Tutorials/Server startup script

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Since this is a wiki and anyone may modify any page at any time, it is suggested that you do not actually use this script but instead simply use it as a guideline for writing your own.
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This is an example of possible Minecraft server startup and maintenance script for GNU/Linux distros.

Systemd Script[edit | edit source]

For all modern Servers supporting Systemd. Systemd is the jack of all trades. For Ubuntu, it comes with 15.04 (yes it was there some releases before, but in this version it was fully working).

Installation[edit | edit source]

  1. Connect to your (v)root server or if you want to run the server on your machine, open a terminal.
  2. Become root using su or sudo. To check if you are root run "echo $EUID" if it returns "0" you are root.
  3. Next install the necessary packages "apt install openjdk-8-jre-headless curl screen nano bash grep"
  4. Create the /opt folder if it doesn't already exist "mkdir /opt"
  5. Now you need to create the user for the service: "adduser --system --shell /bin/bash --home /opt/minecraft --group minecraft"
  6. Create the Systemd Unit file "nano /etc/systemd/system/minecraft@.service" and the following:
# Source: https://github.com/agowa338/MinecraftSystemdUnit/
# License: MIT
Description=Minecraft Server %i

PrivateUsers=true # Users Database is not available for within the unit, only root and minecraft is available, everybody else is nobody
ProtectSystem=full # Read only mapping of /usr /boot and /etc
ProtectHome=true # /home, /root and /run/user seam to be empty from within the unit. It is recommended to enable this setting for all long-running services (in particular network-facing ones).
ProtectKernelTunables=true # /proc/sys, /sys, /proc/sysrq-trigger, /proc/latency_stats, /proc/acpi, /proc/timer_stats, /proc/fs and /proc/irq will be read-only within the unit. It is recommended to turn this on for most services.
# Implies MountFlags=slave
ProtectKernelModules=true # Block module system calls, also /usr/lib/modules. It is recommended to turn this on for most services that do not need special file systems or extra kernel modules to work
# Implies NoNewPrivileges=yes
ProtectControlGroups=true # It is hence recommended to turn this on for most services.
# Implies MountAPIVFS=yes

ExecStart=/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/screen -DmS mc-%i /usr/bin/java -server -Xms512M -Xmx2048M -XX:+UseG1GC -XX:+CMSIncrementalPacing -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -XX:ParallelGCThreads=2 -XX:MinHeapFreeRatio=5 -XX:MaxHeapFreeRatio=10 -jar $(ls -v | grep -i "FTBServer.*jar\|minecraft_server.*jar" | head -n 1) nogui'

ExecReload=/usr/bin/screen -p 0 -S mc-%i -X eval 'stuff "reload"\\015'

ExecStop=/usr/bin/screen -p 0 -S mc-%i -X eval 'stuff "say SERVER SHUTTING DOWN. Saving map..."\\015'
ExecStop=/usr/bin/screen -p 0 -S mc-%i -X eval 'stuff "save-all"\\015'
ExecStop=/usr/bin/screen -p 0 -S mc-%i -X eval 'stuff "stop"\\015'
ExecStop=/bin/sleep 10



# HowTo
# Create a directory in /opt/minecraft/XX where XX is a name like 'survival'
# Add minecraft_server.jar into dir with other conf files for minecraft server
# Enable/Start systemd service
#    systemctl enable minecraft@survival
#    systemctl start minecraft@survival
# To run multiple servers simply create a new dir structure and enable/start it
#    systemctl enable minecraft@creative
# systemctl start minecraft@creative

Setup Instance[edit | edit source]

Now you can Upload your FTB Modpacks into an subfolder of /opt/minecraft/. For example you would place the modpack "FTB Beyond" in "/opt/minecraft/FTBBeyond" (without spaces in the name). If you want to run vanilla instances, just create a folder within /opt/minecraft and upload the minecraft_server.jar and create the eula.txt file (using: echo "eula=true" > /opt/minecraft/vanilla/eula.txt).

