Introduction: Installing Zork and the Zmachine on Your Web Server.

About: Bytesize articles instead of a trilogy in one post.

Zork like may other games from the old days,  you use your imagination when playing games. What is really neat about the old text based games is that there are a zillion of them Most of them are free. This is probably one of the easiest pieces of software to install on a web server.One of the reasons, I did this was so a friend who loves to play games on his Android device did not have to pay for an APP(lication) from the app store. He just used a vpn to the server with the web app and not plays the zmachine games all the time on his way to and from work while riding public transportation. Certainly you could do the same thing with the Ipad or the Surface.

Step 1: Whats Needed.

Web server of course. (We have only tested it wiith apache2.)
A java based zmachine.such as zplet.jar..
the story file zork1.z5
and the html loader file as show below.

<title>Zplet: Zork I: The Great Underground Empire</title>
<applet archive="zplet.jar" code="Zplet.class" width=512 height=387>
<param name="Foreground" value="white">
<param name="Background" value="black">
<param name="StatusForeground" value="black">
<param name="StatusBackground" value="white">
<param name="StoryFile" value="zork1.z3">
Please note that SAVE and RESTORE may not available due to
applet security restrictions.  Leaving this page may or may
not restart the game depending on the behavior of your browser.

Note: you can change the colors to make it easier on your eyes.

Step 2: Setting Up the Server.

On an apache2 web server You just need to use admin rights to create a directory under the web tree and then copy the files there. You do not want to copy the files to the web root as it will get crowded and may interfere with other applications.

under /var/www/

$ sudo mkdir zm

copy the files to that directory zplet.jar, zork1.html, and zork1.z5

$ cd zm

$ sudo [thefiles from wherever they are at]  /var/www/zm/. 

On to the next step.

Step 3: Testing

You will go to your web browser in the url  type in thehttp://servername/zm/zork1.html

If all goes well you should get to the game. If not go back and check your work.

Note: You will need to have some kind of java installed on the client machine including a type of iced tea plugin.

Step 4: Menus.

You probably do not want to have to remember all the directories so you can use the main menu of the web server to get you to a page where all you have to do is press a button to get to the program.

<form ACTION="../zm/zork1.html" method="post">
    <input type="submit" value="Zork1">

Step 5: Aah.... Game Time.

The screen is perfect for touchpads and tablets. so kick back with the keyboard and have fun.

Step 6:

Step 7: Setup Other Adventures.

You can get other adventures from

You will have to expand the zip file to see what ones you can use. Be sure modify the html file to use the correct name. We renamed ours from hhgttg_59.z3 to hhgg.z3 to make coding changes easier. You can still use the same ziplet.jar file.