Run your own Minecraft server on Raspberry Pi

When you want to play Minecraft with your friends, there are two choices:

  • play it on the Realms, or
  • setup and run your own server.

Realms is a subscription-based service which will take you several bucks a month, so if it’s possible, running your own server would be a better choice.

Running your own server has one downside: you need to keep your (server) machine turned on.

There would be worries about the electric charges, but with Raspberry Pi: a beast with low power consumption, they will not be yours.

Now, here are steps to configure and run the Minecraft server on Raspberry Pi 3:

0. Prepare

Java needs to be installed on your machine.

In my case, I installed oracle-java8-jdk:

$ sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-jdk

My Raspberry Pi has the minimum amount of GPU memory(16MB), and an external HDD attached for root partition.

Additionally, the server uses port no: 25565, so you should open the port if you want to connect from the outside world.

1. Download the build tools

On your Raspberry Pi, download the build tools:

$ wget

and run it (you need Java installed):

$ java -jar BuildTools.jar

After some minutes, you’ll see the built file named: spigot-1.10.2.jar. (Of course, the version number may vary.)

2. Agree with the End User License Agreement

Run the jar file for the first time:

$ java -jar -Xms512M -Xmx1008M spigot-1.10.2.jar nogui

then you’ll get a file named: eula.txt with this output:

Loading libraries, please wait...
[17:40:10 INFO]: Starting minecraft server version 1.10.2
[17:40:10 INFO]: Loading properties
[17:40:10 WARN]: does not exist
[17:40:10 INFO]: Generating new properties file
[17:40:10 WARN]: Failed to load eula.txt
[17:40:10 INFO]: You need to agree to the EULA in order to run the server. Go to eula.txt for more info.
[17:40:10 INFO]: Stopping server

Read eula.txt carefully and do the following if you agree with it:

$ sed -i -e 's/eula=false/eula=true/g' eula.txt

3. Run the server

After accepting EULA, now it’s the time to launch the server.

Run the jar file again:

$ java -jar -Xms512M -Xmx1008M spigot-1.10.2.jar nogui

In a few minutes, you’ll get into a prompt like this:

[17:53:38 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 83%
[17:53:39 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 87%
[17:53:40 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 90%
[17:53:41 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 94%
[17:53:42 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 97%
[17:53:43 INFO]: Done (256.835s)! For help, type "help" or "?"

Now your server is up and running!

Server list in multiplayer menu

If you want to stop the server, just type stop in the prompt.

When you want to change something, look in to the file.

You can change the port number, game settings, or anything in there.

4. Run the server as a service

You cannot run/stop the server manually every time, so it needs to be managed as a service.

Firstly, install mcrcon for controlling the server conveniently:

$ git clone  git:// mcrcon
$ cd mcrcon
$ gcc mcrcon.c -o mcrcon

After that, change enable-rcon=false to enable-rcon=true in the file.

You should also add rcon.password=PASSWORD in it.

Next, create a systemd service file like this:

$ sudo vi /lib/systemd/system/minecraft-server.service

then fill with following lines:

Description=Spigot Minecraft Server

ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -jar -Xms512M -Xmx1008M spigot-1.10.2.jar --noconsole
ExecStop=/path/to/mcrcon -H localhost -P 25575 -p PASSWORD stop


Replace User, Group, WorkingDirectory, ExecStart, and ExecStop values with yours, then all is done.

Run the server everytime when your Raspberry Pi is turned on

If you want to launch the server automatically when your Raspberry Pi is up:

$ sudo systemctl enable minecraft-server.service

For starting/stopping the server

If you want to start or stop the server manually:

$ sudo systemctl start minecraft-server.service
$ sudo systemctl stop minecraft-server.service

It will take several seconds to start/stop the server, so please be patient.

● minecraft-server.service - Spigot Minecraft Server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/minecraft-server.service; disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2016-11-24 18:46:46 KST; 1min 3s ago
 Main PID: 17214 (java)
   CGroup: /system.slice/minecraft-server.service
           └─17214 /usr/bin/java -jar -Xms512M -Xmx1008M spigot-1.10.2.jar --noconsole

Nov 24 18:47:34 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:34 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 50%
Nov 24 18:47:35 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:35 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 58%
Nov 24 18:47:36 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:36 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 67%
Nov 24 18:47:37 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:37 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 76%
Nov 24 18:47:38 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:38 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 85%
Nov 24 18:47:39 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:39 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 91%
Nov 24 18:47:40 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:40 INFO]: Preparing start region for level 2 (Seed: 6136538408987226186)
Nov 24 18:47:41 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:41 INFO]: Preparing spawn area: 46%
Nov 24 18:47:42 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:42 INFO]: Server permissions file permissions.yml is empty, ignoring it
Nov 24 18:47:42 raspberry java[17214]: [18:47:42 INFO]: Done (30.277s)! For help, type "help" or "?"

5. Trouble shooting

Server is outdated

If you cannot connect to the server with ‘server is outdated’ error, generate a new .jar file with:

# if the newest version is '1.11'
$ java -jar BuildTools.jar --rev 1.11
# or 'latest'
$ java -jar BuildTools.jar --rev latest

If you’re not sure, you can find all versions here.

After generation, edit the service file and restart the service:

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
$ sudo systemctl restart minecraft-server.service

6. Wrap-up

Raspberry Pi may not be perfect for running full-sized Minecraft server yet, but it would worth a try :-)