Installing and Running a Minecraft Server on A VPS Server

It’s actually much easier than I thought.

Simply spin up a VPS from a hosting provider of your choice, and follow the following steps. Note that I use Ubuntu as the version of Linux because that’s what I am more familiar with. If you are familiar with others, the steps should be the same.

Prepare the system

First, add the Java repository to the system.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/java

Then update your system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Now let’s install the latest Java.

sudo apt install openjdk-16-jre

And that’s pretty much it to get your system ready to run Minecraft.

Minecraft time

To make things clean, you can create a subfolder just for Minecraft and download

mkdir minecraft
cd minecraft

Now head over Minecraft Server download page to find the URL for the latest version, and copy it to the clipboard for the wget command to download it.

wget https://launcher.mojang.com/v1/objects/a16d67e5807f57fc4e550299cf20226194497dc2/server.jar

Note that this is to download version 1.17.1. The URL may differ if the version is different.

Rename the package to match the version so you don’t get confused later on.

mv server.jar minecraft_server_1.17.1.jar

Time to rock.

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.17.1.jar nogui

Ooops…if this is the first time you run it, you will most likely get an error saying that you have to agree on the end-user agreement. Let’s bypass it.

nano eula.txt

And replace the False word with the word “True”. Save it, get it out, and run it again.

You should be in.

Now let’s connect your Minecraft game to the new server.

A few notes

First, the launch line defaults to use 1GB of RAM for the game. That’s good enough for 3 to 4 people enjoying the game. Any more, you will need to increase that number.

If your VPS only has 2GB of RAM, the server will likely crash when the number of people online reaches 5 or 6. Time to upgrade to the next tier. Then, adjust the -Xmx parameter to allow the game to use more RAM. For example,

java -Xmx4GB -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.17.1.jar nogui

Then, if you need to shut down the server for now, you may think about backing up your game data for the future. All data are stored in a folder called World, or the level name you have set up in the server.properties file. Back up that folder and restore it to another server later on when you are ready to resume the game.

Since it needs to be run continuously, it’s recommended to run it under a screen session that doesn’t close.

Simply type screen to open a new session. And then launch the Minecraft server in it.

To get out of the session, press Ctrl + A + D.

To list all available sessions, run

screen -list

To re-enter a running session,

screen -r #session

To completely close a session, type exit.

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