Conan Exiles Dedicated Server App (Latest Version: 1.0.17)


#1

Hey folks!

Our Tools Programmer Mickaël put together a tool to let you more easily set up and run a dedicated Conan Exiles server. After a few rounds of iterating we wanted to make this tool available to you guys for testing and feedback. We also made this walkthrough to, hopefully, make the tool easy to understand.

Please post any feedback you have about this tool in this thread so we can improve it.


Table of Contents

  1. Quick Overview
  2. Installation
  3. General Configuration
    . Server Settings
    . MULTIHOME Mode
    . Mod Manager
    . Rcon (Remote Console)
    . Auto-Restart
    . Backup
  4. Network Configuration
    . Port Forwarding
    . Static IP
    . Firewall
  5. Troubleshooting
    . The Dedicated Server Launcher is crashing/exiting
    . Players can’t see the server
    . The server is super slow
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
    . Disk space
    . Do I need to keep the Dedicated Server Launcher running at all time?
    . Settings location
    . Moving installation
    . Importing configuration
    . Mod updating
    . Errors ’ entry point ?IsAlive@CThread@@QEBA_NXZ could not be located’
    . Playing on the same machine
    . Source code
    . Xbox and PS4 servers
    . DirectX and VC 2015 Runtimes problems
  7. Release History

Quick Overview


The Dedicated Server Launcher is a small utility program designed to make it easier for players to run their own Conan Exiles Dedicated Server. Please don’t be scared by the length of the guide - we’re just being thorough!

Common hurdles this app helps with are:

  • Deployment of server updates by transparently calling SteamCMD without having to deal with command line parameters
  • Deployment and update of mods from the steamworkshop
  • Providing a simplified user interface to easily edit the core parameters required to get a server visible for other players (name, passwords, region, player limits, etc.)
  • Providing easy to copy-paste parameters to simplify the configuration of the router or internet gateway (as well as check if the server can actually be reached from the internet)
  • Providing easy access to the game server logs and configuration files

Here is what the tool looks like when it’s running:


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Installation


The installation is fairly simple!

  • You need to download the DedicatedServerLauncher.exe program from this link (Current version: 1.0.17 (released 15 October 2018)).
    Ideally, the file should be in its own folder on a disk with enough space to host the unpacked SteamCMD installation and associated game server (about 2 gigabytes at the moment).

  • Run the program and edit the parameters you want, save the changes

  • Press the big button at the bottom right to start the server

A this point the tool will automatically install and update SteamCMD, which will then download the game server program as well as any mod you have specified.

NOTE: Upgrading to a new version is just a matter of having the new executable at the same location as the old one, they should be compatible. So in case you encounter an issue with a more recent version, just go to the history section and download the previous one.

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General Configuration


Server Settings


The Server Settings section of the UI allows you to modify the critical parameters of your server without having to actually run it, including which branch, name, region, and passwords you want it to use.

Some notes:

  • Regarding the Branch: Please make sure you are using the same Branch as your players, and with the same installed version
  • The Server Name will appear in the server browser, so try find something descriptive but reasonably unique!
  • The Server Password is optional. If you omit it, then anyone will be able to connect to the server
  • The Admin Password is what you use with the “MakeMeAdmin” command in the game to access the Admin Control Panel
  • The Player Count defines how many players can be running the game at the same time, this has a direct impact on performance: Your Core 2 laptop with a 5400 RPM hardrive and 4 gigs of ram will most probably not run 40 players very smoothly - if at all.

You can easily share the connection information with your friends by clicking the “Copy Connection Information” button. This is what the copy/paste would look like:

Name: My server is really awesome
IP: 195.410.28.64
Password: 9112
Code Version: 98222/17925 (default branch)

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MULTIHOME Mode


If you want to run multiple servers on the same machine, each of them need to be in a separate folder, use a different set of ports, and have the router/modem correctly route the external port to the correct local port on the computer running the servers.

(Similarly, if you want to run a game server and a game client on the same machine, they should be using different ports, if you keep the default ports 7777 and 2715 the first launched executable will lock the ports, and the other will not be able to access them).

