server and vice versa this does require a conversion on each loading of the script (i.e. each mapchange). It is thus recommended to still convert the script binaries offline with the AMX converters. But it will prevent crashes that resulted from using the wrong format. The AMX converters have been updated to work with the new file format that came with the update of the Small scripting engine to version 1.8.4. If you still have old versions of the converters, download the new version from the Tools section on the download page.

This version also includes some minor bug fixes and other changes. The MySQL version has better support for encryption with MySQL PASSWORD(). Please make sure to read the Change Log or the NEWS file in the package.

There is one known issue with the default adminmod.cfg file. The default maps_file line is incorrectly set to maps_file "" instead of maps_file 0 to turn the maps_file off. Please check and correct this if you encounter problems.

-[ florian ]-


A new beta to handle DoD IDs and more 21.06.2003

DoD Retail 1.0 brought us new authentication ids of the form VALVE_a:b. The recently released HLDS server update 1.1.1.c has changed the format again. Valve and Steam ids now look like this: VALVE_x:y:z (Steam ids: STEAM_x:y:z). We have followed suit and have adpated Admin Mod to be able to handle these new formats.

In addition, we have also updated the Small core of Admin Mod to version 1.8.4, have made changes to the MySQL version and other minor fixes. If you'd like to participate in the testing, you can find the beta 2.50.55 on the beta download page. Please keep in mind that this download is flagged "beta", which means it comes with no installer or examples or help. You should know how to install Admin Mod by hand if you want to use it.

To find out if this version has any interesting changes for you, you can have a look at the accompanying Readme file

-[ florian ]-


A poll in the forums 25.05.2003

There is a poll on some future Admin Mod behaviour with respect to configuration files posted in the Admin Mod forums.If you're interested surf by and leave your vote as it could need some more votes to be a base for a decission. :)

-[ florian ]-


DoD Retail VALVE_ ids and Admin Mod 11.05.2003

DoD Retail uses a new form of ids: valveids. They look like steamids but instead of starting with STEAM_ they start with VALVE_. Admin Mod is currently not able to handle these as it will not recognize them.

There is a beta version of Admin Mod available which has added support for the new valveids. If you want to help test this, grab the file and check this forum thread to let us now if it works for you.

-[ florian ]-


MetaMod 1.16 08.05.2003

If you run a Counter-Strike or DoD server then you MUST get this update as it fixes a critical problem with hitboxes.
Go to:
http://www.metamod.org/
to get the update.


-[ alfred ]-


Metamod.org back up again 01.04.2003

After some downtime the main Metamod site at www.metamod.org is now back up again, albeit on a slower link.

-[ florian ]-


Admin Mod 2.50.52 released 23.03.2003

Admin Mod version 2.50.52 is available from the download section. For the main part this is the 2.50.51 dll (fixing the exploits) packaged in a full package with a few additional changes and bug fixes. Among the changes are:


  • The option to ban both by IP and ID at the same time with the ban() function.
  • Added sm_reg as a default registering command.
  • Fixed loading AMX DLL from a Windows network drive.
  • Fixed nickname-SteamID linking
  • Fixed bugs in writefile() and filesize() functions.
  • Fixed bug in MySQL PASSWORD() encryption.


Please see the changelog for a full list of changes.

-[ florian ]-


ServerInfo 2.5 06.03.2003

Terry sent me this information:
" It's a Half-Life and Quake3 (and their mods) game server browser and monitor. This version includes added server filters, Admin menu and a new server side program for admins. While the server side program does not *require* AdminMod it is taylored to work nicely *with* AdminMod.

It can be downloaded from the ServerInfo home page at http://www.sciencedrive.com/ServerInfo "

Looks like a useful tool and it allows you to easily exploit the power of Admin Mod! :-)


-[ alfred ]-


Some statistics on server addon usage 27.02.2003

Keen on statistics? Our brothers from the German Admin Mod site have gathered some on the use of server addons. Here is their report:


We ran The All-Seeing Eye to examine the distribution of server mods (especially AdminMod). About 38500 HL servers were examined (only dedicated servers). Admin Mod is installed on 52% of the HL servers worldwide. This is a quite high value, but a little bit less than half a year ago (53%). But the total number of servers increased dramatically from 26000 servers half a year ago. The latest AM version 2.50.51 is only installed on 19% of the Admin Mod servers (sad but true). It looks like a lot of people (36%) seem to avoid the upgrade to the new directory structure (still using 2.50.26a) (*), whereas 39% haven't realized the consequences of the exploits (2.50.50). The rest of the installations are mostly beta versions.

