Minecraft Bedrock Edition – Ubuntu Dedicated Server Guide

Minecraft Bedrock Edition Logo
Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Logo

Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the version of Minecraft that powers the iPhone / Android versions (formerly Minecraft Pocket Edition), the Xbox / PlayStation / Nintendo Switch editions and the free Windows 10 Minecraft edition.

Mojang has released a dedicated server which is considered to be in alpha testing.  I have found it to be very stable and able to run on a wide variety of hardware.

This script and guide are written to help you get a robust Minecraft Bedrock dedicated server up and running in only a few minutes!

Features

  • Sets up fully operational Minecraft Bedrock edition server in a couple of minutes
  • Ubuntu / Debian distributions supported
  • Sets up Minecraft as a system service with option to autostart at boot
  • Automatic backups when server restarts
  • Updates automatically to the latest version when server is started
  • Easy control of server with start.sh, stop.sh and restart.sh scripts
  • Optional scheduled daily restart of server using cron

Requirements

Recommended Gear

Storage

I strongly recommend a Solid State drive (SSD) for your server. This is because Minecraft is constantly reading/storing chunks to the disk which makes I/O performance very important.

These are much cheaper than they used to be. Here’s a decent 120 GB one (higher options available) at a very low price:

Kingston A400 SSD 120GB SATA 3 2.5” Solid State Drive

If you have a M.2 NVME slot in your motherboard you can go with a high end drive. This will give your server maximum performance even if a large number of players are running around on the server changing blocks and triggering disk writes.

This is the one I have in my machine. These range from 250 GB to 2 TB depending on how big your server might grow:

Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVME

If you have a normal SATA drive connection (no M.2) here is a good choice:

Samsung 860 EVO 2.5″ SATA SSD

Computer / CPU / Memory

Almost any PC made in the last few years will be a x86_64 bit computer. If you have an older computer around that isn’t being used then it will most likely have the right CPU and amount of memory to run a basic server.

Throwing a SSD in one of these older computers will provide an excellent server experience for small and larger player counts.

Cheap SBC Option

If you don’t have an old PC laying around or want something that is more portable and uses much less power than a PC consider the Intel Compute Stick. It’s a Intel X86_64 with 1 GB of RAM for around the same price as a Raspberry Pi.

Intel Compute Stick STCK1A8LFC

This image has an empty alt attribute
Intel Compute Stick

The Intel compute stick is just a little bit bigger than a USB flash drive and is powered by Micro USB. I developed this entire script and guide using one.

If you choose this option check out my guide for how to install Ubuntu Server 18.04 on the Intel Compute Stick

Mid Range Option

A very small and quiet 4 GB server. Just wipe Windows off it!

Mini PC, Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Processor 4GB

Higher End Option

This is the highest I would go before just buying a used PC from somewhere to use. The upside of this is you are covered by manufacturers warranty and are getting brand new up to date hardware.

HP EliteDesk 800 Mini

Getting Linux

I highly recommend using Ubuntu Server to run the Minecraft dedicated server. It is available here: https://ubuntu.com/download/server

At the time of writing the current version is Ubuntu Server 18.04.2. This is a secure and robust operating system and will leave plenty of resources available for the server to run.

The script should run on any Debian based flavor of Linux but since the Minecraft Bedrock server is compiled natively for Ubuntu I recommend sticking with it. If you have a GUI flavor of Ubuntu and a decent PC (>= 2 GB of RAM) the server will work just fine on it.

Download the image and write it to a USB drive. If you are on Windows Win32DiskImager is a easy to use program to do this. Now boot the computer from the USB drive and follow the installation instructions.

Make a note of the IP address during installation or alternatively log into your home router and see what IP address the machine was assigned. You’ll need this later to connect to the server from the Minecraft client.

Note: Users have reported in the comments that Ubuntu 16.x is no longer working with the latest official Mojang binaries. Ubuntu 18.04 is the minimum requirement for the latest versions!