How this works:

  • The “Game Client Port” and the “Steam Query Port” are now editable, and their content get saved in the Engine.ini:

    [URL]
    Port=7777
    [OnlineSubsystemSteam]
    GameServerQueryPort=27015
    
    
  • A new “multihome” checkbox has been added. When disabled, the server launcher behaves as before, but when enabled it copies the IP of the currently selected adapter in the network list and uses it as a command line parameter when launching the server (eg: -MULTIHOME=195.410.28.64)

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Mod Manager


How this works:
A new UI element has been added, allowing the user to enter a list of mods they want to run on the server.

The “Mod List” entry accepts two types of values

  • An actual numerical value like ‘860241645’ or ‘1422434062’ (which are the workshop identifiers on steam for ‘PauseOnEsc.pak’ and ‘ServerCore_hades.pak’)
  • A full path pointing to a PAK file present on the user computer

Note: For convenience, the edit field has been tricked out to detect when the user pastes a link from the Steam Community page: If for example the user pastes ‘https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1382120864’ the edit field will only copy the ‘1382120864’ part of the link.

Note: The “light” bulbs is not 100% fool proof, but if it turns red there’s definitely an issue, possibly the path to the PAK file cannot be accessed, or you have non numerical entries.

When you are done adding the mods, remember to press Save Changes.

When starting the server, the system will as usual run SteamCMD to check for any updates, but it will also try to update any of the numerical ids mods (it will skip any of the local ones referenced by path), and when the update is done a brand new “modlist.txt” will be generated in the ‘conanexilesdedicatedserver\ConanSandbox\Mods’ subfolder.

You can validate that the mods are correctly found by the server by looking at the top of the servers logs where you should see something similar to this:

The DedicatedServerLauncher stores the information about which mods to install in the ServerSettings.ini file in a new ‘DedicatedServerLauncherModList’ entry:

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Rcon (Remote Console)


The only supported Rcon feature so far is the ability to broadcast messages to all your connected players, but it should make it easier for you to setup the server to use any of the other Rcon clients.

You can read more about it here: https://conanexiles.gamepedia.com/Rcon

Note: RCON is using TCP for communication, not UDP, so be careful when doing the network configuration

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Auto-Restart


The auto-restart functionality uses the following UI elements:

  • A menu option in the preferences to allow the tool to automatically start with the computer session
  • A checkbox which defines if the auto-restart is enabled or not
  • A checkbox which defines if the tool should restart the server in the events it stops by itself
  • A 24 hours time selection control used to define the time of the day when the server will restart (default is 6 AM)
  • A 24 hours time selection control used to define the minimum uptime of the server before a restart (default is 2 hours)

The rationale for the uptime is that if for some reason you had to do some maintainance on the server, change some settings and restart it, you probably don’t want the system to restart it a couple of minutes or hours later just because that was the planned restart time.

You can also use the three warming messages to automatically send a message to all the connected players:

  • Rcon needs to be enabled (with a valid password, port, etc…)
  • The time is the number of hours or minutes relative to the expected restart time

Note that since the delay accepts up to a 24 hours range, you can creatively use the feature to inform your players of regular events, advertise things, etc… the only limit is your imagination and the amount of bugs you may find when playing with it.

Remember: The message sending feature requires Rcon to be enabled!

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Backup


When enabled using the checkbox, the tool will make sure to make a copy of the most important files each time the server got shutdown (automatically or not), which should allow you to revert back to a usable state if for some reason something broke.

Each backup is stored in a separate folder with a time stamp for the day, containing subfolders for each restart happening that day, and contains the gamedb file, the last log file, and the three ini files usually modified by the tool (game, engine and server settings).

You can use the limiting option to only keep a certain number of days.

Note: There was a typo in the naming of the option in version 1.0.13, so if you had set-up the backup trimming option and update to 1.0.14 or later, you need to re-enter the values.

