Half-Life on FreeBSD

Half-Life is an excellent game from Valve studios. If this is news to you, you are in the wrong place.

This page is for people trying to run a Half-Life server on FreeBSD.

The General Idea:

  1. Download the latest Linux port of Half-life (here).
  2. Install the latest Linux emulation support for your version of FreeBSD. (Look to the FreeBSD Manuals for help.)
  3. Download and install the latest Counter-strike for Linux. (Why would you run a Half-Life server and not run CS? Hmm?)
  4. Follow the Instructions for Linux. It should "just work."


First don't forget about the regular Half-Life Server FAQ, and the Linux section in there. If those don't help, maybe this will.

  • I need help installing Linux emulation for FreeBSD.

    This is really out of my league, as I don't admin the FreeBSD box I've run Half-Life on... However, our local admin (Thanks, Steve!) has this to say:
    Generally you just go to /usr/ports/emulators/linux_base and do a make install. Assuming that you've got a ports tree that is. I'd recommend doing it that way if possible. I'm not actually sure how to to it by hand anymore, since it's gotten somewhat more complex (the port installs a bunch of redhat packages in /compat/linux).
    You also need to set linux_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf, so that it'll load the linux emulator kernel module at bootup (or alternately, build a kernel with the COMPAT_LINUX option.
  • hlds_l cannot find a .wad file. For example you get an error mesage like: Error W_LoadWadFile: couldn't load gfx.wad.

    hlds_l will look in the /compat/linux/usr/halflife/hlds_l/valve and /usr/halflife/hlds_l/valve directories by default. You might try setting LD_LIBRARY_PATH if you installed halflife in a different directory.

  • patrick tullmann
    Last updated on Wednesday, November 03, 2010