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Part 7 - Setting Up Fast Download

There's nothing worse than connecting to a server and waiting 5-10 minutes to download a map. Competent server admins setup proper fast downloads for their server(s).

To get started you'll need web hosting. I use 1and1 (http://www.1and1.com) myself. You may be able to find free web hosting out there but the speed and reliability will vary.

* Setting up the directory structure *

Have a look at your cstrike directory. You'll notice the following key sub-directories:

T:\srcds\27015\cstrike\maps
T:\srcds\27015\cstrike\materials
T:\srcds\27015\cstrike\sound

On your web hosting, you'll need to create a sub-directories for the compressed downloads. For example, if you created a directory called cstrike, you'll need to create the sub-directories maps, materials, and sound underneath it. To put it another way:

Let's say cstrike is your top-level directory:

http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike/

You'll need to create sub-directories underneath it:

http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike/maps/
http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike/materials/
http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike/sound/

* Setting up your CS:S server's server.cfg *

Add the following line to your server.cfg:

sv_downloadurl "http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike"

* Compressing and uploading maps *

Materials and sounds are compressed already and do not need any additional work before upload to your web hosting. Maps, on the other hand, should definitely be compressed to save bandwidth and download faster to connecting players.

To begin, download a copy of 7-Zip (http://7-zip.org/). 7-Zip supports the kind if compression we need (BZip2).

Let's take surf_commune_again_beta3.bsp as an example. It should already be present in your game files:

T:\srcds\27015\cstrike\maps\surf_commune_again_beta3.bsp (47,679,069 bytes)

Right-click the file, choose 7-Zip then Add to archive...

When the Add to Archive window appears, choose BZip2 as the compression type. Click OK to begin the compression. You should now have a second file called surf_commune_again_beta3.bsp.bz2. With Normal compression, the file is now 10,027,876 bytes. That's less than one quarter of its previous size!

Next, upload this file to your web hosting in the cstrike/maps directory. It should now be available for download at:

http://your.fast.download.url/cstrike/maps/surf_commune_again_beta3.bsp.bz2

* Testing *

To test if your fast download is working, delete a custom map from your local gaming machine and connect to the server. It should now download the file automatically.