Because Counter-Strike is the most favourite HL mod (91%), the results don't change much when looking at plain CS servers. For the other mods, though, Admin Mod can be found on 61% of the servers. On the majority of these, older versions of Admin Mod are used.

So, what are the numbers for other server mods? Clanmod can be found on 18%, Statsme on 35% and the newcomer AMXMod on 4% of all HL dedicated servers worldwide. Because the development of these tools is mainly targeted at CS, the values for Counter-Strike servers are a little bit higher. CM and SM installations increased a lot since the last survey. But there are also combinations of different server mods. The combination of AM+SM was found on 26%, CM+SM on 10%, AM+CM on 5% and AM+SM+CM on 4% all HL servers.

Well, you know that discussion about the strange Germans... Looks like this is true at least for the server installations. In Germany, AM is installed on only 42% of the servers, whereas CM can be found on 49%. This means that 59% of all CM installations are running in Germany (fascinating, isn't it?). ;-)

That closes our little survey. I think, that AMXMod will find more users if they can reduce CPU usage. All in all it is still a clear vote for Admin Mod. Apparently features are not everything.

Yours, Black Knight.

(*) With Admin Mod you don't have to use the new directory layout, although we do recommend it. --The Ed.

-[ florian ]-


Opening the floodgates 15.02.2003

Well, its time to open the development on the experimental line! We have split the development of Admin Mod into two branches: a stable line that will focus on bugs fixes and stability issues and the experiment branch that will include new (and potentially crazy...) code.

The experimental branch will be used to try out new ideas and let people test new functionality. Remember that its experimental code however, if you don't want your server to crash DON'T use these releases :-)

So, start sending your patches in :)


-[ alfred ]-


Two Admin Mod exploits found 13.01.2003

Two serious exploits have been found in conjunction with Admin Mod. The first is a server exploit attacking Half-Life servers. It exploits a bug in Admin Mod and can result in arbitrary code being executed on the server that the HLDS runs on. A published exploit targets Linux servers and opens a shell on the server. The second one exploits a flaw in HL (and MOD) clients. This second exploit is not directly linked with Admin Mod. But Admin Mod, just like other server tools, can be used to send specially prepared messages to HL clients which can result in arbitrary code being executed on the client machine.

For both exploits Admin Mod commands must be issued directly on the server, i.e. by typing into the server console or using rcon. Here are some simple rules which you should follow (at all times) to keep your server safe:

*) Do not run your server as the root user or from the administrator account. Use a seperate user with restricted access rights to run your HL server as. This way, if an attacker succeeds in opening a shell on your server machine, it will not have root priviledges.
*) Disable Rcon by setting rcon_password to "". You are using Admin Mod; use it's access methods to administrate your server, not Rcon. If you have to use Rcon for other tools, give the Rcon password only to people you trust. Also be aware that the Rcon password can be sniffed from the network traffic since it is send in cleartext.

We have addressed both exploits in version 2.50.51 of Admin Mod. The first (server) exploit was stopped by fixing the bug in Admin Mod.
The second (client) exploit cannot be safely fixed by Admin Mod since the bug sits in the client code, not Admin Mod code. Nevertheless, we have added checks to Admin Mod, which will prevent the use of non-printable characters in Admin Mod commands and in messages send to clients. This prevents the published client exploit from using Admin Mod as a method to attack clients. As these checks may add some extra stress on weak server machines, you can disable it if you have secured your server by other means. To disable it, add the option "prex0" to the amv_anti_cheat_options options cvar. (Check the manual to learn more about Admin Mod's option cvars.) Be aware that the bug still exists in the client and may be exploited in a different way sometime. Ask the vendor/author of your MOD for a fix of this bug.


The updated DLLs are available for download. Replace your current Admin Mod DLLs with the new versions.

Linux: 2.50.51     2.50.51 (MySQL)

Win32: 2.50.51     2.50.51 (MySQL)

Many thanks to the guys from void.at for finding these bugs. (But, dude, next time drop us an email in advance, please.)

-[ florian ]-


Commandline version of Windows AMX converter 03.01.2003

Until now only a GUI version of the AMX converter, which converts compiled script files (.amx) between Win32 and Linux format, was available for Windows. We have now released a commandline version for Windows. You can use that from a DOS box or from a batch file to check the format of an .amx file or to convert it between Linux and Windows format.

-[ florian ]-



 

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