crossfire-client-gtk2 [-cache|-nocache] [-darkness|-nodarkness] [-display display] [-download-all-faces] [-echo|-noecho] [-faceset name] [-fasttcpsend|-nofasttcpsend] [-fog] [-help] [-iconscale percentage] [-loglevel level] [-mapscale percentage] [-mapsize xXy] [-opengl|-pixmap|-sdl] [-port number] [-server name] [-showicon] [-smooth|-nosmooth] [-sound|-nosound] [-sound_server executable] [-splash|-nosplash] [-resists value] [-split] [-splitinfo] [-timemapredraw] [-triminfowindow|-notriminfowindow] [-updatekeycodes] [-window_xml path] [-dialog_xml path]


crossfire-client-gtk2 is a GTK program for connecting to Crossfire servers. Crossfire is a multiplayer graphical adventure game that mixes aspects of Gauntlet (TM), Nethack, Moria, and Ultima (TM).

This man page describes options for the second generation gtk client (crossfire-client-gtk2) for the Crossfire game server. There are many other clients, and each is unique. This documentation is not intended to cover them.



Determines if the client will cache images for future runs. With -nocache, when the server is about to reference an image that the client has yet to receive, it sends that image along to the client. These downloaded images are discarded once the client exists. With -cache, the server sends information about the image it is about to reference. The client can then check its local cache (stored in ~/.crossfire/image-cache) - if it has the image, it creates it off the disk. If it does not have it, it requests it from the server and then stores it in its cache. In the brief time between the request of the image and it actually receives it, that image will be represented by a ? in the map.

-cache option is strongly recommended anytime when your link to the server is slower than home directory access - this is likely to be the case except in case of NFS mounted home directories on the server on the local LAN.


Controls whether the server sends darkness information to the client or not. Turning off darkness results in a savings off bandwidth for maps that use darkness code (currently, very few maps use darkness code). Turning off darkness may also be desirable as in some graphics mode the quality of darkness may not add much to the map.

-display <display>

The display to open the windows on. If this option is not given, it will use the DISPLAY environmental variable to determine the display.


The client will get all the checksums from the server, and download any images necessary before starting play. This saves a small amount of bandwidth, but more importantly reduces possible latency during important play when it may not be desirable.


Echo commands as they are entered. Normally, commands bound to keys are just sent to the server without any echoing on the client of what that command actually was. This option causes the commands to also be printed in the information window as they are sent to the server.

-faceset <name>

Uses faceset <name> if available on the server. What facesets are available on each server may differ. The client will request the information about the different facesets available on the server, and try to find the one that matches best. The default is the standard set. At current time (March 2002), the only one typically available is the classic set.


Send or do not send data immediately to the server. This setting may decrease latency if set at the expense of greater outgoing bandwidth use.


Enables fog of war code. In this mode, spaces which have been seen before but are no longer visible will still be shown on the game window half darkened. The data in these spaces is not up to date since it is currently out of site. This has no effect on bandwidth, but may consume more CPU time.


Prints out a brief description of the options to standard output.

-iconscale percentage

Causes the images for the inventory icons to be scaled some percentage value. Minimum value is 25%. Setting this to 50% is very useful - doubles amount of data visible in the inventory window.

-loglevel level

Set default logging level with 0 being most verbose.

-mapscale percentage

Causes the images for the map surface (-mapscale) to be scaled some percentage value. Minimum value is 25%. This value does not need to be the same as the iconscale value. Scaling down the size of the map images can be useful when playing on low resolution screens. Smaller images will also consume less CPU as there will be less information to draw.

-mapsize XxY

Sets the desired viewable map window. X and Y are number of tiles. Note that larger map sizes are likely to consume more bandwidth, CPU time, as well as just screen real estate.

The maximum map size may vary server to server. The client will try to negotiate the largest viewable map in each dimension. Note that there is no requirement that the viewable map be square.

