HEARSE(1) User Contributed Perl Documentation HEARSE(1)
hearse - exchange Nethack bones files with other players
hearse [-b | --bones-dir dir] [--bones-mode mode] [-c | --config-file file] [--cron] [--debug] [--delete-uploaded] [--help] [--lock-file
file] [-q | --quiet] [--run-as-me] [--run-as-user user] [--run-as-group group] [--server-url url] [--stamp-file file] [--user-email
address] [--user-token token] [--user-token-file file] [--version]
Nethack sometimes saves the level on which you die (including your stuff, what killed you, and your ghost) in a "bones file". These files
get loaded into later Nethack games. If you're the only Nethack player on your system you'll only get bones files you created yourself.
hearse lets you automatically exchange Nethack bones file with other players. When run it uploads any new bones files it finds on your
system, then downloads any bones files the server feels like giving it. See <http://www.argon.org/~roderick/hearse/> for more information.
An important thing to note is that by default using hearse will cause you to end up with more bones than you otherwise would have. This
changes the game's balance and is considered by many players to be a mild form of cheating. You can address this by turning on the
--delete-uploaded option, but the down side is you'll never encounter your own bones files.
In order to use the Hearse server, you've got to supply your email address. Do this by using the --user-email switch the first time you
use the program, or by putting "user-email address" in the config file. Your email address will only be used to contact you about Hearse,
and will never be given to any third party. If you enter an invalid address, the server won't be able to support you if you download a bad
bones file, and will be forced to ban you if any of your uploaded files are bad.
Hearse was set up as a service to the Nethack community. Please respect that; abuse of the service can only lead to it being removed.
The defaults are set up for a Linux system using a nethack binary which is either set-uid or set-gid games. If this is what you've got, as
# hearse --user-email firstname.lastname@example.org
one time by hand, then put
0 3 * * * root perl -we 'sleep rand 3600'; hearse --quiet
hearse comes with default values for its various configuration settings which match the way many Linux systems are set up. If any of them
don't match your system, you can either change them in a configuration file, or you can specify the right values via command line switches.
This last isn't as onerous as it sounds, because most people run it from cron. You can put the switches in the crontab file and leave it
at that. If you'd rather use a configuration file, you can use the default location (/etc/nethack/hearse.conf), or use the -c (aka
--config-file) switch to specify the file you'd like to use.
The configuration file can specify all of the options for which it makes sense, using the long version of the option name followed by the
value. Blank and commented lines are ignored in the usual fashion. A string value can be given as "-" to mean the empty string. Booleans
can use on/off/true/false/yes/no/1/0. A sample hearse.conf is included with the distribution. Eg,
hearse needs to run with permissions like those used by Nethack itself, so that it can read and write the bones files. It should not be
made set-uid or set-gid, though; it hasn't been audited for that.
The default configuration will try to set both the user and group ids to "games". Nethack itself will generally only be set-id to either
one or the other, but using both hurts nothing and allows hearse to run as-is on more systems. This will only work if you run hearse as
If you want to disable hearse's id setting and take care of it externally you can use the --run-as-me switch to turn it off, or the
--run-as-user and --run-as-group switches for finer grained control. Specify '' or "-" for either of the latter to disable just that
RUNNING FROM CRON
If you're using the pre-packaged .deb or .rpm version of hearse, the program is already set up to run automatically (both daily and when
you connect to the Internet). You don't have to do anything unless you want to change this behavior. If you're installing hearse by hand,
The normal way to use the program is to run it from cron, either daily or on whatever schedule you like. (There's no harm in running it
often, if it doesn't find any new bones files it doesn't even contact the server.) If letting it manage its own permissions, you'd just
run it as root. Eg, to run it some time in the 3:00 hour, put something like
0 3 * * * root perl -we 'sleep rand 3600'; hearse --quiet
in /etc/crontab. The randomization is to prevent the server from getting hammered at the top of each time zone's 3:00 hour.
If you'd like to see what the server's doing, you can use --cron rather than --quiet. This will cause it to output its status message, but
only when it actually transfers a bones file.
RUNNING FOR MULTIPLE NETHACK VARIANTS
If you use multiple Nethack variants which are supported by the Hearse server, you can run hearse for all of them. The normal way to do
this is to run hearse once for each variant, specifying the bones directory on the command line
# hearse -b /var/games/slashem
leaving the rest of the configuration settings to be read from the configuration file. The last upload time is by default stored in the
bones directory, so everything just works.
The Hearse protocol requires that you have only a single concurrent connection for each user account (it decides what kind of bones file to
send you based on the kind you most recently uploaded), so hearse does locking on the user token file in order to ensure this. See the
--lock-file switch for more info.
-b, --bones-dir dir
Specify the bones directory. By default the program uses the first of /var/games/nethack, /usr/games/lib/nethackdir, and the current
directory which contains a file called record.
Specify the mode for the bones files hearse creates. The default is 660.
-c, --config-file file
Specify an alternative configuration file. The default is /etc/nethack/hearse.conf.
Suppress the "no bones to upload" message. This makes it so that there's no output at all when there's nothing to do, but you still
see what's going on when bones files are transfered. This is a nice way to run it from cron if you want to keep an eye on it.
Turn debugging on.
Delete locally generated bones files after uploading them. Some people might want to do this in order to avoid changing the game's
balance. Since the server normally gives you 1 bones file for each one you upload, if you delete your local bones after uploading them
you'll end up with the same number of bones you otherwise would have had, but they'll be somebody else's rather than your own.
Show the usage message and die.
The Hearse protocol requires that hearse do locking to be sure that only a single connection per user can happen at a time. It does
this by locking the --user-token-file. You should not generally change this, but if you have special requirements (that that file be
read only, eg), you can override it with this switch. Use '' to disable locking (which I do not recommend).
Don't output information messages.
Turn off both --run-as-user and --run-as-group.
Use user as the real and effecitve user id, default "games". You've generally got to be root for this to work.
Use group as the real and effecitve group id, default "games". You've generally got to be root for this to work.
Specify the URL for the server program. See the source or the --help message for the default.
hearse only tries to upload bones files which were created since the last time it sucessfully talked to the server. The modification
time of the --stamp-file (.hearse.timestamp by default) tells it when that was. This path is taken relative to the --bones-dir (unless
Specify your email address. You only have to do this the first time you run hearse.
Specify your user token directly. You won't normally need to do this, as hearse requests the token from the server and stores it in
the --user-token-file for later retrieval.
Specify the file used to store the user token, by default /etc/nethack/hearse.user-token.
Show the version number and exit.
The code is licensed under the GNU GPL. Check <http://www.argon.org/~roderick/hearse/> for updated versions.
This Unix client was written by Roderick Schertler <email@example.com>. The Hearse protocol, server, and Windows client were written by
Alexis Manning <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
perl v5.14.2 2012-02-11 HEARSE(1)