Version 3.0 and later of the BZFlag server (BZFS) require an authentication key in order to list on the global public list server.
Authentication is required in order to provide players and project staff members a point of contact for any issues or problems that may arise with the server when it is being run publicly.
Any server that uses the -public option and contacts the project's public list server (http://my.bzflag.org/db/) will be required to provide an authentication key in order to show up on the list.
The authentication key is automatically generated by the Key management site, and is tied to a specific domain name, or IP address. Server owners simply have to log into the Key Manager and they can generate as many keys as they need. The key is effectively tied to a single server machine, but can be used with any number of BZFS instances on any number of ports.
Servers that do not have static IPs or domain names, should look at using one of the many free DNS name services that are available such as http://www.no-ip.com. Dynamic IPs will need new keys every time the address changes if a domain name is not used.
The key is numeric and will be completely unique. Keys are not valid for domain names or IP address that they were not created with.
Key Management is handled by the website: http://my.bzflag.org/listkeys/. After logging in with a global username and password (forum login) server owners can enter as many domain names or IP addresses as they wish. Provide the key to bzfs using the "-publickey <key>" option.
Q) What happens if my key gets out?
A) Not much, the key is only valid for your server machine, so unless the user also has access to the same computer they can not use it.
Q) What if I run BZFS instances for other people?
A) Then you have 2 choices.
1) You can give out your key to your people and they can use it. This will make all servers show up as belonging to you. 2) You can tell your users to generate there own keys using the server address or domain name. Then each BZFS instance will be owned by each person.
Q) Does 2.0.x need a key?
A) No, 2.0.x servers do not need a key.