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Let the init system handle starting and restarting Arma Server

2 posts in this topic

Most flavors of linux today use systemd init system to automatically start up applications. We, too, can use systemd to automatically start Arma 3 Server, and keep it running even after restarts and unexpected crashes. We will configure systemd to automatically start Arma 3 Server when the machine boots up, and restart it any time the process dies. This will tie in very nicely with Exile's automatic restarts.

For simplicity, let's create a start up script that will hold all the necessary parameters to start Arma 3 Server. (We are assuming Arma 3 Server is installed into /opt/exile-server)

$ cd /opt/exile-server
$ mkdir logs
$ vi

/opt/exile-server/arma3server \
    -mod="@Exile" \
    -serverMod="@ExileServer" \
    -config="@ExileServer/config.cfg" \
    -cfg="@ExileServer/basic.cfg" \
    -autoinit \
    1>>"/opt/exile-server/logs/server.log" \

Here I have created a bash script that will start Arma 3 Server (located in /opt/exile-server) running Exile mod. I have redirected the stdout (1>>) and errout(2>>) to append to a log* file inside of a logs directory that I created. The command is broken into multiple lines for easy viewing, but that's not necessary.

Now, lets create the systemd unit file that will manage Arma Server.

  • In Ubuntu or Debian, the unit file will be /lib/systemd/system/exile.service
  • In CentOS or RedHat, the unit file will be /etc/systemd/system/exile.service
Description=ArmA 3 Exile Server


ExecStart=/bin/sh /opt/exile-server/

This Unit file tells systemd to manage a service. The service will be started when linux is in multi-user mode (runlevel 4) and after networking has been started. systemd will start Arma 3 Server by executing the ExecStart (our bash script) running as steam. Any time the server is no longer running, systemd will re-start the service, except where you explicitly stopped the service. You must have WorkingDirectory set to the directory where arma3server is installed.

You can now manage the service using systemd.

$ sudo systemctl start exile.service
$ sudo systemctl restart exile.service
$ sudo systemctl stop exile.service

If you have configured Exile to automatically restart, then Arma 3 Server will shutdown after x time, and systemd will automatically start it back up. No human interaction required.

* Be careful, your log files can quickly grow to huge sizes, especially when adding more mods. I highly recommend using some sort of log rotation like logrotate.

Edited by LTHardy
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