From NetHackWiki
Jump to: navigation, search, commonly abbreviated to NAO, is one of the oldest NetHack public servers, and by far the most popular. A wealth of information about the server, as well as detailed statistics, end-of-game dumps, tty recordings and the high score table is available on NAO's web site.

The NetHack Wiki is itself hosted on NAO.

NAO is well integrated with #nethack on freenode through the Rodney bot, which announces all deaths on the server, to the morbid delight of all.

The program dgamelaunch is used to manage the games and user accounts.

Getting started

To play, all you need is a telnet or ssh client. On Windows, the built-in telnet.exe is adequate, though most prefer to use PuTTY. It may be worth mentioning that ssh, being more secure, may be the better choice, otherwise someone might find out your password by sniffing the net.

Providing the clients are installed, in Mac OS X, other UNIX-like systems, and Windows, typing the following commands in a command prompt will get you connected:




In case the standard telnet port is blocked, you can also try port 14321 by typing the following command:

telnet 14321

User interface tips

For those used to the tiles (GUI) port

Anyone accustomed to the Qt tiles port will sorely miss a separate message window. Instead, game messages are displayed one line at a time in the terminal's top line. Most meaningful actions generate several lines that each have to be scrolled by with space or escape. This is, of course, standard behaviour in the tty form of Nethack.

The best solution is to use the curses interface. Alternatively, you can configure the MSGTYPE option to suppress junk messages. You can't use both at the same time.

You might want to turn off rest-on-space and either use space to scroll through the messages, or skip all messages at once with ctrl + space, then use ctrl + p to read a screenful at a time. (In that case, you'll have to set a preference to have ctrl + p list messages on a full screen instead of line by line; it's also good to have a healthy large number, say 50, of past messages saved.)

For those using in Mac OS X

To enable extended characters, do the following:

  1. In, choose "Preferences..." from the Terminal menu.
  2. Click the "Encodings" tab at the top. Check the checkbox next to "Latin-US (DOS)"
  3. Click the "Settings" at the top and create a new setting, probably titled "Nethack".
  4. In the text tab, check "Use bright colors for bold fonts". You may wish to adjust the bright or dim colors to make them more distinct (e.g. make dim yellow look brown). Note that you can only adjust these options in OS X Lion or later.
  5. In the new setting, click the "Advanced" tab and set "Character encoding" to "Latin-US (DOS)"
  6. In the same tab, change "Declare terminal as" to "xterm-16color". (also OS X Lion or later)
  7. Close the Settings window and open a new Nethack window from the Shell menu.
  8. In NetHack, enable the IBMgraphics option.
  9. (Optional) Install a smoother-looking font, ProFont.

Alternative: Using white-on-black

Since certain monsters can be hard to see in the default black-on-white OS X terminal, it is best to go white-on-black before accessing NAO. It can be done with the following command:

xterm -fa Monaco -fs 14 -fg white -bg black &

Differences from Vanilla NetHack 3.4.3

This section only concerns NetHack 3.4.3 on NAO. NAO also runs the unpatched NetHack 3.6.0 and a development snapshot of NetHack 3.6.1. runs vanilla NetHack 3.4.3 with the following interface patches:

Also, NetHack has been compiled with autopickup exceptions, and several bugs have been fixed, including the Astral call bug, a bug that allowed predicting the random numbers, and a crash when dropping gold in certain situations. There are also several new hallucinatory monster names, random engravings, random gravestone epitaphs and T-shirt messages.

A more detailed list of the changes and the diff file are at

Several of NAO's interface improvements and bugfixes were borrowed from other variants - this is also documented in the above diff file.

NAO players on Nethack Wiki

Members of the Nethack Wiki can include the template {{NAOplayer|NAO player account}} on their user's pages to link to their corresponding NAO's account and include links to their games, logs etc. Capitalization matters.

See also

External links