Saturday, February 23, 2013

Linux TF2 Idling - Minor, scratch that major victory today!

Its 8am and I've been awake for far too long. However in my hazed state I found the missing component to getting TF2 idling working in Linux with Arkose. While reading and rereading stgrabber's blog (the developer of Arkose) I realized I may have to give the device access to the video card to properly work. So I did, and it didn't work. After some fiddling around on a whim I tried giving it access to both /dev/nvidia* devices and... it worked! I had two copies of TF2 running at the same time on two different accounts.

I can now start Steam/TF2 within an Arkose container with the following command:

sudo arkose -h --device /dev/nvidiactl --device /dev/nvidia0 "steam -login username password --applaunch 440"

and it will launch steam and TF2 in a container! Woohoo! Of course I was also having the issue of steam failing to launch again once a copy was running. While writing this it came to me that the only way for steam to know it was already running is with a simple file check. So I dove into the ~/.steam directory and found the file. Removing that prior to launching another copy in arkose will allow steam to run again. I have no idea what the effect of removing the file will do however, that bares some investigation.

Well, that would be the hard part done (getting multiple copies working). Next step, write a shell script to get this baby point and click! Maybe even a simple GTK application Then become famous! Well maybe not that last step...

Yup, I did it. Thats 3 copies running =)


  1. I try to repeat yours steps and got such error - .Do you know to what it can be the reason? Thank you for attention.

    1. Do you have an nvidia card? Is the path to the nvidia devices correct?

    2. yes and yes. I also tryed to do this on my notebook, where is ati card (of course i changed path to /dev/ati/card0) and got almost same error (difference was only in path to my video card). By the way, what version of arkose do you use?

    3. Honestly I'm not sure, I know I had to give it access to both devices (my nvidia card shows up twice once as /dev/nvidia0 and /dev/nvidiactl) with separate switches. I've tried adding invalid devices like /dev/bob and I get a totally different error message. So I'm pretty stumped, the dev is also not very forthcoming with help (I had to figure out pretty much everything by trial and error)

      I'm using arkose 1.5.10ubuntu3 (1.5.1) from the default Ubuntu 12.10 repos.

    4. I have updated Ubuntu on notebook till 12.10 - same problem with video card. It seems, that i am missing little, but important detail. Also tried arkose 1.6 - same error =(

  2. - this is output of Arkose on notebook.

  3. Right now I have a machine dedicated to running 6 VirtualBox idler VMs with Openbox on a Ubuntu 12.04 minimal installs. Each VM is setup with 13 accounts and each account idles daily for 95 minutes.

    I also allow them 14 minutes between sessions to reboot to flush memory and check for and install any steam updates. Theses things can run for weeks on end with really no need for human intervention at all.

    I'm not really into it for the refined metal or hats. It was something to mess around with at first. Unfortunately, I think we linux geeks are going to drive the Mann-Conomy into the ground. lol.

    Anyways, I would like to use Arkose to trade between accounts, so I'll be keep an eye on your work. Good job.