cow — manual page for NETREK-CLIENT-COW 3.2.7


netrek-client-cow [options] [display-name]


This is a client for the multi-player game of Netrek.

Netrek is the probably the first video game which can accurately be described as a "sport." It has more in common with basketball than with arcade games or Quake. Its vast and expanding array of tactics and strategies allows for many different play styles; the best players are the ones who think fastest, not necessarily the ones who twitch most effectively. It can be enjoyed as a twitch game, since the dogfighting system is extremely robust, but the things that really set Netrek apart from other video games are the team and strategic aspects. Team play is dynamic and varied, with roles constantly changing as the game state changes. Strategic play is explored in organized league games; after 6+ years of league play, strategies are still being invented and refined.

The game was created in 1988, and still has players, including some people who have been playing for nearly as long as the game has existed.

To start the client program, run netrek-client-cow, and a list of servers will be displayed.



[-h servername]
Bypasses the server list and connects directly to a specific server.
[-p port number]
Specify a port to connect to, the default is 2592.
[-r defaultsfile]
Specify a defaults file containing cusstom settings. See XTREKRC.
[-s socketnum]
Specify listen socket port for manual start, used in debugging.
Show usage
Automatic login, character password
Automatic login, character name
[-U port]
Specify client UDP or TCP port (useful for some firewalls)
use old-style binary verification)
use RSA binary verification
Log server packets, repeat for increased information
to just do ck_players on the server
[-f filename]
Record game into 'filename'
[-F filename]
Plays the recorded game from 'filename'
[-l filename]
Record messages into 'filename'
list servers, using UDP/IP to multiple metaservers
list servers, using TCP/IP to single metaserver
list servers from cache generated by -M
use nearest colors in shared colormap
upgrade to Latest version (requires running netscape)
Version info and release notes (requires running netscape)
submit a Bug report (requires running netscape)
display client version info


Partial list of authors Chris Guthrie, Kevin P. Smith, Scott Silvey, Eric mehlhaff, Kevin Powell, Nick Trown, Jeff Nelson, Kurt Siegl, Lars Bernhardsson, Nathan Doss, Michael Kantner, Dave Ahn, James Cameron, and Bob Tanner.
If your name is missing, please contact

Reporting bugs

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