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Making a game server with Node.js (linux or mac)

Have you been thinking of making a game, but are stuck on the server part? This is understandable, as servers can be quite daunting. Back in the old days, you'd have to worry about writing C code with sockets - scary stuff if you're not familiar with it.

Luckily, we now have something called Node.js - it allows us to create a simple server in a matter of minutes. In this article, I'll be showing you the very basics of creating a socket server.

The first thing we'll need to do is install Node.js. You will require the following dependencies:


  • Xcode (download on app store for free)
  • git (

Linux (Ubuntu):

  • g++
  • curo
  • libssl-dev
  • apache2-utils
  • git-core

For Ubuntu, you can install all those by typing the following:

sudo apt-get install g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils
sudo apt-get install git-core

Now that we have all that done, we can begin with Node. Navigate to the location that you want the node/ directory to be created, and type the following.

git clone git://
cd node
sudo make install

Lets create a basic socket server - here's the code:

var net = require('net');

var server = net.createServer(function (socket) {
  socket.write('Hey there!rn');

server.listen(1007, '');

To start that server, just type the following:

node socket_server.js

You can test it out by using telnet to connect to the server - type this:

telnet 1007

That should display "Hey there!".

And that's it - pretty easy stuff. Obviously this is extremely basic, and you'd need to add a lot more code to make that a functional server; but this gets you started.

jon | August 14, 2012 | Comments (0)


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