The following sections describe how to setup and configure the different components of the Ventrilo system. These instructions are for version 2.x systems only.

  • Downloading •
Ventrilo is composed of two different components:

The first is the client program. This is what most people will download and use and is the primary user interface.

The second is the server program. This is what all clients must connect to in order to communicate with other people.

When downloading either program it is always best to get the latest version of the component you want. Direct links to specific files are not possible for this reason. If you are posting a link to Ventrilo then please direct it to the main domain so that people can get a quick introduction to what the Ventrilo system is.

Ventrilo is supported on different platforms as well. When downloading either the client or server it is important that you download the appropriate platform version. For example, Microsoft Windows is the currently supported platform for the client programs. However, in the future the client program might be available for the Apple Macintosh or Linux Operating Systems. Downloading the appropriate platform program also applies to the server component which is currently supported on platforms other then Microsoft Windows.

  • Client - Installing •
Once you have downloaded the appropriate client you can start the installer.

If for any reason the installer program gives you an error like (I/O error) or (CRC error) then this means that the installer program was corrupted during the download process. This is usually caused by using old web browsers when downloading the file or your browser is accessing the web through a proxy server. Unfortunately it's hard to say exactly which is the real culprit. Before downloading the file again you should flush your browsers cache to assure that a fresh copy is pulled down from the Ventrilo web site, and consider accessing the web without using a proxy.

Once the installation program is finished it will have accomplished several things:

1) All files will be installed into the specified location.
2) A folder called "Ventrilo" will be created in your Start / Programs menu.
3) Registry entries for "ventrilo://" web links have been created.

  • Client - Quick Setup •
After the client program has been installed you can use these quick step-by-step instructions for getting the program configured and connected into a server. Before you begin you need to know several things before you can connect to a server.

1) The server's hostname or IP address. The person running the server should have this information.

2) The server's port number. Ventrilo server's and client's default to port number 3784 but if the server admin has changed the port number then you will need to tell the Ventrilo client to use the same port number when connecting to the server.

3) The server's case sensitive password (if a password is required).

Once you have these three pieces of information you can begin setting up the Ventrilo client. If you need more detailed help regarding any portion of Ventrilo you should click on the "Help" buttons for details regarding the window you are currently looking at.

If you already have the program installed and are having problems with it you should read the F.A.Q.'s page of this web site for possible problems and suggested solutions. When all else fails then go the support forum and ask for any possible solutions.

Now, lets do a quick setup.

1) Start the ventrilo program. Click on the Start button, click on Programs and then click on Ventrilo. This will display another menu option called Ventrilo that will start the actual program.

2) Click on the "->" button that is next to the first pulldown window called "User Name". This will open a new window where you can create a logon name to be used when connecting to a server.

3) Click the "New" button. This will open a small window where you can enter your logon name. The name you enter is entirely up to you. It can be your real name or a nick name.

4) Click the "OK" button. You can come back to this window and click on the help button later on if you want more detailed information about what the other options mean and how to use them.

5) Now that we are back to the main window click on the "->" button that is next to the pulldown window called "Server". This will open a new window where you can enter the details about the server you would like to connect to.

6) Click the "New" button. This will open a small window where you can enter a name that will describe the new server definition. The name can be anything you want it to be like: "My server" or "Joe's server". When entering a server name you don't need the quotes around it. These server names will show up in the main Ventrilo window.

7) Click "OK".

8) Click on the "Hostname or IP" input box and enter the server hostname or IP address given to you by the person hosting the server.

9) Click on the "Port number" input box and enter the servers port number. The program will automatically display the default port number of 3784 but you can change this to what ever the server needs it to be.

10) Click on the "Password" input box and enter the servers password as defined by the server administrator.

11) Click "OK" to return to the Ventrilo main window.

12) Click "Connect" to establish a connection between you and the server you just defined.

13) You should also click on the Setup button and configure all of the different options that control Ventrilo. This is very important when it comes to controlling the microphone or input source. Once in the Setup dialog click on the "Help" button. Be sure to read what all of the options are and what they mean. This is very important for the Voice page.

That's all there is to it. You can always add more server definitions and create new logon names at any time.

  • Client - Things you should know •
Each user name you create controls all of the other details in the program. Think of each user name as a profile and each profile can have it's own details. What this means is that each user name will have it's own list of servers, it's own list of bindings and all information in the Setup button will be unique to each user.

