How to Install uMod (Oxide) plugins to a RUST server

RUST Install uMod Plugins

How to Install uMod (Oxide) plugins to a RUST server

This guide walks through the manual process of installing uMod plugins to a RUST server. Previously known as Oxide, the uMod framework is a popular modding platform that allows RUST server owners to install and manage custom RUST server plugins.

By the end of this guide, it will have covered the basic information needed for installing uMod plugins to a self-hosted Windows-based RUST server. If attempting to install uMod plugins with a 3rd party game server provider or Linux-based server, the installation process may differ.

There are many reasons to setup a modded RUST server. Server owners will use plugins in order to offer unique and customized experiences for their players. Plugins, otherwise known as mods (short for modifications), are small portions of code that enable extra functionality that doesn’t exist in the core game. RUST server plugins can also be used to add additional tooling for server owners and admins.

Installing uMod plugins to a RUST server will open many possibilities

  • Choose from hundreds of free and paid plugins
  • Provide kits that contain equipment and resources
  • Create a private or white listed server
  • Enable different play modes (PVP, PVE, Build only, etc)
  • Change resource gather rates
  • Modify loot tables across the map
  • Launch custom server events
  • Add admin and moderation tools
  • And much more…

Prerequisites needed to install uMod plugins

  1. Admin access to an existing RUST server
  2. Installed and updated uMod on the server
  3. Downloaded the uMod plugins to be installed

With these three things, you’re ready to install uMod plugins to your RUST server!

Follow these 3 steps to install uMod plugins

  1. Locate and access the server’s plugins folder
  2. Copy plugin file(s) to the server’s plugins folder
  3. Modify and reload the configuration file

Step 1: Locate and access the server’s plugins folder

This step requires having local access or FTP access to the RUST server. Choose the option below that best applies to you.

Local Access to the Server

With local access to the server, this will be as simple as locating where the RUST server is installed and navigating to the /plugins/ folder.

/your_server_identity/oxide/plugins/

RUST Server uMod Plugins Folder

Example screen of locating the default oxide plugins folder

FTP Access to the Server

Otherwise, with FTP access to the server, an FTP client will be needed to connect to the server. This will also require the game server’s FTP credentials. Many game server hosts provide the server’s FTP credential information upon account setup and/or inside the server’s control panel.

Game server providers sometimes modify the game’s installation directory so that they are able to run multiple game servers, not just a single server on one machine. Doing this allows the game service provider to avoid directory conflicts and other such related issues. Keep an eye out for an altered folder structure like below:

/your_server_identity/ruste/oxide/plugins/

Additional Notes

There’s a few things to note when it comes to accessing the server’s /plugins/folder.

  • The server does not need to be stopped in order to install a new uMod plugin, as uMod actively “listens” to the /plugins/ folder for changes.
  • The /plugins/ folder will not be present until uMod is installed and the RUST server has run successfully.

Step 2: Copy plugin file(s) to the server’s plugin folder

Once the server’s /plugins/ folder is accessible, the uMod plugin files must be moved into it, whether copying or uploading directly. When the files have completely transferred into the folder, they will automatically be loaded in by uMod.

Watch the RUST server console for a success message. In our example we use the “BlueprintManager” plugin and it looks something like this:

BlueprintManager was compiled successfully in 1799ms
[Blueprint Manager] Generating new config file...
[Blueprint Manager] Added field to config: Settings/Default blueprints
Loaded plugin Blueprint Manager v1.0.4 by Jacob

The output provides the following information about the uMod plugin’s installation:

  • Whether the installation was successful
  • The plugin’s name
  • The time it took to compile
  • The version of the plugin
  • The author and assigned association
  • Configuration file generated confirmation (If config exist)
  • Modifications & fields added to the config file (If config exist)

Additional Notes

There’s a few things to note when it comes to copying the plugin files to the server’s /plugins/ folder.

  • The uMod plugin files must not be renamed and the file extensions must be left as they were when downloaded.
  • Be sure when downloading a plugin that it’s file name was not modified with the infamous “(1)”, due to a file with the same name existing in the downloaded directory.

Step 3: Modify and reload the configuration file

When the uMod plugin(s) are successfully installed, a configuration file will be automatically generated and inserted to the /oxide/config/ folder. The configuration file will be a .json file and will take on the plugin’s name. However, not all uMod plugins have configuration files. Many uMod plugins are very focused and discrete in the functionality they provide.

The plugin’s configuration file can be hot reloaded, meaning that modifications can be made to the file while the server is running. To reload the plugin’s configurations, you will need perform three things:

  1. Add valid JSON syntax
  2. Add valid plugin parameters
  3. Run the Oxide reload command

Valid JSON Syntax

In order to know whether or not the file has valid JSON syntax, you can use just about any modern text editor such as Atom, Visual Code, Sublime Text or use a JSON validation web service. There are a few of them out there such as JSONLint.com or JSON Formatter. These tools can help to alert you of invalid formatting in your JSON file before you attempt to save it on your server.

Valid Plugin Parameters

Each plugin that is installed will have a page dedicated to it on the uMod.org website. Search for the plugin name with the RUST game filter applied to find its latest documentation. Once you’ve found the plugin’s proper documentation page, check your configuration parameters against what it supports.

Oxide Reload Command

Once the updated configuration changes have been saved to the configuration file, you will need to run the Oxide reload console command on the RUST server. Replace “BlueprintManager” with the specific plugin’s name.

oxide.reload BlueprintManager

After this command has been successfully run, the RUST console will unload and reload the specified plugin. Using our example above, it will look something like this:

Unloaded plugin Blueprint Manager v1.0.4 by Jacob
Loaded plugin Blueprint Manager v1.0.4 by Jacob

When the oxide.reload command is run on a configuration file with a syntax errors, it will output something like this:

Unloaded plugin Blueprint Manager v1.0.4 by Jacob
BlueprintManager v1.0.4: Failed to load config file (is the config file corrupt?) (After parsing a value an unexpected character was encountered: :. Path 'Settings['Default blueprints']', line 4, position 2.)
[Blueprint Manager] Added field to config: Settings/Default blueprints
Loaded plugin Blueprint Manager v1.0.4 by Jacob

As seen above, returned errors display a message string and the position of the first invalid character.

Additional Notes

There’s a few things to note when it comes to updating the plugin’s configuration file.

  • Remember when reloading your plugins on your live server, it may interrupt game play experience, so think twice about timing.
  • If the plugin should have generated a configuration file but did not, the plugin is most likely out of date and/or broken.
  • If there are no apparent console errors to address, look in the /oxide/logs/ folder for associated error logs.

Summary

Now that the uMod plugins are successfully installed to the RUST server, the next step for many plugins, is to set up player and group permissions. Allowing the plugin’s functionality to be passed on to those permitted. This is out of scope for this article, but you can follow uMod’s permission documentation to get setup.