Software Installs

How to build a Bukkit Minecraft server on a VPS

A few months ago we covered how to install a vanilla Minecraft server. Bukkit is a modified version of Minecraft that allows for, well, modification — including a host of terrific plugins to enhance game play. You can find out more about Bukkit here.

Installing a Bukkit Minecraft server on a VPS is as simple as — and very similar to — installing a basic Minecraft server. And once again, with a few quick commands you’ll be on your way to survival/adventure/creativity!

Note: This guide is specific to CentOS cPanel servers, but can be followed for a non-cPanel server as well. Also, this tutorial assumes you are familiar with working on the command line on your server via SSH. If you’re not, you might want to check out this article first to get your feet wet.

Also note: This tutorial does not include purchasing and installing the Minecraft stand-alone launcher. If you are new to Minecraft, download the launcher here to connect to your Minecraft server installation.

Step 1: Install Java

Minecraft is a Java-based game. For our Bukkit Minecraft deployment we will need to install Java. cPanel offers Tomcat, which runs Java, but I would recommend installing it via the command line. You will need root-level access to the server to install Java. Here is how to set up a cPanel account that can escalate to root.

Once in the server as root you should install either java-1.6.0-openjdk or java-1.7.0-openjdk:

yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk

Substitute java-1.6.0-openjdk in the yum install command if that is your preference.

Step 2: Configure your server

Now lets prepare for the game itself. The next few commands will create a Minecraft directory in the account where we want to host Minecraft and take us to the new directory:

mkdir -p /home/account/bukkit

(Where /account/ is the name of the account in which you wish to install Minecraft.)

cd /home/account/bukkit

Step 3: Download and start Bukkit Minecraft

  1. Download the game with the following command:
  1. Start Minecraft in Java:
java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar craftbukkit.jar -o true

Bukkit usually runs a version behind vanilla Minecraft. The link above should automatically download the latest stable build.

Step 4: Relaunch Minecraft

Now you should see from the rolling text on the command line that Minecraft is starting and generating the world. This confirms that you have successfully installed Bukkit, but there are a few things we should do before we log in and start crafting and mining. The first thing is… stop the Bukkit server and restart it in a screen so we can log out of the VPS without stopping the game.

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar craftbukkit.jar -o true

Now Bukkit is running in a screen, which means you can exit the server without the game closing on you. You can do this by detaching the screen:

[ctrl] + a
[ctrl] + d

If done successfully you should get a message that says [detached]

If you don’t want to alter the default settings, you are now done. If you do, read on…

Step 5: Configure Bukkit

If you want to get a little deeper into the Bukkit and Minecraft setup you can add the IP for your server, your world name, or the message of the day.

  1. To make any configuration changes you will need to stop the game though, so re-attach the screen:
screen -r
  1. Then you will want to edit at least the file and probably the opts.txt file.

Note: If you want to edit the files via FTP or cPanel you may need to change their permissions. If you do, run: chown -R account:account /home/account/Minecraft
The ops.txt file controls who has administrator powers while in the game, so place the Minecraft accounts you want to have administrator power in that file. The file is the big one, it is going to have game options and settings in there.

  1. There are lots of other options that you may set: whether or not you have the nether, level-seed to generate a specific Bukkit map, and game mode are just a few examples. Here is a link to all of the options and their settings.
  2. The true strength and reason for using Bukkit is because of the customization and plugins that you can use with Bukkit.
  3. Check GitHub for a script to restart and manage Bukkit.

Final note on support: This software falls outside the scope of support we provide for our managed products at ServInt. With that said, we have several employees that are enthusiastic about Minecraft. While we cannot guarantee results, nor a timely response, these employees are typically happy to look over a problem if you submit a ticket in your customer portal. ServInt also recommends no less than a Signature VPS to run Minecraft, due to the stringent memory requirements.

Photo credit: Restart Project

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