Starting with Version 2.0 of the client duplicate user name's can be created. This will allow you to keep your logon name but have a slightly different profile for each one. You can give each name a description that will show up in the "User Name" pulldown window so that you can distinguish between the different profiles.

  • Client - Trouble shooting •
These are some of the most common problems that users experience when first trying to use the client. For more detailed info please click on the F.A.Q.'s page or go to the support forum.

Q: After pressing Connect the program waits for about 15 to 30 seconds with an hour glass mouse cursor and then displays an error "Unable to connect".

A: This can be several things. Either your internet connection is down, the server you are trying to connect to is off line, you're firewall/router is preventing the outgoing connection or you entered the incorrect hostname/ip address and associated port number when you defined the server.

Q: After connecting to the server it immediately pops up a message saying that the server could not "Authenticate" me.

A: This means that the server is password protected and the password you defined for the current server is not valid or you did not enter a password at all. Remember, passwords are case sensitive.

  • Client - Network requirements •
When using ventrilo behind a firewall/router it is important that your router allow a connection to be established on the port specified by the server that you are going to connect to. The default port is 3784, however, the person who runs the server you want to connect to can change the port number to what ever they want. You will need to tell Ventrilo what the port number is when you define the server, but you might need to tell your router to "open" this port in order to allow outbound connections. Most routing equipment doesn't need this to be done, but some people do run overly restrictive router configurations that will only allow outbound connections to specific port numbers.

Bandwidth usage will be determined by what codec the server instructs the client program to use. The default configuration for a server is to use the GSM 6.10 codec and sampling at 11Khz. After compression this will consume approximately 3K bytes per second per voice stream.

Using the 3K bytes/sec example this will translate into the following numbers. If you are in a channel (not to be confused with a server) and there are 3 other people in the same channel as you:

One of the other people talking will produce 3K bytes of inbound data.
Two people in the same channel talking will produce 6K bytes of inbound data.
Three people in the same channel talking will produce 9K bytes of inbound data.
And so on....

As you can see the mathematics are very simple.

The outbound traffic coming from you and going to the server will remain constant when ever you are broadcasting. Using the default codec you will produce approximately 3K bytes/sec of outbound data.

If the server administrator chooses a different codec and sample rate then the bandwidth utilization will change as well. It might be higher or lower but only the server admin can control this.

While connected to a server you can click on the "Setup" button and the voice page will show you which codec and sample rate the server has defined. This information is visible in the "Test with" box. Changing these values does not effect which codec you actually use. They are meant for use with the "Test" button so that you can hear how each codec will effect the sound quality of your voice transmissions.

  • Server - Installing •
Once you have downloaded the appropriate server program you can follow these steps to get a default server up and running ASAP.

Windows platform:

1) Download and execute the latest Ventrilo Windows Server. This will create an entry in your Start menu called "VentSrv".

2) From the "VentSrv" menu click the "Ventrilo Server" menu option. This will open a console window application that the server will run in.

This will start the server using default settings which should be more then sufficient for the normal user.

The ventrilo server does not have a GUI interface. All output will occur in the console window.

To change the configuration of the server simply click Start -> VentSrv -> Edit INI file. This will open the server INI configuration file using the Notepad program. Make the necessary changes, save the file and restart the server. The INI file is documented in the "Setup Documentation" menu option.

The server can be started in the background on the NT / 2000 / XP platforms via a service program. First make sure you have the server configured properly and in a usable state as shown above because once you start it as a service you will not see any visual feedback. You need only click on the VentSrv -> Service -> Install menu option once after installing the program. The next time you reboot your computer the server will be automatically started in the background as a Service application.

UNIX platform:

1) Upload the file to the machine that you plan on running the server on. This is only important if the host computer is not the same as the computer you are currently using.

2) Open a terminal window (telnet or OpenSSH) to the host computer that will be running the server.

3) Set your working directory to where ever you want to create the ventrilo directory.

4) Type "mkdir ventrilo"

5) Type "cd ventrilo"

6) Copy the tar.gz file into this new directory.

7) Type "gunzip " followed by the name of the tar.gz file.

8) Type "tar xf " followed by the name of the tar file. (gunzip removed the gz extension).

9) Note: Some platforms allow for combining steps 7 and 8 into a single command by typing "tar zxf " followed by the name of the tar.gz file.

10) Type: "./ventrilo_srv".

This will start the server using default settings which should be more then sufficient for the normal user.

