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

  • A computer with a 64 bit processor (if you are trying to use ARM read my article on the limitations). 32 bit binaries of the official server are not available so it needs to be 64 bit!
  • 1 GB of RAM or higher
  • Ubuntu Server 20.04 / 18.04

Recommended Gear

Game Editions

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is the “Windows 10” version of Minecraft as well as the version of Minecraft on the Xbox / Playstation / Switch. The versions of Minecraft for Android and iOS are also the Bedrock edition.

All of these versions support cross-platform play with each other (but not with the Java edition).

This is the PC Minecraft for Windows 10 (Bedrock) edition of Minecraft. It is able to play cross-platform with other players on Android / iOS / Playstation / Xbox / Switch. Available as a code that is instantly activated to give you permanent access to the game!

Links: Amazon.com*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.in*, Amazon.it*

This is the Microsoft Xbox version of Minecraft: Bedrock edition.

Links: Amazon.ae*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.com*, Amazon.com.au*, Amazon.com.mx*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.in*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.sg*

Recommended Storage (Solid State Drive)

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 capacity options are available) at a very low price:

Kingston A400 2.5″ SATA SSD

The Kingston A400 has been a great drive to use for years. It’s reliable, widely available around the world, has low power requirements and performs very well. It’s also very affordable. This drive has been benchmarked over 1000 times at storage.jamesachambers.com and is the #1 most popular SSD!

Links: AliExpress.com*, Amazon.ae*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.com*, Amazon.com.au*, Amazon.com.mx*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.in*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*, Amazon.sa*, Amazon.se*, Amazon.sg*

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 NVMe SSD

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a fantastic drive and has fallen in price substantially. It’s widely available around the world. The smaller capacities (such as the 250GB version) of this drive are perfect! This is the top performance option without going into the “Pro” series of the lineup which are much more expensive.

Links: AliExpress.com*, Amazon.ae*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.com*, Amazon.com.au*, Amazon.com.mx*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.in*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*, Amazon.sa*, Amazon.se*, Amazon.sg*

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 (as well as fast storage) 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.

The speed of your storage will make the largest difference. Older HDDs are going to have significantly slower performance than any modern SSD even with all other hardware equal. This is because the Minecraft server is constantly reading/writing chunks of your world as well as updates to it to the disk so this tends to be the bottleneck.

Operating System

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.

Note: People 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!

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

  1. Hi James,
    This might be very dumb, but I was wondering if there was a way to OP someone on the server or / and change Minecraft settings (as in game rules and stuff). I’m new to bedrock so I don’t know if that’s how it works but hopefully you understand what I’m saying!
    Thanks – Jacob

    1. Hey Jacob,

      Absolutely! The easiest way is to pull up your Minecraft server console with:

      screen -r yourservername

      or just

      screen -r

      will tell you all the screens you have running in the background and resume it. Once you have the server console open you can just type:

      op playername

      right in the console and press enter. This will immediately give them administrator privileges! They’ll be able to see extended commands in the help menus etc. once they have operator permissions!

  2. Sorry its me again…
    can anyone help me understand what this means?

    NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Starting Server
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Version 1.16.220.02
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Session ID b1c48d17-9092-4f34-b124-0c66060bd493
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Level Name: PegTopia
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
    [2021-04-14 17:16:51 INFO] Difficulty: 2 NORMAL
    [INFO] opening worlds/PegTopia/db
    [WARN] LevelDB worlds/PegTopia/db status NOT OK(IO error: fflush failed.:-1). Trying repair.
    [ERROR] Failed to open LevelDB!
    [ERROR] IO error: fflush failed.:-1
    [ERROR] Network port occupied, can’t start server.

    Thanks
    Mat

    1. Hey Mat,

      It sounds like a server process is stuck open in the background. It can’t open the server .db file and it says the network port is already occupied (meaning the server is already running and using that port).

      I’d just give the whole machine a reboot to close any open processes. If that still doesn’t work you may need to run ./fixpermissions.sh in the folder if something else has taken ownership of the files. That should get you back up and running!

      1. Thankyou.
        I dont know which fixed it but i have done all of those things in a variety of different orders.

        It is now working again so I and my children can get back to work!

        As always Thankyou.
        Mat

  3. Hi,
    I’ve done a variety of troubleshooting steps here and I am still unable to get the bedrock server to launch. My error is below. Note, this is launching the ./bedrock_server directly but I get the same result in the log file if I use the ./start.sh script too. I am running 20.04 LTS freshly installed and updated today. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance!

    NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Starting Server
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Version 1.16.220.02
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Session ID d767f0c1-97c2-4b42-bce5-465a7bb946a5
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
    [2021-04-13 18:21:17 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
    [INFO] opening worlds/Bedrock level/db
    [INFO] Package: com.mojang.minecraft.dedicatedserver
    Version: 1.16.220.02
    OS: Linux
    Server start: 2021-04-13 18:21:17 EDT
    Dmp timestamp: 2021-04-13 18:21:17 EDT
    Upload Date: 2021-04-13 18:21:17 EDT
    Session ID: d767f0c1-97c2-4b42-bce5-465a7bb946a5
    Commit hash: 83dca9ce456063492dfe4a5f8f0ee6894c94b963
    Build id: 5667913
    CrashReporter Key: 00cfefca-9736-34bd-a0a4-32b041b2b2f3

    Crash
    [INFO]
    Failed to open curl lib from binary, use libcurl.so instead

    1. Hey ThreadOne,

      That’s an interesting one. What do you get from this command:

      sudo apt-get install libcurl4 -y

      The other thing we may want to check is your permissions. I would do a chmod +x on any libraries or binaries in the folder. I don’t think there’s a curl library included in there (there’s one like libCrypto or something like that, and maybe a couple others) but it could be a permission related error which a:

      sudo ./fixpermissions.sh

      from inside your Minecraft server’s folder (this script should already exist in there) may be able to assist with. I also wonder if libcurl4 is gone and it’s something like libcurl5 now (the libraries update from time to time), or potentially your apt is having an issue and didn’t install the prerequisite for some reason. Let me know what you find as this will narrow things down!

