How to run your own Minecraft Server

How to run your own Minecraft Server


Minecraft is the perfect game to play with your family and friends this holiday season. And what better way to connect with your family and friends than building your own Minecraft server - it’s so easy even your kids can help. In this post, I will take you through the step-by-step instructions on how to set up a dedicated Minecraft server on Amazon Lightsail. I promise, it's a lot easier and cheaper than you think!

1) Launch your Lightsail Instance

Open the Lightsail Console and click “Create Instance”.

This is what you should see when you first enter the Lightsail console

Select the closest region to you so that you have good latency when playing:

Choose a region close to you for lower latency.

Select Ubuntu and the $5/month instance plan:

The $3.50 Instance type is enough for a small server with a few friends, but if you expect to build a large world with more players, consider choosing a more powerful instance.

Double-check everything and then click “Create Instance”

2) Configure & Connect to your Server

Once your server is ready, select it, click the “Networking” tab, and add a firewall rule to allow port 25565 (this is the default port used by the Minecraft network protocol).

Open port 25565 to enable Minecraft clients to connect to the server

Now connect to your Lightsail instance using the “Connect using SSH” button under the connect tab:

You can SSH to Lightsail instances from your browser

This will open a browser popup with a browser window for you to run commands on your Lightsail instance. Once connected, run:

sudo apt -y update && sudo apt -y install default-jre screen
Update the server and install the Java Runtime

3) Install and run Minecraft Server

# screen will keep running Minecraft after we disconnect SSH

# Create a directory to hold the Minecraft files:
sudo mkdir /usr/games/minecraft
cd /usr/games/minecaft

# Visit 
# Download the server jar file
sudo wget -O mcserver.jar

# Run the minecraft server:
sudo java -Xmx1G -Xms1G -jar mcserver.jar nogui

The first time you try to start the Minecraft server, it will display an error indicating that you must accept the EULA:

Accept the EULA before continuing.

In order to accept the EULA, we need to write “eula=true” to the contents of eula.txt, but since this file is owned by root, we need to change ownership first:

# change ownership of eula.txt
sudo chown ubuntu eula.txt

# accept the EULA
echo “eula=true” > eula.txt

# re-run the Minecraft server command
sudo java -Xmx1G -Xms1G -jar mcserver.jar nogui

Monitor the console for any errors. If everything goes well, here’s what you should see:

If there are any errors launching the server, you’ll also see them here.

Once the Minecraft server is up and running, if you need to run other commands in your SSH session without stopping the server, exit screen by pressing “CTRL+A” and then “d”.

Next time you connect to your Lightsail instance, you’ll be greeted with an empty bash prompt. Don’t worry, your server is probably running within a screen session. To list the active screen sessions, run “screen -ls”. In the output, each line begins with the ID of the session. If you only have a single screen session, you can connect to it by running “screen -r”. If there are multiple sessions, you will need to run “screen -r <ID>” where ID is the session ID.

4) Connect your Minecraft Client

In the Lightsail console, note the IP Address of you server. Launch the Minecraft client and enter the IP address in the Multiplayer/server:

Enter the IP address of your private Minecraft server

If you have trouble adding your server, double check the IP address and make sure port 25565 is open in Step 1.

Now you can share your server IP Address with your friends and family and enjoy a fast, reliable private Minecraft Server!

5) Cleanup

When you’re done with your Minecraft server for good, remember to shut it down to avoid paying ongoing fees for your instance.

To shut down your instance, select "Delete" from the Instances tab.
To shut down your instance, select "Delete" from the Instances tab. 

6) Bells and Whistles

Here are some ideas if you want to take your Minecraft server administration to the next level:

Run the MC server as a service using Systemd

Use a custom domain