Installation

Log into your Linux server either using SSH or a mouse and keyboard and paste/type the following command:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/MinecraftBedrockServer/master/SetupMinecraft.sh
chmod +x SetupMinecraft.sh
./SetupMinecraft.sh 

The script will setup the Minecraft sever and ask you some questions on how to configure it. I’ll explain here what they mean.

“Start Minecraft server at startup automatically (y/n)?” – This will set the Minecraft service to start automatically when your server boots. This is a great option to set up a Minecraft server that is always available.

“Automatically restart and backup server at 4am daily (y/n)?” – This will add a cron job to the server that reboots the server every day at 4am. This is great because every time the server restarts it backs up the server and updates to the latest version. See the “Scheduled Daily Reboots” section below for information on how to customize the time or remove the reboot.

That is it for the setup script. The server will finish configuring and start!

First Run

The server will start up and start displaying output to the console.

[2019-03-30 20:25:12 INFO] Starting Server
[2019-03-30 20:25:12 INFO] Version 1.10.0.7
[2019-03-30 20:25:12 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
[2019-03-30 20:25:12 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
[2019-03-30 20:25:12 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
[2019-03-30 20:25:20 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
[2019-03-30 20:25:20 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
[2019-03-30 20:25:23 INFO] Server started.

Once you see the “Server started” line you will be able to connect from the client.

To add the server to the client open Minecraft and click “Play”. Then at the top of the screen select the “Servers” tab and click “Add Server”.

This will ask you for a Server Name and Server IP Address. For the name you can put anything and for the server IP address put the address of your Linux server. Leave the port as the default 19132. For more information on how to let people from outside your network on go to the “Port Forwarding” section below.

Now choose the server you just added in the list and connect!

Start, Stop and Restart Server

The server can be started, stopped and restarted two different ways. You can use the provided scripts in the Minecraft folder or you can use systemctl. Here are the commands:

cd ~/minecraftbe
./start.sh
./stop.sh
./restart.sh

-OR-

sudo systemctl start minecraftbe
sudo systemctl stop minecraftbe
sudo systemctl restart minecraftbe

Automatic Backups

The server backs up each time it starts. This helps you recover easily if something goes wrong. This system works best if you configured the server to restart daily since it means you will have a backup every day.

To access these backups type:

cd ~/minecraftbe/backups
ls

When a backup is made the filename will be the date and time the backup was taken. If you need to restore a backup it’s very easy. Substitute the timestamp in my example to the backup you want to roll back to. Type:

cd ~/minecraftbe
./stop.sh
rm -rf worlds
tar -xf backups/2019.02.15.22.06.30.tar.gz
./start.sh

Your world has now been restored! It’s a good idea to download these backups off the server periodically just in case the server’s storage fails.

Scheduled Daily Reboots

The daily reboots are scheduled using cron. It’s very easy to customize the time your server restarts.

To change the time that the server restarts type: crontab -e

This will open a window that will ask you to select a text editor (I find nano to be the easiest) and will show the cronjobs scheduled on the server. The Minecraft one will look like the following:

0 4 * * * /home/ubuntu/minecraftbe/restart.sh
Crontab's syntax layout
Crontab’s syntax layout

There are 5 fields here. The default restart time is set to reboot at 0 minutes of the 4th hour of the day (4 AM). The other 3 fields are left as * to represent every day of every month. Make any desired changes here and press Ctrl+X to exit nano and update the cronjob.

To remove the daily reboot simply delete the line and save.

Reconfigure / Update Scripts

The scripts can always be reconfigured and updated by downloading the latest SetupMinecraft.sh and running the installer again. It will update all of the scripts in the Minecraft directory and reinstall the startup service for you.

Running SetupMinecraft.sh again will also give you a chance to reconfigure options such as the memory dedicated to the server, daily reboots, starting the server on boot, etc.

This will not overwrite your world or any other data so it is safe to run!

Port Forwarding

If everyone on your server is on the same LAN or WiFi network as you then you don’t need to do this. If you want people to connect from outside your local network then you need to set up port forwarding on your router.