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** Backup


Network Configuration


The biggest hurdle when trying to set up a game server is to be able to access the internally hosted machine from the outside world.

By default, your networking equipment and software (routers, modems, ISP, and firewalls) are trying to protect you from the outside.

When trying to run a server, it means that you need to inform all these protection layers that you do wish to receive network packets coming from specific sources on specific ports. You also need to inform these systems about which of your machines should receive these packets.

This is called “Port Forwarding”.

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Port Forwarding

Setting up Port Forwarding may differ based on the models and brands of routers and modems. However, they all use the same basic model where you select some input ports and redirect them to some specific machine on your internal network.

For example, here is what it looks like using AsusWRT (on an Asus RT-N66U):

Note: One important thing to keep in mind is that the three main game ports (Game Client, Raw UDP and Steam Query port) are using the UDP protocol while the Rcon port requires TCP.

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Static IP

Technically speaking, you do not need to set up static IPs on your network to have the system working.

It is, however, possible that if you reboot your server machine or for some reason need to reboot your router, the game server may receive a new IP address. This address could be different from the one you have set up for port forwarding.

You can generally assign a fixed IP on your local network by selecting a specific network card (generally identified by its MAC or Hardware Address) and assign to it the IP number you want.

You can use the information provided by the Dedicated Server Launcher “Networking” part to copy the network card address into your clipboard.

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Firewall

If despite everything you still cannot get through, make sure that you do not have a firewall somewhere configured to block everything.

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Troubleshooting


IF you are having problems, please check this list:

The Dedicated Server Launcher is crashing/exiting

  • Check if there is anything strange in the DedicatedServerLauncher*.txt log files
  • Check if there are some crash dumps (.dmp files) in the folder
  • In any case, we are interested in hearing about that, so please let us know here on the forums.

Players can’t see the server

  • Do you get three green lights if you click on “Test Port Accessibility”?
  • Are the players using the same branch as your server (default / testlive)?
  • Are the players using the same version as your server (one could be updated and not the other)?

The server is super slow

  • How bad is the “System Load” in the status bar at the bottom?
  • Have you setup some exclusion rules for your antivirus so it does not spend its time scanning the server file?
  • Have you installed the server on a fast disk drive?
  • Does the server have enough memory?
  • Have you checked your internet’s speed (Ex: https://fast.com/)? And that nobody else on your network is using up bandwidth at the same time?

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How much disk space do I need?

A: At this time, the server install uses about 1.8 gigabytes. We recommend at least 2+ gigs to be safe, as this accounts for your game database and log file sizes increasing, and such.

Q: Do I need to keep the Dedicated Server Launcher running at all time?

A: No, the Dedicated Server Launcher is just a helping hand, that’s why the SteamCMD and Game Server windows are fully visible outside the UI: You can close the launcher as soon as your server is running.

(That being said, the automated server restart features will only work if the tool is running.)

Q: Where are the settings saved?

A: The Dedicated Server Launcher is using the game server .ini files (in ConanSandbox\Saved\Config\WindowsServer) to store everything it needs, there are no other configuration files or registry parameters.

Q: I’m running out of disk space, can I move my server without losing anything?

A: As long as you make sure that the Launcher, SteamCMD and the game server are not running, you can rename the folder, move it to another drive, or even move it to another computer (remember to check the network accessibility). You can also copy the entire folder for backup.

Q: Can I import the configuration and save games from another server installation?

A: Sure, just copy/overwrite the ini files, dbfiles, logs, etc… from the other server folder, it should just work™

Q: Will the tool update my mods automatically?

A: Only the ones entered as numerical workshop identifiers. The ones you downloaded manually and put in a folder will not be updated.

Q: Errors when updating mods

A: If your mods stop being updated, and SteamCMD displays error such as ‘\src\common\contentmanifest.cpp (650) : Assertion Failed: !m_bIsFinalized’ then you are probably victim of the SteamCMD bug which has been reported by many people for many games.

