PennMUSH Home Page

Welcome to the home page for the PennMUSH mud server, a freely available (Artistic License) package.

What is a mud?

A mud ("multi-user dungeon") is a form of textual virtual reality program. A mud server is a computer program which maintains a world database containing players, objects, rooms, exits, and programs. People connect to the mud server by using the telnet command or a dedicated mud client, and take on characters in the virtual world, interacting with other players from around the (real) world. Common activities include game playing, role-playing, socializing, world-building, etc. These servers have also been used for education, research, and artistic endeavors.

An example is M*U*S*H, a mud for people to socialize and build pretty things.

What is a MUSH?

A MUSH ("multi-user shared hallucination") is a type of mud which is often used for social and role-playing activities. It is derived from "Tinymud", an early mud server. Its distinguishing features are that any player can typically extend the virtual world by building new rooms and objects, and its internal programming language, MUSHcode, which is considered to be fairly easy to learn.

What is PennMUSH?

There are a number of flavors of MUSH server freely available to those who want to run their own MUSHes:

TinyMUSH uses a disk-based database, while PennMUSH keeps its database in the computer's memory (TinyMUX can do either). This makes PennMUSH suitable for computers which have plenty of memory or little disk space. From a user standpoint they offer many similar features and a very similar command parser.

How can I get PennMUSH?

PennMUSH is being actively developed, and the latest version and any patches at our Google Code page or at The latter has many other MUSH-related downloads available as well. The adventurous can track the development version that will become the next release via the subversion source control system. See the Google Code page for details.

How about a Windows or Mac port?


PennMUSH can be built on Win32 operating systems (Windows 2k/XP/etc.). To build it, you need to be able to ungzip and untar the source code (WinZip, WinRar, 7Zip and most common archival applications are capable of doing this), and compile it. Instructions are included in the source tarball for compiling PennMUSH using the Microsoft Visual C++ (win32/README.txt) and MinGW + MSys (win32/README.mingw) compiling environments. The cygwin toolkit may also be used in much the same way as MinGW + MSys. Both Mingw/MSys and Cygwin provide a UNIX-like environment for building and running the mush, which may assist in transitioning to a Linux host for production games.

There are also precompiled binary packages available. They provide the most common compile time configurations for quick and easy usage. These are often simplest for users who wish to have a private mush to learn, experiment with, and test mushcode without the expense of paying for linux based hosting. However, they tend to lag behind the current released version.

Support for PennMUSH on Win32 systems can be had by emailing issues or questions to to ensure they are reaching the current Win32 support team. Some documentation and information may be found on the PennMUSH FAQ-o-matic.


Mac OS X is a flavor of BSD Unix, and PennMUSH builds out of the box on it once the Xcode development tools are installed. Older versions of Macintosh OS are not supported.

Where can I get help with PennMUSH?

You should be aware that most support is only available to "vanilla" installations of PennMUSH — if you compile in a space system or other code, the developers are unlikely to provide support, because it would be too costly a use of our time (sorry). That said, here's a list of resources:

When reporting a problem, please always include the following information:

  1. PennMUSH version number
  2. The type of machine and operating system you're using.
  3. Whether or not you have made any changes to the code.
  4. If possible, a minimimal test case that allows others to duplicate the issue.

If the problem resulted in a crash and a core dump, a stack trace of the core dump should also be included.

PennMUSH Translation Project.

See to learn how you can help translate PennMUSH to other languages!

What are the terms of the license under which I can use PennMUSH?

PennMUSH is a copyrighted piece of software. As of version 1.7.6 and later, it is released under the terms of the Artistic License, an OSI-compliant Free Software license.

In brief, in return for permission to use the software, you agree to:

This brief description is not a substitute for the full license. The PennMUSH license can be read in full here.

How can I hear about updates?

If you want to see what's coming before it's released, the beta test site for new development versions of PennMUSH is M*U*S*H ( 4201). Note that this is a production game (a social MUSH) so unconstructive intrusion is unwelcome, but it would enjoy having you involved as a player. :)

New releases are announced there, on the community portal, and as new featured downloads on the Google Code site.

Can you host my MUSH?

There are several fine commercial services that host MUSH servers. We do not provide MUSH hosting services. However, Javelin does run the M*U*S*H Architect-in-Residence program, a competitive program that can provide a year of free development hosting to qualifying new MUSH creators. See that link for details.

Can I have a hostname?

Yes! Although we don't provide sites or accounts on which to run a MUSH, if you already have your MUSH up somewhere, we can provide you with a friendly hostname in the domain (e.g. that points to your current server address. (If what you need is a hosting provider, check out the or newsgroups where providers regularly post advertisements).

For information, please email Walker at

Funding for the initial DNS registration was provided by:

Without them, we wouldn't be here. Funding for registration renewal until 2006 has come from Javelin, with Noltar and Walker continuing to support the domain after Javelin's retirement.

How did you create that cool logo?

With Net-Fu, a terrific tool by folks at UC Berkeley, Javelin's alma mater, now accessible at