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Tutorials/Ubuntu 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.

This is a simple startup-script for the upstart mechanism used by ubuntu-servers. It won't give you a console, which I don't consider a problem since there's an ingame console anyway. It also doesn't update Minecraft, I believe there's a built-in updater coming on the way.

Note: It's working fine in Ubuntu 14.

Further note: This configuration syntax is for the "upstart" process management system. Since 15.04, Ubuntu has moved to systemd, so you may need to explore other, systemd based options on newer Ubuntu installs. An example is below.

Prerequisites[edit | edit source]

  • set up a user and group for minecraft so that it doesn't run as root
sudo adduser --system --home /srv/minecraft-server minecraft
sudo addgroup --system minecraft
sudo adduser minecraft minecraft # this adds user "minecraft" the group "minecraft"
  • hand your server-installation over to our new user, I have mine in /srv/minecraft-server
sudo chown -R minecraft.minecraft /srv/minecraft-server
  • create and edit the start/stop script creating a new file under /etc/init/minecraft-server (NOT /etc/init.d but /etc/init (without the .d) ) make sure that you save the file as minecraft-server.conf
sudo nano /etc/init/minecraft-server.conf

and pasting the following into it. Don't forget to change the directory after "chdir" to your installation

# description "start and stop the minecraft-server"

start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [^2345]

console log
setuid minecraft
setgid minecraft

respawn limit 20 5

exec /usr/bin/java -Xms1536M -Xmx2048M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Above Explained (Note, this script isn't usable.):

# description "start and stop the minecraft-server" <-- Adds a tip to what this script does.

start on runlevel [2345] <-- Tells Ubuntu when to start the server. Runlevels 2, 3, 4, and 5 are the "normal operation".
stop on runlevel [^2345] <-- Tells Ubuntu when to stop the server. The ^ means NOT.

console log <-- Logs the actions taken
chdir YOUR_INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY <-- Changes the active directory to the installation dir.
setuid minecraft <-- Sets the UserID to "minecraft" (acts like Minecraft user)
setgid minecraft <-- Sets the GroupID to "minecraft" (acts like Minecraft group)

respawn <-- Allows the program to "respawn" (restart) when it dies unexpectedly.
respawn limit 20 5 <-- Allows the program to "respawn" 20 times in 5 seconds.

exec /usr/bin/java -Xms1536M -Xmx2048M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui <-- Below...
'exec' > Executes command
'/usr/bin/java' > Invokes Java.
'-Xms1536M' > Sets minimum allocated memory limit.
'-Xmx2048M' > Sets MAXIMUM allowable memory limit.
'-jar minecraft-server.jar' > Tells Java to run the jarfile minecraft_server.jar
'nogui' > Tells minecraft-server.jar to run without a GUI. (Graphical screen).
  • Now install the start/stop to the default runlevels by running
sudo initctl reload-configuration

If you get an error saying the file does not exsist, try moving the minecraft-server file to /etc/init.d/ Also if after running sudo start minecraft-server says that they is no job for it, try running "sudo /etc/init.d/minecraft-server start"

Usage[edit | edit source]

  • to start the server
sudo start minecraft-server
  • to stop the server
sudo stop minecraft-server

Troubles?[edit | edit source]

You can check the server log by using:

sudo tail /var/log/upstart/minecraft-server.log

If that doesn't help, just contact me: User:Cel1ne

With systemd[edit | edit source]

I have done a functional systemd script, if it can be useful...

I've created a user, as chown by Cel1ne.

After :

sudo gedit  /etc/systemd/system/minecraft-server.service

inside :

Description=start and stop the minecraft-server

RestartSec=20 5
ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -Xms1536M -Xmx1536M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui


To start the service :

sudo service minecraft-server start

To start after boot:

sudo systemctl enable minecraft-server

Voir le statut ("q" to go out of the view):

systemctl status minecraft-server.service 

If you would like to interact with the server from your keyboard, you may use an alternative service configuration like this:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/screen -h 2048 -dmS minecraft /usr/bin/java -Xms1536M -Xmx1536M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui


If you have changed the service file, you should issue the

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

command to update the system.