Some people are saying that deleting the appmanifest_xxxxx.acf in the steam apps folder fixes it, but some other people are reporting that the fix did not work for them…

Q: Errors ’ entry point ?IsAlive@CThread@@QEBA_NXZ could not be located’

A: If you receive this error (The procedure entry point ?IsAlive@CThread@@QEBA_NXZ could not be located in the dynamic link library) when starting the server, it probably mean that that Steam client is running.

If you shut down the Steam client, then run the server, the problem should not happen. You can restart the Steam client after that and it should work fine.

It’s obviously something we should try to fix, but apparently it happens with other Unreal based game servers, so that may not be trivial to fix.

Q: Can I play Conan Exiles on the machine that hosts my server?

A: It used to be possible (using the -nosteam command line option), but in the current state it seems that the Game Server steam integration is conflicting with the game itself.

Q: Will the tool source code be available?

A: Most probably not: Technically there’s nothing confidential or very important in the tool code itself, but it relies on decades of code developed for multiple projects, including some third party code we would not be allowed to release. Sorry.

Q: Can this tool be used to manage Xbox or PS4 servers?

A: We are unfortunately not allowed by game console publishers to release server executable to the public. (I guess they probably fear that they could be hacked and allow people to play online without having the right subscription level.)

Q: The server is complaining about the DirectX and VC 2015 Runtimes

A: If you get an error dialog about Direct X and Visual Studio C++2015 runtimes being missing, just try to download and install the UE4 Prerequisites file.

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Release History


1.0.17 (15 October 2018)

  • Fixed a problem with the RCON Port value being loaded from the wrong ini file (Engine.ini instead of Game.ini)
  • Made the detection of INI file sections case insensitive (apparently sometimes [URL] is present as [url])
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.17

1.0.16 (21 September 2018)

  • Added Japan to the server region list of valid values
  • Fixed a problem with the log file loadings which ended up loading the entire log instead of just the updated portion
  • Added checkboxes for BattlEye and Valve Anti Cheat settings
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.16

1.0.15 (03 September 2018)

  • The “Copy Connection Information” has moved to its own large Clipboard icon in the bottom left
  • In its place is now a “Don’t auto-update Server and Mods” which should skip the call to SteamCMD next time the server restart.
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.15

1.0.14 (27 August 2018)

  • The ‘DedicatedServerLauncherBackupTrimmingEnabled’ and ‘DedicatedServerLauncherBackupTrimmingLimit’ are now correctly having two ‘m’ to the Trimming word (so if you used 1.0.13, please revalidate the parameters)
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.14

1.0.13 (22 August 2018)

  • Added an option in the Preferences Menu top enable the auto-start of the launcher when the session logs
  • Added a menu option with a direct link to the forum thread
  • The Backup structure has been changed with a subfolder for the day, containing multiple sub-folders, one for each restart (to make it easier to diagnose problems without polluting the main folder)
  • Added an option to optionally limit the number of backup folders to keep: This only applies to the day folder
  • Added the possibility to run some arbitrary script or executable before starting a server
  • Added the possibility to automatically restart the game server if it stops by itself (bug or crash or other event)
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.13

1.0.12 (08 August 2018)

  • Fixed incorrectly initialized timer controls on new installs of the system
  • Added the missing Rcon port testing (TCP port)
  • Modified the port tester to use the current values used in the UI instead of the ones saved
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.12

1.0.11 (07 August 2018)

  • The log files should now be cleanly stored in their own subfolder instead of polluting the main installation folder.
  • Added a startup check to validate that there is only one Dedicate Server Launcher handling each specific game server installation
  • Added a basic backup functionality: After stopping the server, the tool will copy important files (game db, last log file, game/engine/settings ini files) to the backup destination in a separate sub-folder
  • Added some basic Rcon setup to allow users to easily change the ports and passwords, as well as broadcast messages to all connected players
  • Added the possibility to send messages to the players automatically at a pre-determined amount of time before a server restart
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.11

1.0.10 (03 August 2018)

