Building a Factorio Multiplayer Server on Digital Ocean


I’m pleased to announce we’ve released a cookbook to build a multiplayer server for Factorio. If you don’t know, Factorio is a resource gathering game with real-time strategy and survival elements, development by Wube Software. With the following steps you can create a multiplayer server on Digital Ocean or the like, and try to get off the planet with your friends!

These are the steps to create a Factorio server on Digital Ocean. The initial setup is only done the first time, then you’ll be able to do just the create command when you want a new Factorio Server.

You can do the following steps with something like Rackspace or AWS. You just need to switch out the knife-digital_ocean commands with either knife-rackspace or knife-ec2. There are different configurations you need to do with either knife plugins, and slightly different commands to create servers, so please read the documentation.

  • Download ChefDK and install it
  • Open up a terminal, or command prompt
  • Install the Digital Ocean knife plugin chef exec gem install knife-digital_ocean
  • Sign up for hosted Chef and log in to your org you create
  • Pull down the “starter kit
  • Configure the knife.rb for Digital Ocean you’ll find it in the “starter kit” in the .chef/ directory
  • Git clone the factorio-cookbook into the chef-repo/cookbooks/ directory
  • In your main chef-repo/ directory run the following steps:
    • Run chef exec knife status to verify you can talk to your hosted Chef instance
    • Run chef exec knife digital_ocean sshkey list to verify you can talk to Digital Ocean, and figure out your SSHKEYNUMBER for a following step
    • Run chef exec knife cookbook upload factorio-cookbook to upload factorio-cookbook to your hosted Chef instance
    • Run chef exec knife cookbook list to verify you successfully uploaded the cookbook. You should see the cookbook name and version number output.

You should be ready to run something like the following:

chef exec knife digital_ocean droplet create --server-name factorio --image ubuntu-14-04-x64 --location sfo1 --size 4gb --ssh-keys --bootstrap --run-list "recipe[factorio]

You may want to tweak this for your usage, I picked 4 gig. A 4 gig box will run you 40 bucks a month, or $0.06 cents an hour, while a 2 gig instance will cost you $0.03 per hour or 20 bucks a month. Don’t forget to blow the machine away, if you aren’t planing on running the Digital Ocean server 24×7. I take no responsibility for your forgetfulness ;). I haven’t tested this build with anything other then Ubuntu, but I’d be interested if you got it working on other distributions.

When you are done, you can blow it all away with these commands:

~$ SERVER=chef exec knife digital_ocean droplet list | grep factorio | awk -F ' ' {'print $1'}
 ~$ chef exec knife digital_ocean droplet destroy -S $SERVER # This destroys the machine on Digital Ocean
 ~$ chef exec knife node delete factorio -y && chef exec knife client delete factorio -y # This deletes it from Hosted Chef

If you’ve completed these steps, you won’t need to login to the Host Chef instance unless you want to check the cookbook.

You should be able to just spin up your Factorio server with just:

chef exec knife digital_ocean droplet create --server-name factorio --image ubuntu-14-04-x64 --location sfo1 --size 4gb --ssh-keys --bootstrap --run-list "recipe[factorio]"
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JJ Asghar

JJ works with Strategic Technical Alliances at Chef Software making integrations work with Chef, Habitat, and InSpec. He works on everything from Azure, VMware, OpenStack, and Cisco with everything in between. He also heads up the Chef Partner Cookbook Program to make sure customers of Chef and vendors get the highest quality certified cookbooks. He grew up and currently lives in Austin, Texas.