After you uploaded the minecraft server files, make sure, that "minecraft" is the owner and owning group. To do so just run "ls -la /opt/minecraft". If it is not, run "chown minecraft:minecraft /opt/minecraft/FTBBeyond". You may also require to complete the installation. For current FTB packages you would run:

cd /opt/minecraft/FTBBeyond
echo "eula=true" > /opt/minecraft/FTBBeyond/eula.txt
su -c "/opt/minecraft/FTBBeyond/FTBInstall.sh" -s "/bin/bash" minecraft

Start/Stop Instances[edit | edit source]

You start your server using "systemctl start minecraft@FTBBeyond" and stop it using "systemctl stop minecraft@FTBBeyond". The part behind the "@" is your instance name e. g. the Folder Name. This script also takes care to automatically stop your minecraft server if you reboot the server.

Autostart[edit | edit source]

Enable[edit | edit source]

systemctl enable minecraft@FTBBeyond

Disable[edit | edit source]

systemctl disable minecraft@FTBBeyond

Init.d Script[edit | edit source]

For legacy Servers, not supporting Systemd

Pre-Requisites[edit | edit source]

Screen package must be installed.
On CentOs and Red Hat-based distributions:

yum install screen

On Debian based systems such as Ubuntu:

apt-get install screen python

Download[edit | edit source]

To download the script with wget, run the following (WATCH OUT SCRIPT NEEDS WORK - change the WORLD, MCPATH and BACKUPPATH variables.
Important: If you use the wget method and the first character of every line is an empty space, the script won't work and update-rc.d outputs errors. If so, you have to remove the leading empty spaces from each line. Be careful not to delete anything else than empty space though!)

