Welcome to the home page for the PennMUSH mud server, a freely available (Artistic License) package.
A mud ("multi-user dungeon") is a form of textual virtual reality program. A mud server is a computer program which maintains a world database containing players, objects, rooms, exits, and programs. People connect to the mud server by using the telnet command or a dedicated mud client, and take on characters in the virtual world, interacting with other players from around the (real) world. Common activities include game playing, role-playing, socializing, world-building, etc. These servers have also been used for education, research, and artistic endeavors.
An example is M*U*S*H, a mud for people to socialize and build pretty things.
A MUSH ("multi-user shared hallucination") is a type of mud which is often used for social and role-playing activities. It is derived from "Tinymud", an early mud server. Its distinguishing features are that any player can typically extend the virtual world by building new rooms and objects, and its internal programming language, MUSHcode, which is considered to be fairly easy to learn.
There are a number of flavors of MUSH server freely available to those who want to run their own MUSHes:
TinyMUSH uses a disk-based database, while PennMUSH keeps its database in the computer's memory (TinyMUX can do either). This makes PennMUSH suitable for computers which have plenty of memory or little disk space. From a user standpoint they offer many similar features and a very similar command parser.
PennMUSH is being actively developed, and the latest version and any patches at our Google Code page or at http://download.pennmush.org. The latter has many other MUSH-related downloads available as well. The adventurous can track the development version that will become the next release via the subversion source control system. See the Google Code page for details.
PennMUSH can be built on Win32 operating systems (Windows 2k/XP/etc.). To build it, you need to be able to ungzip and untar the source code (WinZip, WinRar, 7Zip and most common archival applications are capable of doing this), and compile it. Instructions are included in the source tarball for compiling PennMUSH using the Microsoft Visual C++ (win32/README.txt) and MinGW + MSys (win32/README.mingw) compiling environments. The cygwin toolkit may also be used in much the same way as MinGW + MSys. Both Mingw/MSys and Cygwin provide a UNIX-like environment for building and running the mush, which may assist in transitioning to a Linux host for production games.
There are also precompiled binary packages available. They provide the most common compile time configurations for quick and easy usage. These are often simplest for users who wish to have a private mush to learn, experiment with, and test mushcode without the expense of paying for linux based hosting. However, they tend to lag behind the current released version.
Support for PennMUSH on Win32 systems can be had by emailing issues or questions to email@example.com to ensure they are reaching the current Win32 support team. Some documentation and information may be found on the PennMUSH FAQ-o-matic.
Mac OS X is a flavor of BSD Unix, and PennMUSH builds out of the box on it once the Xcode development tools are installed. Older versions of Macintosh OS are not supported.
You should be aware that most support is only available to "vanilla" installations of PennMUSH — if you compile in a space system or other code, the developers are unlikely to provide support, because it would be too costly a use of our time (sorry). That said, here's a list of resources:
- The documentation included in the PennMUSH distribution is a good place to start.
- If you run into trouble, or want more information on how to set up, hack at, or run a PennMUSH, check out Javelin's Guide for PennMUSH Gods.
- The PennMUSH FAQ-o-matic is an interactive FAQ — you can read questions and answers and add to it as well.
- The community portal is another place to ask questions, and features several books about maintaning mushes, modifying their source code, and softcode.
- The TinyMUX wiki is yet another source, though it focuses mainly on TinyMUX, another mush-style server.
- The PennMUSH bug-reporting and tracking system is here.
- Live support from developers and members of the community can be found at M*U*S*H.
When reporting a problem, please always include the following information:
- PennMUSH version number
- The type of machine and operating system you're using.
- Whether or not you have made any changes to the code.
- If possible, a minimimal test case that allows others to duplicate the issue.
If the problem resulted in a crash and a core dump, a stack trace of the core dump should also be included.
See http://www.pennmush.org/translation.html to learn how you can help translate PennMUSH to other languages!
PennMUSH is a copyrighted piece of software. As of version 1.7.6 and later, it is released under the terms of the Artistic License, an OSI-compliant Free Software license.
In brief, in return for permission to use the software, you agree to:
- Retain all copyright notices
- Distribute (or return to the developers) source code to any modifications that you make and distribute (that is, you can't modify PennMUSH and distribute only modified binaries).
This brief description is not a substitute for the full license. The PennMUSH license can be read in full here.
If you want to see what's coming before it's released, the beta test site for new development versions of PennMUSH is M*U*S*H (mush.pennmush.org 4201). Note that this is a production game (a social MUSH) so unconstructive intrusion is unwelcome, but it would enjoy having you involved as a player. :)
There are several fine commercial services that host MUSH servers. We do not provide MUSH hosting services. However, Javelin does run the M*U*S*H Architect-in-Residence program, a competitive program that can provide a year of free development hosting to qualifying new MUSH creators. See that link for details.
Yes! Although we don't provide sites or accounts on which to run a MUSH, if you already have your MUSH up somewhere, we can provide you with a friendly hostname in the pennmush.org domain (e.g. yourmush.pennmush.org) that points to your current server address. (If what you need is a hosting provider, check out the rec.games.mud.admin or rec.games.mud.announce newsgroups where providers regularly post advertisements).
For information, please email Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the initial pennmush.org DNS registration was provided by:
- Naomi Novik,
- Caliban Tiresias Darklock,
- John Hutchinson,
- Tony Knopes,
- Sam Knowlton,
- Ashford (Anthony Ivan),
Without them, we wouldn't be here. Funding for registration renewal until 2006 has come from Javelin, with Noltar and Walker continuing to support the domain after Javelin's retirement.
With Net-Fu, a terrific tool by folks at UC Berkeley, Javelin's alma mater, now accessible at cooltext.com.