Creating Your Own Minecraft Server


Multicraft Screenshot

Are you looking to create your own private Minecraft server for you and your friends but don’t want to rent a ready-to-go solution?

This guide I have put together lists the 2 main ways that you can do that using a Windows operating system or a Linux one.

If you would like to avoid having to go through this complex process and get a ready to go Minecraft server in minutes for only dollars per month then check out my list of providers on the home page.

I sort by the cheapest Minecraft hosting providers so you can find the best deal you can to get you gaming for as little money as possible per month.

Before We Start

Lets cover the risks you need to be aware of before we start. Remember to double check everything you are doing in order to avoid any problems.

Dangers to your system

Editing files on your computer can always present risks, be sure you are editing something that won’t lead to a catastrophic disaster rendering your computer useless.

Dangers from outside of your network

By opening up your routers ports to the outside world you could be inviting in traffic that isn’t purely interested in playing Minecraft. Dangerous individuals run a port scan to check for possible holes into your home network that they can then take advantage of and use as a way in.

How We Will Create A Minecraft Server

The general idea behind setting up a Minecraft server on a computer or server is the same for either Windows or Linux.

The biggest difference between the two operating systems is that one will be done by desktop click and drag and the other purely command line.

The 5 steps we need to perform on both operating systems

I break down the process below, then further down the page you will find the full explanation for both methods explained in further detail.

1. Java

We will make sure that we have the latest Java version running on the computer/server. This is how the computer understands the server code and turns it into the Minecraft server logic that we interact with.

2. Minecraft Server Files

We will need the latest Minecraft server files on the machine stored in a folder that is easily accessible and kept away from other programs to avoid conflicts.

3. Unpack The Server & Run For First Time

Doing a dry run with the server files causes it to unpack the files it needs to run and auto-update ready for when we launch it for real.

4. Ensure The Game Server Can See The Outside World

Unlocking the correct ports on your router will allow traffic to come from the outside world and interact with your Minecraft server.

5. Launch The Server For Real & Invite Players In

Now everything is in place we will launch the server properly and invite friends in using the external IP address.

Setting Up A Minecraft Server (Microsoft Windows)

For those who have a spare Windows computer lying around or the money to pay for a premium dedicated server with that operating system included here is the guide to setting up a Minecraft server.

Windows Server Desktop

For Windows, it is a lot easier to get your head around the GUI (graphical user interface) and minimal amount of command line work that is needed. The big downside is that you have to either pay a large price for a Windows operating system or a higher amount per month if renting.

1.Start with Java

You start by getting the latest Java from the official site here, after downloading it you need to install it like any other program you would install.

If you already have it installed then a simpler option would be to open your Start menu and then find the folder for Java and click the option underneath that finds the update for you.

2. Create a folder for your server and download the latest files

Choose an easy to find folder on your computer to keep the server files. I usually create a folder on the desktop so its close to hand.

Minecraft Server Folder

Now that you have your chosen folder open, download and add to it the official Minecraft server files.

3. Unpack the server .jar file and run for the first time

With the Minecraft server .jar file in the folder you want it to be double click it to launch, it should now start unpacking files and adding them to its parent folder.

Possible error: if you get an error “Can’t save server properties” will you need to launch the file again but this time with administrator rights (right click and choose that option rather than double click)

Java Server Download Info

You will need to accept the EULA set by Mojang/Microsoft. To do this open up the new file eula.txt that has appeared and change the line that states you do not accept it to be true.

4. Make sure that your Minecraft server can see the outside world

To allow your Minecraft server to see the outside world you need to open up the TCP port 25565 using your router. This will be how the server communicates with the world outside it while blocking all other traffic that could be dangerous.

Obviously if you are hosting a server for people directly on your own network then you don’t need to do this.

To do this, refer to your routers own manual as all makes and models will be different.

5. Launch the server for real

Launching the Minecraft server for real isn’t as easy as double clicking it unfortunately, you need to launch it from Command Prompt.

Go to your Start menu and launch Command Prompt, while noting the file location of the .jar file that you launched in step 3.

Command Prompt

Now run the following command but replace {server_file_location} with the file/directory you noted above.

java -Xmx512M -Xms512M -jar {server_file_location} nogui

If the server starts and you completed step 4 (if applicable) then you should be ready to go. You just need to give friends your external IP address or you internal one if staying on your own network.

Setting Up A Minecraft Server (Linux)

For a cheaper solution you could opt for a Linux dedicated or virtual private server. This was is a bit trickier as Linux isn’t known for being quick and easy to pick up and use, it requires some command-line knowledge.

1.Start with Java

In order to make sure you have the latest Java on your Linux machine connect through SSH and run the following command:

apt-cache search openjdk

Then update the Java version list:
apt-get update

Actually update your version to the latest:
apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

Now when prompted to install make sure you press Y and send that command.

Once complete, you can check to see your latest version with this command:
java -version

2. Create a folder for your server and download the latest files

You now want to create a folder for the Minecraft server to live in, once you activate it for the first time it creates a bunch of files that it is dependant on around it.

To make a directory through SSH:
mkdir MineraftServerFolder
cd MineraftServerFolder

You should still be within the new Minecraft server folder you have created and ready to download the server files into it, which you can do using the following command:
wget -O minecraft_server.jar https://s3.amazonaws.com/Minecraft.Download/versions/1.16.2/minecraft_server.1.16.2.jar

For the latest URL to download the Minecraft .jar file from see this page.

3. Unpack the server .jar file and run for the first time

Next up you need to install “screen” so that you can run your new server without having to be connected 24/7. Run the following command to make that happen:
yum install screen
screen

Now while you are still within your chosen folder you need to start the server, changing the numbers to represent the limit on memory allowed:

java -Xmx512M -Xms512M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Then lets make sure everything is connected properly and test the STOP function, run the following command:

stop

Now you need to edit a file within that server folder named “server.properties” and change the line that contains “enable-query=false” and set it to “enable-query=true“.

Now save that file and restart the server, you should be now able to connect to it using an IP address.

4. Make sure that your Minecraft server can see the outside world

This will be dependant on your Linux version and i’m not going to write a guide on opening ports for that operating system.

You can find a guide to that here though if you don’t know what to do.

5. Launch the server for real

Using the same method you used in step 3, you can launch and stop your Linux Minecraft server.