  • Moved some of the information (operating system version and uptime) to the status bar at the bottom to free up some space in the UI
  • Moved the SAVE button to the bottom right of the UI (over the START/STOP button)
  • Added a RESTART button (under the START/STOP button)
  • Added some information to the log file to indicate when the server stopped or started
  • Added an auto-restart feature that allows users to define a time of the day when the server should be restarted (as well as a minimum uptime value so you don’t get the case where you just restarted your server after some maintenance and then it auto-restarts just after)
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.10

1.0.9 (01 August 2018)

  • Removed the minimum size limit for the server name (it will accept less than 10 characters long - displayed yellow) and turn green after that
  • Reworded the ‘Validate Server Installation’ by adding ‘At Launch’ to make it easier to understand it’s a SteamCMD deployment option
  • The log window should now correctly continue scrolling past the line 3792 (also called “oops”)
  • The UI can now be resized vertically so more lines of text can be seen in the log
  • Exposed the NetServerMaxTickRate option in the UI
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.9

1.0.8 (05 July 2018)

  • Fixed the problem with the server region value not initializing correctly in the UI (for some reason the parameter is called “serverRegion” instead of “ServerRegion” and failed to be found by a case sensitive search)
  • Modified the network settings part of the UI to allow for multiple network adapters having multiple IP each.
  • Removed the DHCP and Gateway information - it’s mostly useless for this tool, and at best, confusing for the users.
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.8

1.0.7 (03 July 2018)

  • The two main game ports (default 7777 and 27015) can now be modified and saved.
  • The server can now optionally be started in MULTIHOME mode using the IP address specified in the currently selected adapter.
  • The launcher now only scan for running server processes in its own sub-directory - this means you can run multiple servers on multiple ports - as long as they are in distinct folders
    Dedicated Server Launcher 1.0.7

1.0.6 (02 July 2018)

  • First implementation of the mod manager: It’s now possible to pass a list of mods (either ids or actual paths of the pak files on disk) and the tool will generate the correct modlist.txt
    DedicatedServerLauncher 1.0.6

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New DedServ 1.0.15 question
#3

Is the source code released so you can develop it yourself?


#5

Does this tool auto update mods?


#6

Mickaël really nice work on the program

nice and easy to use

p.s. you need to update your firmware of your router :stuck_out_tongue:

Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.382.50470 2018/05/15

Best regards Thewishmaster


#7

Thanks, glad you like it :slight_smile:

There are other things that can be added, I already noted that somebody (on facebook) pointed out that without being able to change the ports it makes it impossible to run a game client and a server on the same machine, and somebody else suggested adding a basic support for RCON as well.

Regarding the firmware, the reason it’s an old one is that we did a factory reset to make sure no previous configuration would impact the testing. (Ideally it would be nice if people testing could take screenshots of the configuration page for other routers, I did not have access to a never ending supply of them to test :D)


#8

Does this tool auto update mods?

Not at the moment, but I guess I can check with the guys working on mods to see if this is doable.
It’s really a first pass on the tool, the idea was to make it simpler to get the basic setup easy and right.
We can iterate from there.

The rationale was that if nobody cared, there was no point investing a huge amount of programmer time, as we are often been told, “you should fix bugs instead of making new features” :slight_smile:

So basically the more positive feedback, the more chances new features get added - by order of request importance I guess.


#9

Thank you Jens Erik and Mickaël. Great work.

I have a question:

Our Dedicated server runs from this folder:

“C:\SteamCMD\steamapps\common\Conan Exiles Dedicated Server”

We are actually using this binary:
“C:\SteamCMD\steamapps\common\Conan Exiles Dedicated Server\ConanSandbox\Binaries\Win64\ConanSandboxServer-Win64-Test.exe”

Where exactly do we place the Dedicated Server App to read our current config?

We get the following message in the app: “could not find server executable”

Thank you again.


#10

Where exactly do we place the Dedicated Server App to read our current config?

