Tutorials/Playing and saving Minecraft on a thumb drive

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Before beginning this tutorial, note that the following guides are only for the 2.0 launcher. If you want to make minecraft portable for an older launcher version, please view this page instead

This tutorial explains how to run Minecraft on a portable drive. This is useful if you want to retain your game data (launcher profiles, worlds, resource packs, etc.) when switching computers.

The primary focus of this guide is to create an installation of Minecraft on a portable drive. However, the exact same steps can be followed to create a portable installation of the game; that is, an installation that is not "integrated" with the computer, which is useful for managing multiple installations and generally keeping things organised.

Instructions (for Windows)[edit]

Note: The following Windows tutorial will guide you through installing the game to D:\Games\PortableMinecraft\. However, this guide can be used to install the game to any directory. When following this guide, replace this directory with the directory you actually want to install the game to. Please also note that while this guide was written for Windows, it is still largely applicable to other operating systems with minor changes.

Before making the game portable, it is important to move all existing game data to the desired directory. Navigate to the portable drive in the file explorer, and create the D:\Games\PortableMinecraft\ directory. Navigate to the .minecraft folder and copy all of its contents (but not the folder itself) into D:\Games\PortableMinecraft\.

Once the game data has been moved to the new directory, you now need to move the launcher there too. Simply move MinecraftLauncher.exe to D:\Games\PortableMinecraft\.

Create an empty text file called Minecraft.bat (or another name of your choosing) in the D:\Games\PortableMinecraft\ directory. Open the batch file with notepad or another text editor and paste the following text into it before saving the file: START "" MinecraftLauncher.exe --workDir .."\PortableMinecraft"

Everything is now finished. When you want to play, just use the shortcut batch file to launch the game. Do not start the launcher directly (without using the batch file), or the game will just use the default directory in %APPDATA% as its working directory. (Note: this is no longer true with the current version, it will continue to place .minecraft in %AppData% instead of your directory when using --workDir.) It is recommended to set the launcher's executable to have the "hidden" attribute to avoid accidentally running it. You could also make a shortcut in D: to run the bat file without having to find it.

Instructions (for Linux)[edit]

Note: The following tutorial assumes that the USB disk is located (and mounted) at /media/user/USBDisk, and that you would like to add Minecraft at /media/user/USBDisk/minecraft.

Start by running the following commands in a terminal.

cd /media/user/USBDisk

mkdir minecraft && cd minecraft

Now, at this point, if you would like to copy all of your saves, run the following command:

cp -r ~/.minecraft/saves .

You now need to download the Minecraft Launcher. Do so by running the following command:

wget -O launcher.deb https://launcher.mojang.com/download/Minecraft.deb

Next, extract the files by using your favourite extraction utility. This tutorial assumes all the extracted files are located in /media/user/USBDisk/mcl.

All the basic setup is completed. You will find the launcher at /media/user/USBDisk/mcl/opt/minecraft-launcher/minecraft-launcher

To open the launcher correctly, run the following command:

/media/user/USBDisk/mcl/opt/minecraft-launcher/minecraft-launcher -w /media/user/USBDisk/minecraft

You can paste this into a shell script and run it when you want to play Minecraft.