Before reading this, please note that Parsec has a quick launch functionality built into the application for AWS machines. This one-click set up is much easier, but for those who want to manage their own servers, here's how to set up our AMI.
Parsec runs on g2.2xlarge and g3.4xlarge instances that you can rent directly from Amazon Web Services. Our AMI is published there. We recommend using our Windows Server 2016 AMI.
You can run Parsec on any cloud provider with GPU instances. For the most complete integration, please follow the instructions below for AWS. For Microsoft Azure, check out this guide. If you're less technical and want to set up a cloud gaming PC, we recommend Paperspace.
LAUNCH INSTRUCTIONS FOR AWS
- Before you begin, make sure the Parsec Client is installed on your computer.
- From the AWS EC2 Console, select Instances then Launch Instance. Make sure you are in the AWS region closest to you.
- When prompted to select an AMI, choose Community AMIs, then search for parsec and use the one with the highest version number.
- Choose GPU instances->g2.2xlarge or g3.4xlarge as the instance type. This may require requesting a limit increase on this type of instance. It usually takes about 1 day for AWS to increase the limit to 1.
- On the Configure Instance Details page, scroll down to the Advanced Details section. Paste your configuration settings from this page in the User data text area.
- On the Add Storage page, specify the size of the root drive (C:\). The default is 30 GB.
- When configuring your Security Group, make sure ports 8000-8011 TCP and UDP are open.
- Just before launch, make sure to proceed without a key pair when prompted so the server automatically logs in.
- The server usually takes about 4-6 minutes to appear on the Play page. During initial usage, disk access can be slow, probably due to some copy-on-write logic with AWS block storage—it should speed up over time.
- Please remember the g2.2xlarge instances are very expensive on an hourly basis. You should shut down your AWS instances when you're done. Save your drive when spinning it down. You will have to pay for this storage. Also, one of Parsec user created a Terraform project in Github to make this process easier.
START GAMES IN WINDOWED MODE
Parsec can only access content in Windows when the program is in windowed mode (or "Fullscreen windowed" mode). If you install games, make sure to start them in windowed mode before you run them or Parsec will not be able to capture video. Here's how to do it with Steam.
BACKUP - USE VNC
The Parsec AMI comes pre-installed with VNC for troubleshooting purposes. VNC runs with elevated privileges and is able to function in certain situations where Parsec cannot. VNC uses port 5900, and has a default password of 4ubg9sde. Make sure to only allow connections to port 5900 from your IP, and change the default password immediately on login — please do these two things. It’s a major security risk if you don’t.