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Guide to online play

The following guide explains, in layman's terms, how to access server
play for Dungeon Crawl. It is directed at Windows users as we expect
Linux and OS/X users to have simple access to ssh.
Written up by Archibald, with modifications by Butch.

Goal: learn how to "ssh to (cao)". If you know
this already, you can stop reading.

Before we go any further here's what playing on the akrasiac server
allows you to do:

*  play the latest version of crawl stone soup online
*  watch other players' games
*  have the ability to chat and comment in-game
*  have your game stats uploaded/recorded on the homepage
*  encounter and kill/be killed by other players' ghosts


So you've downloaded the latest version of Crawl Stone Soup and have
been playing offline (or 'local') and you thoroughly enjoy it. You
may have noticed from the akrasiac homepage,
or posts in forums that there is a way to enhance your gaming experience
by playing 'online' using something called 'SSH'.

If only you could figure out how. Well, if like me (to begin with)
you really are at a loss as to where on earth to start with all this
stuff, what you need is some assistance. Wouldn't it be nice if
someone could take the time to write an 'Idiots Guide' - a step by
step list in easy to understand language, telling you from the very
beginning exactly what to do...

Oh look! somebody has - done just that! Great, then let's get started.


1. Get the PuTTY program
Firstly you will need a means of accessing the server. The easiest
and most common method is by using an SSH (Secure SHell) connection,
we are going to learn here how to use the 'PuTTY' terminal to do this.
In layman's terms PuTTY is simply a small programme that acts as your
interface between you (the player) and the server (the host).

In order to download PuTTY, simply click on the following link:

As you can see, this is the homepage for 'PuTTY: A Free Telnet/SSH

Now go to the downloads section. Scroll down to the Windows downloads
section and look for the first option down - you will see that it is
called 'PuTTY'.

That's the one you want, so click on the 'putty.exe' download link and
choose to save it to your desktop (well, that's how I did it anyway).
This should place an icon on your desktop that resembles two blue screens
with a yellow connection/electricity bolt joining them - it should be
named 'putty'.

2. Configure PuTTY connection: SSH, port 22
So far, so good? Good. Okay, now double click on the putty icon to
open the interface which is called  'PuTTY Configuration'. Here you
will be presented with an interface in a small window. On the
left-hand side you will see a 'Category' tree and on the right-hand
side a series of boxes and radio buttons under the heading 'Basic
options for your PuTTY session'.

Don't be daunted here by all the technical looking jargon, we're only
concerned with a couple of easy to do actions and then we're almost

You will see the cursor flashing in the following box: 'Host Name (or
IP address)'. Here you need to type in the following:

Done that? We next need to set one option: There are five radio buttons
underneath the 'Host Name (or IP address)' fields, called 'Connection
type:' Here you need to choose the SSH button; it should be highlighted
green. If it's not already, simply click on it so that it is green.
When SSH is selected, the Port field will automatically change to 22.

Finally, enable SSH compression by using
Category: Connection > SSH > Protocol Options > Enable compression.
It's disabled by default but helps on a busy server as akrasiac.

3. Set controls to 'Nethack'
Next we need to ensure our keyboard will work properly, once connected.
So, to the left of the interface (the 'Category' tree) you need to
click/select the 'keyboard' option. Doing this will change the options
on the right-hand side to 'Options controlling the effects of keys'.
Mid-way down that section under 'Application keypad settings:', click on
the 'Nethack' radio button so it is highlighted.

4. Saving these options
Click on the 'Session' in the Category tree. Enter your preferred name for
the session (for example 'Crawl') in the 'Saved Session' input box under
'Load, save or delete a stored session'. Then press the 'Save' button. This
will save all the configuration options and a host name. Your session name
should now appear in the box below just under the Default Settings. To
restore the changes you made so far, after starting the program simply
one-click the name of the session and press the 'Load' button.
Double-clicking the name of the session will immediately start the session
(just like pressing the 'Open' button).

5. Connecting to akrasiac
We're ready!  Make sure you are connected to the internet and simply
click on 'Open' and you will have a black console screen open up and be
asked to 'login as:', here you need to type in the word 'joshua'. This
is the default log-in name set by the administrator to connect to CAO.
Once entered, you will be asked to enter ''s
password:' - again, type in the word 'joshua' (yes, you guessed it - the
default password!).

The screen will refresh and you will now be presented with the
following initial display:


 Crawl server (North America) hosted and maintained by Rax E. Dillon.
 Server information:
 Crawl information:
 ** Games on this server are recorded for in-progress viewing and playback! **

 Not logged in.

 W) Watch games in progress

 R) Register as new user
 L) Login

 Q) Quit


6. Creating an account
Now all you need to do is create an account. Hit the 'r' key and
continue as prompted. When you have chosen your player/user name,
this will be the name of every character you play with on that
account. The rest should be self explanatory and easy to follow.

7. Playing online
Each time you want to play all you have to do is open PuTTY, log-in
to CAO with (joshua/joshua) and then log-in with your player details.
Dead easy!

For in-game instructions hit '?' and you may need to toggle the
Num-Pad in order to use it.

Happy Crawling!

Below, we list steps that make logging into the server more convenient.

8.1 Automatic 'joshua' (login)
If you do not want to enter the user name 'joshua' every time you start
a new session, just go to 'Session' (the initial display) in the Category
tree and type '' in the 'Host name (or IP address)'
input box (as opposed to '' you typed earlier, if you
were following the guide).

8.2 Automatic 'joshua' (password)
If you do not want to enter the password 'joshua' every time you start a
new session, then download the file 'cao_key.ppk' from

and put it in your PuTTY directory. Then start PuTTY, load your stored
session and go to 'Connection' ---> 'SSH' ---> 'Auth' in the Category
tree. Press the 'Browse' button near the input box labelled 'Private key
file for authentication', choose the 'cao_key.ppk' file you have just
downloaded and press the 'Open' button. Save the changes as in step 4.

8.3 A shortcut for Windows
Once you are satisfied with the configuration, you may speed up things
further: go to your PuTTY directory and create a shortcut to putty.exe.
Then open the Properties of the newly created shortcut and add
 -load "your_session_name"
(including spaces and quotation marks; replace "your_session_name" by
"Crawl" if you followed this guide so far) to the Target object input box
at the end of the path, for example,
C:\PuTTY\putty.exe -load "Crawl"
Now you can rename the shortcut (to for example 'CAO'). Double-clicking
the shortcut will immediately start your saved session. If you followed
this guide from the beginning, after a while you will arrive at the DGL
initial display without the need to type a word.