      1. Hi James,
        Thanks for a quick reply.

        Results of sudo apt-get install libcurl4 -y:

        Reading package lists… Done
        Building dependency tree
        Reading state information… Done
        libcurl4 is already the newest version (7.68.0-1ubuntu2.5).
        The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
        chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra gstreamer1.0-vaapi libgstreamer-plugins-bad1.0-0 libva-wayland2
        Use ‘sudo apt autoremove’ to remove them.
        0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

        ran the sudo ./fixpermissions.sh and tried both ./bedrock_server (got same result as before i.e. curl error) and ./start.sh (different error, but lost it in the terminal and for whatever reason logs) and still got errors. Looked up libcurl4 and it appears that 7.68 is the latest (https://pkgs.org/search/?q=libcurl)

        Did a bit more digging and came across https://blog.usejournal.com/how-to-manually-update-curl-on-ubuntu-server-899476062ad6 and followed those steps and BOOM, the server is now running.

        Being a linux noob, I’m not fully sure what connected to make it work, but it seems that compiling curl made it work. Many thanks for what you’re doing here as it has certainly helped me maintain a server environment for my kids to play Minecraft together.

        1. Hey ThreadOne,

          Awesome! Thanks for letting me know what it was here. I’ll keep an eye out for more like this. I wonder if we could have forced a dpkg reinstall or something to have fixed it as well since it sounds like it was on there but your manual update steps definitely made something happy.

          Take care and enjoy, and tell the kids to have fun!

        2. Spoke too soon. Got it running but cannot connect. I’ll keep working at it but thank you again for the help!

          1. No worries, definitely try restarting the client completely after a failed connection attempt. Make sure you’re connecting Bedrock (the Windows 10 edition, Xbox and other consoles, Android and iOS) and not using Java as well. Good luck and let me know if I can help more!

            1. Following up on this…

              Certainly using bedrock all around (win 10 edition and iOS). I figured I’d go back to basics and just download the server from Mojang directly. It ran fine. Then I copied the files from that download into the server folder that your script creates, replacing what was there, and I am up and running and able to connect.

              Also, if this helps, I am running this on a PC (HP 290) with sufficient resources. Started with clean Ubuntu 20.04 desktop install, a sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade, and then your script. when that didn’t work, i downloaded the server files directly from mojang and ran them. once those successfully ran, I copied them to the folder your script made and ran ./start.sh. That got me up and running.

              Hopefully this will be useful to you or others and again, thank you for the script and the help!!

              1. Hi James,

                Please disregard all of the above…. I finally figured out what was causing the issue and it is 100% user error. Where you prompt for ports, I placed my server’s IP instead…. DOH!

                Thanks for your help and feel free to delete all of these comments as they do not add any value at all. 😀

                1. Hey ThreadOne,

                  No worries at all! I’m glad you posted all your steps here as it will definitely help others who are troubleshooting. It’s definitely tricky to get some parts of it working especially when it comes to networking and platform-specific quirks! Enjoy!

  4. Just thought I comment that the broken install/update is now fixed for me.
    The install and update was consistently broken on every environment that I tried (physical, kvm, lxc). I re-ran SetupMinecraft.sh yesterday and everything is working again. Thank you James and everyone.

  5. Hello, thank you very much for this great guide.

    I have been using my server for several months, but now it does not work.

    When I try to start the server: chown: invalid user: “userxname”

    Can you help me? Thanks a lot

  6. If someone still facing the issue server not running with version 16.220.xx.xx
    Go to your server and change permission for bedrock_server with 755

    Let’s compare with folder from the previous version.

    1. This worked for me, but I had to do additional steps.

      1) run the SetupMinecraft.sh script to update for good measure.
      2) sudo chmod 755 /user/server/bedrock_server
      3) sudo systemctl edit –full server.service
      a) edit out the user=uxername with my user
      4) sudo systemctl start server.service

      Server is up and running, thanks James and ALTELMA.

      1. Sorry – I am totally new to this stuff…
        I managed 1..!
        I managed 2 but had to change the file path .. sudo chmod 755 minecraftbe is that right?
        but i got stuck at 3…
        Invalid unit name “–full” escaped as “\xe2\x80\x93full” (maybe you should use systemd-escape?).
        No files found for \xe2\x80\x93full.service.
        Run ‘systemctl edit –force –full \xe2\x80\x93full.service’ to create a new unit.

        Any idea what it is i’m doing wrong?

        Thanks
        Mat

        1. Yes, I have the same problem.

          Can You explain it step by step? There are people who do not know anything about linux. :p Sorry!

          Thanks a lot!

      2. Thank you Alex! This was very helpful because my server was not working anymore since last night update.
        Lets hope the next update is not overwriting this fix.

  7. ergs of energy

    running 20.04 and your script (so fast to set it up) and had minecraft BE setup in under 20 mins including OS install.

    next morning – after rebooting, running script manually, restarting the setup script, all come to nought.

    i get the message

    chown: invalid user: ‘username’

    any suggestions?

      1. Hey Alex,

        I updated the scripts today to fix these issues. If you are seeing userxname in the systemd service that means you are reusing the old SetupMinecraft.sh script. You need to delete that version and download it from scratch. If you’re getting userxname it’s the old version that didn’t put the username into the service!

    1. I had the same exact issue. Commenting the username out didn’t seem to help, but running chmod +x bedrock_server got me going. YMMV.

      Good luck!

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