wget -O minecraft "http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Server_startup_script/Script?action=raw"
 # /etc/init.d/minecraft
 # version 0.4.2 2016-02-09 (YYYY-MM-DD)
 # Provides:   minecraft
 # Required-Start: $local_fs $remote_fs screen-cleanup
 # Required-Stop:  $local_fs $remote_fs
 # Should-Start:   $network
 # Should-Stop:    $network
 # Default-Start:  2 3 4 5
 # Default-Stop:   0 1 6
 # Short-Description:    Minecraft server
 # Description:    Starts the minecraft server
 INVOCATION="java -Xmx${MAXHEAP}M -Xms${MINHEAP}M -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC \
 -XX:+CMSIncrementalPacing -XX:ParallelGCThreads=$CPU_COUNT -XX:+AggressiveOpts \
 as_user() {
   if [ "$ME" = "$USERNAME" ] ; then
     bash -c "$1"
     su - "$USERNAME" -c "$1"
 mc_start() {
   if  pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "$SERVICE is already running!"
     echo "Starting $SERVICE..."
     cd $MCPATH
     as_user "cd $MCPATH && screen -h $HISTORY -dmS ${SCREENNAME} $INVOCATION"
     sleep 7
     if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
       echo "$SERVICE is now running."
       echo "Error! Could not start $SERVICE!"
 mc_saveoff() {
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "$SERVICE is running... suspending saves"
    as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"say SERVER BACKUP STARTING. Server going readonly...\"\015'"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"save-off\"\015'"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"save-all\"\015'"
     sleep 10
     echo "$SERVICE is not running. Not suspending saves."
 mc_saveon() {
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "$SERVICE is running... re-enabling saves"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"save-on\"\015'"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"say SERVER BACKUP ENDED. Server going read-write...\"\015'"
     echo "$SERVICE is not running. Not resuming saves."
 mc_stop() {
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "Stopping $SERVICE"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"say SERVER SHUTTING DOWN IN 10 SECONDS. Saving map...\"\015'"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"save-all\"\015'"
     sleep 10
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"stop\"\015'"
     sleep 7
     echo "$SERVICE was not running."
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "Error! $SERVICE could not be stopped."
     echo "$SERVICE is stopped."
 mc_update() {
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     echo "$SERVICE is running! Will not start update."
     as_user "cd $MCPATH && wget -q -O $MCPATH/versions --no-check-certificate https://launchermeta.mojang.com/mc/game/version_manifest.json"
     if [ "$1" == "snapshot" ] ; then
       JSONVERSION=`cd $MCPATH && cat versions | python -c "exec(\"import json,sys\nobj=json.load(sys.stdin)\nversion=obj['latest']['snapshot']\nfor v in obj['versions']:\n   if v['id']==version:\n    print(v['url'])\")"`
       JSONVERSION=`cd $MCPATH && cat versions | python -c "exec(\"import json,sys\nobj=json.load(sys.stdin)\nversion=obj['latest']['release']\nfor v in obj['versions']:\n   if v['id']==version:\n    print(v['url'])\")"`
     as_user "cd $MCPATH && wget -q -O $MCPATH/versions --no-check-certificate $JSONVERSION"
     MC_SERVER_URL=`cd $MCPATH && cat versions | python -c 'import json,sys;obj=json.load(sys.stdin);print(obj["downloads"]["server"]["url"])'`
     as_user "rm $MCPATH/versions"
     as_user "cd $MCPATH && wget -q -O $MCPATH/minecraft_server.jar.update --no-check-certificate $MC_SERVER_URL"
     if [ -f $MCPATH/minecraft_server.jar.update ] ; then
       if `diff $MCPATH/$SERVICE $MCPATH/minecraft_server.jar.update >/dev/null` ; then
         echo "You are already running the latest version of $SERVICE."
         as_user "mv $MCPATH/minecraft_server.jar.update $MCPATH/$SERVICE"
         echo "Minecraft successfully updated."
       echo "Minecraft update could not be downloaded."
 mc_backup() {
    NOW=`date "+%Y-%m-%d_%Hh%M"`
    echo "Backing up minecraft world..."
    #as_user "cd $MCPATH && cp -r $WORLD $BACKUPPATH/${WORLD}_`date "+%Y.%m.%d_%H.%M"`"
    as_user "tar -C \"$MCPATH\" -cf \"$BACKUP_FILE\" $WORLD"
    echo "Backing up $SERVICE"
    as_user "tar -C \"$MCPATH\" -rf \"$BACKUP_FILE\" $SERVICE"
    #as_user "cp \"$MCPATH/$SERVICE\" \"$BACKUPPATH/minecraft_server_${NOW}.jar\""
    echo "Compressing backup..."
    as_user "gzip -f \"$BACKUP_FILE\""
    echo "Done."
 mc_command() {
   if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
     pre_log_len=`wc -l "$MCPATH/logs/latest.log" | awk '{print $1}'`
     echo "$SERVICE is running... executing command"
     as_user "screen -p 0 -S ${SCREENNAME} -X eval 'stuff \"$command\"\015'"
     sleep .1 # assumes that the command will run and print to the log file in less than .1 seconds
     # print output
     tail -n $((`wc -l "$MCPATH/logs/latest.log" | awk '{print $1}'`-$pre_log_len)) "$MCPATH/logs/latest.log"
 #Start-Stop here
 case "$1" in
     mc_update $2
     if pgrep -u $USERNAME -f $SERVICE > /dev/null ; then
       echo "$SERVICE is running."
       echo "$SERVICE is not running."
     if [ $# -gt 1 ] ; then
       mc_command "$*"
       echo "Must specify server command (try 'help'?)"
   echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|update|backup|status|restart|command \"server command\"}"
   exit 1
 exit 0

Requirements[edit | edit source]

  • screen
  • python (apt-get install python)

Installation[edit | edit source]

Use your favorite editor to create file called minecraft in /etc/init.d/ and paste the script above in that file.

