Jun 30, 2020: Minecraft player in front of a portal holding a sword in his arm
Image: Wirestock/Adobe Stock

The Minecraft craze started back in 2009, and although it may not remain at the top of everyone’s mind, it still holds some sway. Even now it’s one of the most popular video games in history. But it’s not just about fun and games: Installing a Minecraft server allows you to bring the fun to your LAN, and it’s also a great exercise in teaching new admins how to work with Linux.

SEE: 20 good habits network administrators need–and 10 habits to break (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

I want to walk you through the procedure of installing a Minecraft server on Ubuntu Server 22.04 so you can test the mettle of your young Linux admins and give your staff the ability to blow off some steam while not leaving the confines of your local network.

What you’ll need

To follow along, you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu Server 22.04 and a user with sudo privileges. That’s it.

How to install the dependencies

Minecraft has a few dependencies to take care of. One of the biggest is Java. Before we install Java, let’s take care of a few other, more standard dependencies with the command:

sudo apt-get install lib32gcc-s1 lib32stdc++6 libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 netcat screen -y

When that completes, we can now install Java. The thing about Minecraft is that it requires a much more recent version of Java than found in the standard repository. To get around that, we’ll first add the correct repo with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openjdk-r/ppa

Next, update apt with:

sudo apt-get update

We can now install OpenJDK 17 with:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-17-jre-headless -y

How to open the firewall

If you’re running Uncomplicated Firewall, which you should be, it’s necessary to open a specific port with the command:

sudo ufw allow 25565

How to install Minecraft

Before we download and run the installer, we’ll create a new user with:

sudo adduser mcserver

Make sure to give the new user a strong and unique password. Once you’ve taken care of that, change into the new user with:

su - mcserver

We’re going to download the installer from Linux Game Server Manager with:

wget -O linuxgsm.sh https://linuxgsm.sh

Give the new file executable permissions with:

chmod +x linuxgsm.sh

Make the linuxgsm.sh file aware to Bash as mcserver with:

bash linuxgsm.sh mcserver

Finally, run the installer with:

~/mcserver install

How to configure the server

After the installation completes, we need to make a simple configuration change before starting the server. Open the config file with:

sudo nano serverfiles/server.properties

In that file, look for the line:


Change the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx to reflect the actual IP address of the hosting server.

Save and close the file.

How to start the server

Finally, it’s time to start the server. For that, issue the command:

~/mcserver start

Your Minecraft server should now be up and running and ready for players to connect. The one caveat is that players cannot connect to this server with the official Microsoft version of Minecraft. Instead, they must use the Java version of the game, which is not free, to play Multiplayer and connect to the local server.

One tip — you can check on the status of the Minecraft server with the command:

~/mcserver monitor

You should see output similar to the following (indicating all is well):

Monitoring mcserver: Checking session: OK
Monitoring mcserver: Querying port: gsquery: : 0/1:   OK
Monitoring mcserver: Querying port: gsquery: : 0/1: OK

And that, my Linux admin friends, is how you install a Minecraft server to an instance of Ubuntu Server 22.04 on your LAN. Happy gaming!

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