How to set up a Minecraft server - Heart Internet Blog - Focusing on all aspects of the web

Minecraft has sold over 144 million copies as of early 2018, making it the second best-selling video game of all time, behind Tetris.

Why is it so popular? Because it’s not just a video game. It’s an educational tool that teaches kids how to code, how to solve problems and how to exercise creativity. And it’s also an open platform to be expanded by mod developers.

If you’re new to the game, go and buy the game and start playing. But if you want to enjoy the full Minecraft experience, you’ll need to set up your own private Minecraft server.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to setting up your very own Minecraft server on Windows, Mac and Linux. If you already have game server hosting from us, you can use these steps to set up your server and start playing.

How to set up a Minecraft server on Windows, Mac, or Linux

At the very core, these are the steps you’ll need to follow to set up a Minecraft server:

  1. Update to the latest version of Java
  2. Choose a location for your server
  3. Download the Minecraft server software
  4. Start the Minecraft server
  5. Check to ensure that your server is accessible

Consider your options

If you want to run a Minecraft server from home, make sure you have a powerful system that allows it to run smoothly.

If, for security reasons or any other reason, you don’t want to host your server at home, you can use a game server hosting provider instead. A Virtual Private Server from Heart Internet is a good choice as it keeps you from exposing your home network to the world, while saving you the hassle of managing server hardware.

Let’s get started!

Setting up a Minecraft server on Windows

Setting up a Minecraft server on Windows

Get the latest version of Java

Since Minecraft is a Java-based game, the first step is to make sure you have the latest version of Java. So go to java.com/en/download and download and install the latest version of Java.

Choose a location for your Minecraft server files

Next, you’ll need to choose the location where you’d like to set up and run the server from. To keep everything organised, we recommend creating a dedicated folder to store all these files.

Download the Minecraft server software

Once you’ve chosen a location, go ahead and download the latest Minecraft server setup software from the official site.

This will download as a .jar file. Move it to the location you chose in step two and double-click it to start the server.

You will also need to accept the EULA agreement. You can do that by editing the eula.txt file and changing eula=false to eula=true.

Start the server

Now you’re ready to start the Minecraft server.

Go to the Minecraft server folder where you installed the server files and initiate the server by executing this command:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Another option is to double-click the .jar file again to start the server. In this case, you might need to allow the Minecraft server through the firewall.

That’s it. Now that your server is running, you can start inviting people to connect to your server via your local IP address or via your external/ public IP address.

Check to ensure that your server is accessible

Enter your IP address into the Minecraft Server Status Checker to check if your server is accessible.

Setting up a Minecraft server on Mac

Setting up a Minecraft server on Mac

Install or update Java

Java is included by default if you’re using a newer version of MacOS. If you’re using an older version, you may need to download and install a legacy Java version from the Apple website.

Choose a location for your Minecraft server files

Create a dedicated folder for all your Minecraft server files so everything is organised and easy to find.

Download the Minecraft server software

Download the Minecraft server setup software from the official website.

This downloads as a .jar file, which you should save in the location you chose in the previous step.

Next, open TextEdit and set the format to plain text. Copy and paste the following into the file:

#!/bin/bash

cd "$(dirname "$0")"

exec java -Xms1024M -Xmx1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Save the file as start.command in the same folder where the other Minecraft server setup files are located.

To make it work, you’ll need to grant permission.

Open the Terminal and type chmod a+x with a space after the command. Now simply drag and drop the start.command file into the terminal window and press enter.

Start the server

Double-click the start.command file and a new terminal window will open.

If you’re running the server for the first time, you’ll probably get a few error messages and/ or missing file warnings. This is normal so it’s nothing to be alarmed about.

There you go! Now your server is running which means you can start inviting people to connect to it via your local IP address or via your external/ public IP address.

Check to ensure that your server is accessible

Don’t forget to enter your IP address into the Minecraft Server Status Checker to check if your server is accessible.

Setting up a Minecraft server in Linux

Setting up a Minecraft server on Linux

As mentioned before, if you don’t want to take on the risks or the hassle of hosting a server at home, you can always get a game server hosting plan like the VPS from Heart Internet.

For these next steps, you’ll need to connect to your hosting with SSH. This support article explains the steps if you’re not familiar with the process.

Download and install Java

While SSH’d into your host as the root user, enter the following command:

apt-cache search openjdk

This will return a list with the available OpenJDK packages that can install Java. Let’s select openjdk-7-jdk, which is the OpenJDK 7 Development Kit.

Use the following command to update the list of packages from the remote repositories:

apt-get update

Next, install the selected software package:

apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

Now simply press “Y” to authorise the required storage space for installation.

Choose a location for your Minecraft server files

Create a new folder on your host where you’d like to save all your Minecraft server files. Then go to that folder.

mkdir minecraft

cd minecraft

Download the Minecraft server software

Run the wget command to download the Minecraft server files:

wget -O minecraft_server.jar https://s3.amazonaws.com/Minecraft.Download/versions/1.12.2/minecraft_server.1.12.2.jar

Install and run “screen” so that your server continues to run even when you’re not connected:

yum install screen

screen

Start the server

Start the server using the following command:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.13.1.jar nogui

Check to ensure that your server is accessible

Enter your IP address into the Minecraft Server Status Checker to check if your server is accessible.

There you have it: the key steps to setting up a Minecraft server on Windows, Mac and Linux.

And if you want to dig deeper, these in-depth guides are very useful:

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