Edit the USERNAME and MCPATH -variables according to your setup. If you use a wrapper script, change INVOCATION to start it instead of starting the server directly.

Make sure the newly created file has required permissions You can set the permissions by running:

chmod a+x /etc/init.d/minecraft

Then run (on Debian-based distributions)

update-rc.d minecraft defaults

Starting with Debian 6.0, the insserv command is used instead, if dependency-based booting is enabled. insserv will produce no output if everything went OK. Examine the error code in $? if you want to be sure.

insserv minecraft

On CentOs and RHEL(Redhat enterprise Linux) You will need to add the process into the chkconfig list chkconfig manages startup scripts under systemd

chkconfig --add minecraft

To check if the process is done correctly use the ntsysv command keep scrolling until you see the minecraft process if you don't repeat the chkconfig command. to add required symbolic links. Note: your system will most likely warn you that the script does not meet all requirements. The script will however work.

You can also setup an entry in your crontab to backup the server. A sample crontab to backup every half hour on the hour, and 30 minutes into the hour:

  • Using the user account you want the work done under, run:
crontab -e

and add this

0,30 * * * * /etc/init.d/minecraft backup

If the above attempt went poorly because you do not know how to use vi, try:

VISUAL=/usr/bin/nano crontab -e

Uninstall[edit | edit source]

(In debian based GNU/Linux distribution)

update-rc.d -f  minecraft remove

(In CentOs/RHEL)

chkconfig --del minecraft

Usage[edit | edit source]

The script may be invoked via the following command on most systems, where "(command)" will be "stop", "start", "restart", or any of the other options it supports.

/etc/init.d/minecraft (command)

On most RedHat- or Debian-based distribution where the `service` command is available, it should be invoked as:

service minecraft (command)

To view the screen, use:

screen -r

To exit the screen, use:


References[edit | edit source]

Extra information[edit | edit source]

If you still want to view the live log file, use this command in the server directory.

tail -f logs/latest.log

Alternative Startup Scripts[edit | edit source]

The following scripts offer the same functions as the above script but contain more useful features:

  • [Multi World] Minecraft Server Control Script
    • Run multiple Minecraft worlds.
    • Start, stop, and restart single or multiple worlds.
    • Create, delete, disable, and enable worlds.
    • Supports CraftBukkit in addition to the standard Mojang server distribution.
    • Users automatically notified of important server events.
    • Uses the Minecraft Query protocol to keep track of current server conditions.
    • LSB and systemd compatible init script, allows for seamless integration with your server's startup and shutdown sequences.
    • Map worlds using the Minecraft Overviewer mapping software.
    • Backup worlds, and remove backups older than X days.
    • Update the server software and installed addons.
    • Send commands to a world server from the command line.
  • minecraftd
    • Start, stop, and restart the server using either systemd or the script directly
    • Send commands to a server from the command line
    • Backup server (world, plugins, configuration, etc.), and purge old ones (configurable)
    • Suspend server if no player is logged in and bring it up as soon as one tries to join to maximazie efficiency
    • Purely written in bash and condensed features in about 500 lines of code to keep the foorprint small
    • Flexible configuration: support for e.g. spigot/craftbukkit, adjustable threads and RAM usage, etc.
    • Full systemd support with init and backup script
    • Secure resource usage: run script as different user and drop permissions if not requiered
    • Very similiar to the script described in this article: It as well uses screen and tar but offers more advanced features
    • Excellent Arch Linux support
  • Minecraft Systemd Service A nice systemd service that features:
    • safe shutdown using rcon
    • protection of the system by making most of the system readonly
    • uses systemd journal to log
    • can be combined with a nice commandcenter script
    • is fully integrated in the systemd-toolchain
  • minecraft init
    • modification of this script with a lot more features like multiworld
  • Mineserv Perl Init Script
    • A very simple automatic start/stop script with backup and cleanup functions and the ability to pass commands to the server console.
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