Minecraft Bedrock Edition – Ubuntu Dedicated Server Guide

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
  • Fully operational Minecraft Bedrock edition server in a couple of minutes
  • Sets up Minecraft as a system service with option to autostart at boot
  • Automatic backups when server restarts
  • Supports multiple instances — you can run multiple Bedrock servers on the same system
  • 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

UPDATE 12/10/20 – Multiple instances are currently broken due to the Minecraft Bedrock Edition dedicated server opening up a set of ports it is not supposed to. Official bug is here on Mojang’s official website. This should fix itself eventually as it has nothing to do with this script but is in fact a bug in the server itself but for now be advised multiple instances don’t work. Single instances of the server are still fine.

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*

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 originally.

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 20.04. 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, and 20.04 is recommended!

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.

Installing Resource Packs / RTX Support

For instructions on how to install resource packs (including optional RTX support) view my step by step Minecraft Bedrock Dedicated Server Resource Packs guide here.

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

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!

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

  1. Thanks you for this guide and the scripting work. I’m sure it took several hours to complete and test. FYI, I wanted to run two servers on the same box. I did the simple fix and added a “sleep 60” command to the start.sh of the second server. Works great!

    1. Hey Chris,

      I’m glad the sleep tip is helping people, thanks for letting me know. I may try to integrate this right in the setup script asking if you want a startup delay since this is helping out a lot of people!

  2. Hi James,
    Thanks a lot for all your work on this. It’s much appreciated.
    Regarding multiple server instances, I read the bug you raised in Mojang Jira – I came across the same issue when hosting mutiple servers on a Windows machine using my own scripts. I got around it by sequencing the start of the servers, such that the standard port server always opens 1st, followed by non-standard port servers.
    I wonder, are you planning any work-around for the isse to allow multiple servers? Could you suggest a work-around that could be easily implemented in your script?
    Thanks again.
    Oli

    1. Hey Oli,

      That’s actually really interesting! I would love to implement a workaround to fix multiple ports into the script. I actually have never heard of a viable workaround!

      So I will have to investigate further but I do have an idea you can try right off the top of my head given the information you’ve shared. Years ago I was asked here in the comments if it was possible to implement a startup delay. I’m thinking based on what you said this would be very easy to use for this purpose.

      We can add a startup delay to the servers not using default ports so they start up later than the default ports one and that one is always first.

      This could be done in either the systemd service or in start.sh. To add it to the service you can edit it with:

      sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/yourservername.service

      We are going to add the following line in right before the ExecStart= line:

      ExecStartPre=/bin/sleep 30

      An even easier way to do this would be to put a sleep 30 line in the start.sh file for the server that needs to start up later than the one with the original ports. I think this would be worth a try! If it works I could definitely figure out a way to have the script automatically set this up!

      1. Hi James,
        Thanks for the tips. Good news!
        So I now have two servers installed – scout_server_001 and private_server_001.
        scout_server_001 is hosted on ports 19132/19133
        private_server_001 is hosted on ports 19134/19135
        All I did was add the private_server_001.service to the After= directive in the systemd service file:

        pw-minecraft@pw-minecraft:~$ cat /etc/systemd/system/private_server_001.service
        [Unit]
        Description=private_server_001 minecraft server
        After=network-online.target scout_server_001.service

        And it works! Now after a reboot:

        scout_server_001:

        NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Starting Server
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Version 1.16.201.2
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Session ID 1fa8c3dd-50ff-43ea-828b-548a3c52eb95
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Level Name: 91st Survival Camp!
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Game mode: 1 Creative
        [2021-01-21 18:12:39 INFO] Difficulty: 0 PEACEFUL
        [INFO] opening worlds/91st Survival Camp!/db
        [INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
        [INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
        [INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 40382
        [INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 51145
        [INFO] Server started.
        [INFO] Player connected: EpicDanLee, xuid: 2535424402080193

        private_server_001:

        NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Starting Server
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Version 1.16.201.2
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Session ID 826495b7-3be3-4a9b-8655-f5f95bd7a55a
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
        [2021-01-21 18:12:40 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
        [INFO] opening worlds/Bedrock level/db
        [INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19134
        [INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19135
        [INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 54005
        [INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 54184
        [INFO] Server started.