The process for this is different for every router so the best thing to do is just look at your router and find the model # and put that in google with port forwarding for easy instructions on how to do it for your specific router.

You want to forward port 19132. The type of connection is both TCP and UDP. On some routers you need to do both a TCP entry and then a second entry as UDP.

Once you do this people will be able to connect to your Minecraft server through your public IP address. This is different than your local IP which is usually a 192.x.x.x or 10.x.x.x. If you don’t know what that is just go to google and type “what’s my ip” and Google will kindly tell you!

Wired vs. Wireless

Going with an ethernet (wired) connection is going to be faster and more reliable. There’s so much wireless traffic and other interference in the air that running your server on WiFi is not recommended.

Even if it is working great 99% of the time it can ruin your experience very quickly if the WiFi drops for a couple of seconds and you get blown up by a creeper!

All that being said, the server works fine on wireless. The script will work fine as is with a wireless connection.

Conclusion

The Minecraft Bedrock Edition dedicated server runs much better than previous third party servers in the past that were missing critical features. The performance is very good even on low end hardware. It has never been easier to set up a Minecraft Bedrock server.

If you have any feedback or suggestions let me know in the comment section. A lot of the changes and developments in this script and guide are directly from readers.

Have fun!

79 thoughts on “Minecraft Bedrock Edition – Ubuntu Dedicated Server Guide”

  1. Avatar for Blackjack

    Can someone explain how to resolve this? Got this message not long after agreeing to start up the server upon opening, and backup the server at 4am every day.

    ./SetupMinecraft.sh: line 279: screen: command not found

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Andrew,

      This link is pretty interesting. It looks like a fully cloud instanced server that you pay Google for the storage, bandwidth, computing resources, etc.

      This guide does not look like it is for Bedrock edition though. You install Java on here which would definitely be for the regular Java version (server.jar). Bedrock is written in C++ and does not use Java.

      That being said, it looks like your server.properties should be located in /home/minecraft. You should be able to get to it with:

      cd /home/minecraft
      ls
      nano server.properties

      After the ls command you should see server.properties as well as some other configuration files.

      Definitely check out my Java Minecraft server article as well here as a lot of the information there should be more relevant to your setup: Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Script w/ Startup Service 1.14.4. The guide is for Raspberry Pis but all the configuration information would be the same!

      1. Avatar for Andrew

        Thanks! To clarify, I did not install Java which is likely the core of my problem in trying to match up too many separate instructions. I’m getting a [ Directory ‘.’ is not writable ] error in Nano. If I precede it with Sudo I get a [ New File ] that is empty. I think I may wipe it and start fresh and see if I can get a little farther. Any other insights you might have are appreciated!

  2. Avatar for JJ

    Great script, thanks for the work on it. The instructions say to start, stop and restart using this format
    “`
    sudo systemctl start minecraftbe
    “`
    It’s actually
    “`sudo systemctl start [server-name]

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey JJ,

      This is a great catch! That instruction is from before multiple server support was added and needs to be updated. I’ll definitely put this in the next update!

  3. Avatar for Dylan Thomas

    Is there a way to change or import a map? i see a worlds folder but i do not see the bedrock world export format. i am still looking as i have just found this. Very nice by the way.

  4. Avatar for Glenn

    Great! Thanks.
    A question though:
    I got two IPv4 and IPV6 ?

    Is this normal?

    “[2019-09-09 18:02:41 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
    [2019-09-09 18:02:41 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
    [2019-09-09 18:02:41 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
    [2019-09-09 18:02:43 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
    [2019-09-09 18:02:43 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
    [2019-09-09 18:02:43 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 48847
    [2019-09-09 18:02:43 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 44032
    [2019-09-09 18:02:45 INFO] Server started.

  5. Avatar for Jasper

    is there a way to run two of these at the same time on the same server. I have them on two separate accounts and when i try to run the server on each only one of them will actually be available to connect to

    1. Avatar for Caden Fischer

      If you want to run two servers on one computer make sure they have different ports to listen to. That worked for me. To change the port edit server.properties

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