Due to performance issues, it is strongly suggested that experimentation is done with this value to find a size that gets acceptable performance n(simple test - go to the start town, run in some direction, stop running and see how long it takes before the client stops moving you).

-opengl | -pixmap | -sdl

The graphics drawing mode to use. The -opengl and -sdl options may only be used of the client was compiled with support for those mode. Generally, -opengl provides the best quality, followed by -sdl, and then -pixmap.

-sdl Using this option allows for more complex graphics - true alpha channel, improved darkness handling. Performance may be worse when using this option - this depends on many factors. Like the mapsize option above, it is suggested the experimentation is done to make performance is still acceptable. This option does not affect bandwidth - it only affects CPU performance.

-port number

The port number of the server to connect to. By default, it will use port 13327 (standard port). However, certain servers may use other ports.

-resists value

Control look of resistances.

-server name

Sets the server to play on. If no option is given, it will default to localhost.


This shows a little icon next to items in your inventory that contains a brief description of some of the item properties (magic, cursed, equipped, etc.) This can make spotting some items easier, but some players may not like the extra space these icons take up or the

-smooth | -nosmooth

This option causes map tile edges to be blended together so that the map has a less artificially tiled appearance. Use of this option incurs greater CPU and bandwidth usage.


Enable/Disables sound effects. Disabling sound has a minor savings on bandwidth. It is most useful if you do not want sound, due to lack of hardware or lack of desire for sound. Default is sound enabled.

-sound_server <executable>

This is the name of the sound server process to execute. If the path starts with a slash, this is the absolute path to the executable. Otherwise, the value of BINDIR (install location of client executable) will be prepended. This defaults to cfsndserv. Changing this value may be necessary if the default sound daemon does not work as expected.

Note that the input that the executable takes is special, requiring an executable especially designed for crossfire to work. You can not point generic sound playing programs and expect it to work.


Enable/Disables splash screen. When enabled, a window with a Crossfire logo is displayed while the client is starting up. Default is the splash screen is enabled.


-split starts the windows up in split windows mode. In split windows mode, 6 separate windows are created - these individual windows can then be moved around and resized as desired. -nosplit starts the game up with a single window - this is the default. The option is useful if your saved defaults are set for -split (see Saved Defaults further down).


This splits the information pane window into two sub windows. One contains all the attack messages and otherwise fairly mundane information, and the other contains important messages, like changes in protection values, levels, etc.


Prints out debugging time information to stderr. This timing information can be useful when trying to find performance problems, or just how different client options change the time it takes for the map to get drawn, which is the biggest CPU consumer in the client.

-triminfowindow | -notriminfowindw

Causes the information window to get 'trimmed', eg, remove text so that the total contents of the information window remains roughly the same size (20,000 bytes or so). As of 2001-11-03, using this option resulted in client periodically crashing. The problem appears to be within gtk, so using this is not encouraged. However, the problems in gtk may get fixed, or this may be more reliable on other platforms so is included.


The standard behaviour when a player uses the bind command to bind new actions is that they keycode is saved with that binding. Keycodes are specific to keyboards - a sun keyboard will generate a different keycode compared to a PC style keyboard. In most cases, it is not always desirable to have the keycodes get updated, as this may make some bindings unavailable. Using this option will force custom keybindings to get updated for the current keyboard when the client is run.

-window_xml window_layout

This client is uses libglade to allow the main client window to be customized. This option is used to specify how the main game window looks. Various layout options are usually supplied with the client. The default window layout is

-dialog_xml window_layout

This client is uses libglade to allow the various client dialogs to be customized. This option is used to specify the appearance of the various dialog used by the client. Presently there are no alternate dialog layouts supplied with the client. The default dialog layout setting is


Once you have logged onto a server, you may enter extended commands by typing ' (apostrophe) followed by the extended commands. One of these extended commands is savedefaults. This command saves many of the options listed above. Note that the saved defaults are read first, so using the command line switches can be used to override settings in the gdefaults2 file.