The ventrilo server does not have a GUI interface. All output will occur in the console window. The server can be configured to start automatically when the computer is rebooted. However, this will require root access in order to implement. Please read the "ventrilo_srv.htm" file with a web browser for details.

If you want to change any of the settings then you can issue the following command: "vi ventrilo_srv.ini". This will start the vi editor program and allow you to edit the INI file which defines how the server should operate.

Please read the "ventrilo_srv.htm" file with a web browser for more details about how to configure and tweak the server configuration.

  • Server - Trouble shooting •
Q: The server returns to the command prompt as soon as I start it.

A: If you used the "-d" command line option on a UNIX version of the server then this is normal. See the log file for any indications of problems.

A: The program should give some idea of why it has stopped. If you started it in daemon mode then check the log file for possible indications as to why.

A: If you are trying to run the ventrilo server on a computer that is shared with other users, then it's possible that someone already has a ventrilo server running on the same port that you are trying to use. Edit the INI file and instruct your copy of the server to use a different port number.

Q: I'm running the server behind a firewall/router and no one on the outside can connect to my server.

A: Router's generally do not allow inbound connections from the outside world. However, they can be instructed to do so by a mechanism called "port forwarding", sometimes referred to as "ip forwarding", which allows for incoming connections to a specific port number to be routed to a machine on your internal network and behind the router. It is beyond the scope of this document to instruct you how to configure your router to do these things. You will need to read the instruction manual for your router or call the manufacturer for help.

Q: Clients get an "Unable to authenticate" error message when trying to connect to my server.

A: They do not have the correct server password defined. Have them re-enter the password you gave them. Remember that passwords are case sensitive. So if someone you know likes having the "caps lock" key on make sure they turn it off before entering the password for your server.

Q: I'm trying to run the Linux server on RedHat80 systems and get the error message: connot open shared object file.

When setting up the Operating System you didn't tell it to install everything. You will need to download the library RPM and install it with the following commands.

Click here to download the RPM.

rpm -i compat-libstdc++-7.3-2.96.110.i386.rpm

See the FAQ's page for more questions and answers.

  • Server - Network requirements •

The server requires more bandwidth then the clients do. The bandwidth that gets used is determined by the codec and sample rate as selected by the server administrator. The following examples assume that the server is configured to use the default GSM 6.10 codec at 11KHz sample rate. This will use approximately 3K bytes per second of bandwidth for each active voice stream.

4 people on the same server.
All 4 are in the same channel.
1 Person talking.

= 3K bytes/sec of inbound data.
= 9K bytes/sec of outbound data.

4 people on the same server.
All 4 are in the same channel.
2 people talking.

= 6K bytes/sec of inbound data.
= 18K bytes/sec of outbound data.

As you can see the mathematics are very simple. The more people in the same channel equates to the more bandwidth consumed, and it gets worse if more then one person is talking. This also places a greater burden on the clients as well if more then one person in the same channel is talking, which is one of the primary reasons that dial-up users won't care to much for the GSM codec.

As mentioned, these numbers are for the GSM codec. Instructing the server to use a different codec (which all clients will be forced to use) will effect how much bandwidth is consumed. To see a list of currently supported codec's you can issue the following in a command prompt window and the server will display a list of supported codec's and associated formats. See the "ventrilo_srv.htm" for more details.

ventrilo_srv -?

  • Web Links •

Web links are a mechanism that allows for creating a link similar to a standard web URL, but when someone clicks on it instead of making the browser go to a different web page the browser will start up the Ventrilo client and the link will provide details about the server, port number, server name, server password, channel name and channel password. This feature can be very handy when you want to make information about your server available on your web page, and is a nice convenience so that people will not need to type all of the information into the Ventrilo client.

The following is an example of what a Ventrilo web link will look like.


This link would instruct the browser to start Ventrilo, create a server definition named "MyServer", assign the port number to "3784" and set the hostname to ""

There are other options that can be appended to the link. Options are separated by the '&' character. The following is a complete list of the currently supported options.

servername= (This is the name that would show up in the clients server list).

serverpassword= (Server password if required)

channelname= (The default channel if required)

channelpassword= (The default channels password if required)

Here's an example of combining the server name and server password into the same link:


Please note that if you include a server or channel password into the link and then post the link in a public location then the password will be visible to everyone.

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Ventrilo is a Trademark of LightSpeed Gaming LLC.