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Up to the current version, Lobby was prepared to run on Linux/amd64 and Linux/arm64 systems.


The Kernel must have the nf_tables module loaded or available to be loaded given that Lobby uses nftables to orchestrate the load balancing.

IPv4 and IPv6 forwarding must also be enabled through the kernel parameters. In most Linux systems sysctl can be used to check and enable/disable IP forwarding. Check here, for instance, in case you need help with regards to managing IP forwarding in your systems.


The Lobby binary must have the NET_ADMIN and NET_RAW linux capabilities set to Permitted and Effective.

In most systems this can be achieved with the following command executed by the root user:

setcap 'cap_net_admin,cap_net_raw+ep' /path/to/lobby

Also ensure that the binary can (only?) be executed by the appropriate user and group with chown and chmod.


Pre-built binaries are available here and are named:

  • for linux/amd64 systems: lobby-linux-amd64
  • for linux/arm64 systems: lobby-linux-arm64

As an alternative to direct binaries, the releases also include scripts to download the binary and a demo configuration file.

The binary can be located anywhere, but consider placing it named lobby in one of your $PATH directories such as /usr/local/bin or /usr/bin.

Lobby has its load balancing rules set through a config file. Lobby will look for a config file named lobby.conf in its local directory and if not found in its local directory, it will then try to open it from /etc/lobby/lobby.conf. If you've placed Lobby in one of your $PATH directories, then place the configuration file in /etc/lobby/lobby.conf. It is also possible to specify the config file with the -c flag such as lobby -c /path/to/config/file.yaml.

Building from Source

The Lobby source code is publicly available at Github.

In order to build from source, make sure you have the go environment set up and then simply clone the repo and use make build from within the repo directory.

There's a tutorial here.


Lobby containers are published on docker hub.

The containers have been built with "Distroless" images. Therefore, it will not possible to run anything else other than Lobby on those containers.


Before using the examples below, please make sure to run the commands from a directory in which the Lobby configuration file lobby.conf exists and contains valid configuration.

Otherwise, adjust the commands accordingly.

This demo configuration could be used for test purposes.

In order to run Lobby on docker while using a separate network namespace for the container and exposing locally some of the ports consider the command below:

docker run -d \
  --name lobby  \
  --cap-add=NET_ADMIN --cap-add=NET_RAW \
  -v $(pwd)/lobby.conf:/lobby/lobby.conf \
  -p 8081:8081 -p 8082:8082 \

The -d flag runs the container in dettached mode.

The name flag sets the container name.

The --cap-add provides the NET_ADMIN and NET_RAW linux capabilites to the container processes.

The -v flag mounts the local ./lobby.conf config file in the container on the /lobby/lobby.conf path.

The -p flag is used to map a local port to a port within the container.

ipbuff/lobby:latest uses the latest image for the ipbuff/lobby container hosted on docker hub.


This method whilst it might be convenient, it is potentially a non-optimal setup for production environments as docker sets up a NAT rule to get the traffic from the local port to the container address and port. This adds extra computation when compared to other options. Additionally, it also complicates on how to expose additional ports as result of configuration changes.


Running Lobby as a systemd requires setting the lobby service file in /etc/systemd/system/.

Here's a sample systemd service file which can be used after replacing the User, WorkingDirectory and ExecStart parameters :

Description=Lobby Load Balancer

User={{ username }}
ExecStop=/bin/kill -s SIGINT $MAINPID
ExecReload=/bin/kill -s SIGHUP $MAINPID


Make sure that if the user is not set to root, the lobby binary has the required Linux capabilities.

Once the /etc/systemd/system/lobby.service file is created, consider setting it with the appropriate ownership and permissions. If unsure, use:

chown root:root /etc/systemd/system/lobby.service
chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/lobby.service

And then finally reload the systemd config with:

systemctl daemon-reload

The lobby service then can be enabled with:

systemctl start lobby

And it should be enabled in case you wish it to start every time the system boots:

systemctl enable lobby

In order to stop Lobby:

systemctl stop lobby

It is possible to refresh the Lobby configuration after editing the config file with:

systemctl reload lobby

There's a script which helps with the Lobby systemd service setup. Its usage is documented in the tutorials.