The settings are saved into ~/.crossfire/gdefaults2.

You can enter savewinpos as an extended command. By default, this saves the current window positions and sizes to the file ~/.crossfire/gtk-v2.pos. The actual file name is based on the name of the window layout file (see the -window_xml option). So, for example, if -window_xml is used, window positions are actually saved to ~/.crossfire/caelestis.pos. Next time you run the client, with this window layout selected, it will restore the window layout as specified.


This is by far a complete tutorial of gameplay. This section is to provide a basic introduction to logging in and doing a few very basic actions.

The first thing to do after the client successfully connects to a server is to enter a character name. There are some restrictions to the name you can choose, but alphanumeric characters are all safe.

After entering the name, you will then be prompted for a password. If creating a new character, enter whatever you want your password to be. If you get a 'login incorrect' someone else already has that character name with a different password - try another name. If no one has used that name, you will be prompted for the password again to confirm it.

You now start the character creation process. It is beyond the scope of the document to fully describe the pros and cons of different stats and classes. The creation process has different options for swapping stats and choosing a class.

Once you have chosen your class, you will find yourself in a nexus that allows you to select a map on which to start playing. The best place to start is directly above you as it contains a miniature map that is designed to be a tutorial on the basics of playing Crossfire. More experienced players may elect to skip this training map and may start playing in either Scorn or Navar. Navar is only recommended for experienced players.

The arrow keys will move you in the various directions.

If starting in Scorn, there will be a red building almost directly above you - this is the inn where you save your character. There are some signs to your right. To read them, move on top of them and press the 'a' key. This applies the object below you - in the case of signs, it reads it. In the case of buildings, it will cause you to enter the building.

To the left of the signs are two small buildings - these are more beginner dungeons. Enter them, and follow the directions on the signs. They provide another pretty good tutorial on some of the basic actions and features of the game.

To enter extended commands, type the ' (apostrophe) followed by the command. An example would be 'help (apostrophe followed by the help command). Enter command to execute the command.


savewinpos savedefaults

These commands were described in the SAVED DEFAULTS options above.


This toggles whether or the information windows scrolls when it gets to the bottom of the window or wraps to the top. Wrapping is slightly less CPU intensive, but is generally harder to read.

bind unbind

bind is used to add new keybindings. Do you want to be able to press one key to cast a fireball? This is what the bind command does. \'help bind gives much more detailed information. Once a command is bound, it is stored in ~/.crossfire/keys and will be used in future plays.


crossfire-client-x11 only. Toggles between scroll and wrap mode. In wrap mode, when text gets to the bottom of the message window, it starts new messages at the top. Scroll is only really useful on very slow systems where the performance hit of scrolling the window is too costly.


Displays the data from the last time the magic mapping spell was cast. This information can be completely useless if you are now on another map.

cwindow <number>

Specifies the number of unprocessed commands to the server. The server processes player commands as the character has actions to perform them - having this number too high can result in extended lengths of time that after you stop entering commands the character is still performing actions. Having this value too low on slow links can result in the character sitting idle even though they have an action coming to them.



This is a directory that is created that is used to store various files.


This contains default settings. This file can in theory be edited by hand - just be careful to keep the same case and whitespace.


This directory is used for the image cache if -cache is being used.


This contains keybindings you have edited. This file can also be theoretically edited - changing existing entries is much safer than trying to figure out the syntax for new entries.


Window layout positions and sizes to use. The actual file name is based upon the name of the window layout file in use (-window_xml). The file may be edited by hand.

Please let the maintainers know about any bugs found in the client.


Copyright (C) 2008 Mark Wedel & Crossfire Development Team GTK port by David Sundqvist ([email protected]) SDL support added by Scott MacFiggen ([email protected]) LibGlade port by Kevin Bulgrien ([email protected])

There are a great many other contributors to both the client and server that are not mentioned here.