Public server

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A public server allows one to play NetHack or a variant in a shared space on the Internet where one can encounter other people's bones and see scores in the server's score list. Most NetHack servers usually also add some interface patches and bug fixes; this list will not specify those. You may also choose to watch someone's game that is in progress.

You can access a public server by using a telnet or SSH client, such as PuTTY on Windows (see the PuTTY page for recommended settings) or ssh (OpenSSH) on Linux, other UNIX systems, MacOS, or (under Windows) WSL. Some public servers may not accept both telnet and SSH.

List of public servers

Server Location Games How to connect
nethack.alt.org (NAO) Virginia, United States (Amazon us-east-1)
  • Vanilla NetHack 3.6.6 - saved games on older versions of 3.6.x will be played and finished before transitioning to 3.6.6
ascension.run (ASCRUN, formerly nethack.dank.ninja, nethack.xd.cm, acehack.de) Falkenstein/Vogtl., Germany
hardfought.org (HDF)
  • Virginia, United States
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Sydney, Australia
feorar.org Frankfurt a.M., Germany
em.slashem.me Falkenstein/Vogtl., Germany
guis.es United Kingdom
Cafe / Veekun NetHack Dallas, Texas, United States
grunthack.org Virginia, United States
nethack4.org Bissen, Luxembourg
games.libreplanet.org Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Public VMS / VAX Hack San Francisco, CA, United States
  • NetHack v3.6.0
  • Classic VMS / VAX Games
AusNethack Sydney, Australia
  • NetHack v3.6.0
Nethack-CN Chengdu, China
NetHack Live
  • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
  • Iowa, USA
  • NetHack 3.6.6 - Web-based tile play support similar to DCSS including mobile
floatingeye.net Toronto, Canada

Setting up your own server

There are several ways to manage your public NetHack server, but the most common is to use dgamelaunch, which manages user accounts and runs the NetHack processes in a chroot jail when a user telnets into the server.

For FreeBSD, there is a work-in-progress document describing how to set up a NetHack server with dgamelaunch, and also provides patches to make auto-login work with FreeBSD telnetd.

Archives

Some servers may provide access to archives of data.

See also