        I feel I should probably do some more testing to check if it’s deterministic, and also will report back what happens when the cron jobs run tonight, but looks good so far!

        1. Hey Oli,

          That is fantastic news! I’ve been thinking of how to implement it into my setup script and I think it should be relatively easy. Basically the main server on the default ports will have no startup delay and the others will have a startup delay.

          For servers with multiple setups the script may recommend some tuning but it would be very easy to have it support at least 2 without any hands-on tweaking like loading a chain of servers in sequence or anything like that.

          Thanks for letting me know! It doesn’t seem like Microsoft is going to fix the dedicated server port bugs any time soon so this is definitely a worthy workaround!

  3. Great guide! Do you have a guide on how to install resource packs for this version of Minecraft on Ubuntu server that I’ve setup by following this guide?

    Thanks!

      1. Thanks! I noticed that he guide seems to be geared towards windows based server installs? Would that translate somewhat to ubuntu?

        1. Hey Zerrikan,

          The servers are identical on any platform. I personally don’t host a Windows one and didn’t write either guide using a Windows server. I just showed how to modify some of the files within Windows since the fastest/easiest way for me was to WinSCP in from a workstation but it doesn’t matter how you edit them and there’s nothing platform specific.

          You can use FileZilla or modify them by hand using vim/nano from Linux or a keyboard/terminal to make the same changes. It’s just text and you can edit them however you feel comfortable!

          We’ve actually tested transferring files between my Bedrock Linux server setup and the Windows Bedrock dedicated server verbatim only replacing bedrock_server with bedrock_server.exe and vice versa and it works, the files themselves are completely platform neutral fortunately!

  4. Hi James! Great thing, I made my own server runnig, thanks for that.
    Is it possible to import a wold from another server runnig the same version? I malde a backup there and got a file called “world.mcworld” where “.mcworld” is a renamed “.zip”. Inside the file there ist the normal bulid of a minecraft world (folder db, level.dat, level.dat_old and levelname.txt).
    I just tried to copy the files to the wold folder of my server, but the server starts with an IO error.

    thanks in advance
    Matthias

    1. Hey Mattias,

      Most of the time it has been the permissions after copying. Do a:

      sudo chown -R pi ~/minecraft

      You can substitute pi with your username but basically we’re taking ownership of all the files in the Minecraft directory!

      Depending on the IO error it could be corruption or a bad copy but 90% of the time it has been permissions related. Can you give that a try and see if it will go after a reboot?

      1. Hey James,
        works perfect! In addition to that, I also eddided the server property file and changed the name to the value from the levelname.txt and made a new folder in “worlds” with the same name. Now everything is running fine and as fast as I hoped.

        so thanks man, you made my day (and the day of my daughter :-))

        Greetings Matthias

  5. I have 2 servers set up for my son, and found that they were stuck at 1.16.40 – no auto update because the “internet connection” test URL “https://minecraft.net/en-us/download/server/bedrock/” currently suffers from a redirect, so the update fails. I had to change it to “https://www.google.com/” in start.sh – works beautifully now!

    1. Hey Justin,

      Sorry about that! That was actually fixed a little while ago. What happened is Minecraft made it so that if you “spidered” the server it redirected or gave you an error.

      The new version no longer uses the spider parameter to test for internet connectivity. The workaround you did works too!

      1. Ahh, excellent – yeah, I have had these VMs running for quite some time, and had complaints when my son tried to join yesterday, so spent some time forcing updates without the connectivity test (just hashing them out) then went to work making the script function properly whilst unattended.
        I had not heard about the “anti spider” issue, so just changed the address and away it went.

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