The system was designed to handle new installations of the server, the idea was for people starting from scratch they would:

  • Download the DedicatedServerLauncher.exe (it can even be in the browser “download” folder, not recommended but that would work)
  • Double click the executable (get the usual windows warning about download not being verified, yadayada)
  • Edit the Server name, Password, region, etc… and when pressing “Save Changes” a ‘ConanExilesDedicatedServer\ConanSandbox\Saved\Config\WindowsServer’ subfolder gets created, with the Engine.ini, Game.ini and ServerSettings.ini containing the data entered by the player
  • Press the big floppy/CD+ button at the bottom right: The icon switches to a “rotating update” one, and SteamCMD installs itself in a ‘DedicatedServerLauncher’ subfolder and starts downloading the latest version of the Conan Exiles Dedicated Server from Steam (Live or TestLive depending of which button was selected on the top left)

Then when it’s all done, the button gets replaced by a “Start Server” which when pressed restart briefly the SteamCMD to make sure there’s no server update available, and the starts the server.

That’s the default scenario.

Now, if you had some earlier settings from another install, you can totally patch the ini files and replace the content by your own: The DedicatedServerLauncher does not use any external configuration (registry, etc…) 100% of the things it uses comes from the actual ini files used by the game server.

We get the following message in the app: “could not find server executable”

Can you give a bit more details about what you did/which order, and where/when the message appears?


#11

Cool.
After installing a new server using the tool, I just moved my old folders to the corresponding places.
Server seems to start and work using the app.

Thank you.


#12

This is awesome. But the test port accessibility coming back as failing for me. Now I know that means I have to change the ports, but I do not have admin access to the router. Internet is included in the rent. Can I get any tips on how to bypass this? Or do I have to have direct access to the router?


#13

I would definitely like to try this out once it supports mods.


#14

Could you give us a bit more details, like which ISP, and even which brand/model the router is?
I can’t promise I can come up with a solution, but who knows, maybe we can use some black magic (I was told that upnp could possibly deal with that, just never actually used this technology).


#15

Could you provide me with a list of the mods you are using, ideally with the links to how to install them.

I’ve never actually installed any mod (shame on me), so I can see how they are normally setup before I go bothering the developers who have implemented the mod support!


#16

how to setup so I can host and play from the same machine, should I change the server settings to a specific listening port?

Before I have been able to do this, now I cant anymore, dont know if something changed on the dedicated server configs.

Edit: Was able to start it and connect using bat file:
ConanSandboxServer.exe “ConanSandbox?Multihome=192.168.25.48?GameServerPort=27015?GameServerQueryPort=27016?listen?” -nosteamclient -game -server -log

I added the
[URL]
Multihome=192.168.25.48 to the ServerSettings.ini
But it didnt work with the tool, , maybe I am missing a config file edit to make it connect from local hosted server?


#17

You did not do anything wrong, this version does not allow for changing the default ports, it’s hardcoded on 7777, 7778 and 27015, but It’s definitely on the list of things to fix.

I’ll see with my lead if I can fix that next week.


#18

When launching the server on Windows 10 Pro, I get the following message:

"The following components are required to run this program:

Direct X Runtime"

However, I have direct X installed, and it doesn’t give any other information about which version it’s looking for or how to go about correcting it. Any thoughts?

-Scott


#19

Does this solution works for you: https://www.reddit.com/r/ConanExiles/comments/5ruxiv/home_server_directx_runtime_missing/

If that does, then maybe I should add code to automatically run the DXSETUP.exe in DedicatedServerLauncher\ConanExilesDedicatedServer_CommonRedist\DirectX\Jun2010


#20

That installation did install some files, but didn’t appear to fix the problem. I’m still getting a direct x error when I try running the dedicated server.

-Scott


#21

I think the tool is a good start. After using it I feel like would rather just use batch files to start and update.

I think I am spoiled by a program I use for ark call ark server manager. The one feature that it has that is invaluable to me is the mod manager. Were it installs and updates mod right from the workshop.


#23

Okay, so I got access from the landlord. Now I just having issues with the port forwarding. I am missing something here, but no idea what. I created rules for the ports on the network settings, and I have tried to do the same in the firewall. All to no avail. Help, please,