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My Raspberry Pi 2 Minecraft server

Almost three years ago when I first set up a Minecraft server for the kids (and never wrote more about it as I had originally intended to do), I imagined it becoming a frequent haunt for the kids and their friends and cousins to build stuff together. I didn't realize that the lure of real minecraft gaming servers would soon make our private server an empty wasteland. minecraftEventually my kids and their friends were no longer meeting up on our server to build houses and mess around with World Edit but were instead playing PVP on servers with hundreds of other kids they didn't know. I had no intention of putting in the kind of effort that running a Hunger Games or Parkour server would require, but after the year or so of good use it had gotten I liked the idea of keeping the server running to preserve those things the kids (and I) had created.

Some history about custom Minecraft servers When I first set up the Minecraft server in 2013 I chose to use a software called CraftBukkit to do so. Minecraft, at the time was owned by its creator and his company Mojang. CraftBukkit was an independently developed open source server modification software that depended on the vanilla Minecraft software. CraftBukkit made it possible to run lots of cool plugins built with Bukkit (the development API) on your server that you couldn't use otherwise. Although Mojang had purchased Bukkit (the server API software) 2 to 3 years prior, they had not purchased CraftBukkit and so didn't own that software. When Mojang sold to Microsoft in September, 2014 (about a year after I set up my server) it caused shockwaves through the Minecraft universe of independent developers. Minecraft's popularity was arguably due largely to the work of these indy devs who had created game servers with the open source server software which was popularized by players on youtube. These server softwares made running a minecraft server easy, and provided a means for admins (called "OPs" from the word "Operators") to moderate the game, kicking or banning users, control it, shut it down or restart it, and opened the door for a plethora of independent plugins that grew to provide a way to do a huge number of things in the game that the vanilla software from Mojang, then Microsoft, did not do. There was some anger from folks who saw the Mojang guys profiting wildly for a software that was popular (they believed) mostly because of open source efforts, and when CraftBukkit got shut down, it wasn't because of any action by Microsoft (they didn't have a claim on it), but by one of the CraftBukkit devs themselves! It appears that some of this has been worked through now and Spigot server, a fork of CraftBukkit is alive and well and providing tools to make running a custom server as easy and awesome as it ever was.

My first servers When I had first set up the server, I ran it under the radar at work on real hardware with a fat network connection, but after some time the resources it ate up could no longer be justified and I decided to pull the plug on it. I was able to back up the worlds and get them running again using msm [minecraft server manager] on a small Intel NUC which I had connected to my TV in the living room, but that machine is rarely on and when it is, one of the kids is usually using it to play minecraft which makes for poor performance all around. I really wanted to be able to have the server running all the time but I didn't want to leave the NUC on all the time just for some minecraft worlds that are rarely if ever used.

Running Minecraft on the Pi I already had a Raspberry Pi 2 (note: there is a Raspberry Pi 3 out now and I would recommend this kit if you're interested in getting one since it comes with everything you'll need) which I had originally set up with OpenELEC last year and it wasn't being used very much. I wondered if I could get it set up as a minecraft server instead?


Enough of this talk! What did you do to get it set up? I found a great write up for doing just this at https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-minecraft-server but I must admit I didn't really follow it very closely.

I didn't take notes when I was setting it up but the whole setup was done in under an hour or so. I'm not done, but its up and functional. The URL is pretty simple to guess but since its really got nothing on it other than some silly things our family created I don't see any point in promoting it at all. This is what I did as far as I can remember:

update 160715 - I got a Raspberry Pi3 and was able to copy over my server files and settings after setting up Raspbian and get it all running fairly quickly. It runs the server a LOT smoother than the pi2 did. It does still stutter a bit as chunks load, but I don't see the "Can't keep up" messages in the log anymore. I'm also running it over the built in wireless in the Pi3 and so far no issues.