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
  • 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
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
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!

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

  1. Avatar for Pete

    Hi James, Thanks for the script. I had this running on Ubuntu 18.04 for ages and it worked perfectly. Upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 and I can no longer start the service. Re-running the original script doesn’t work either. Thoughts? Here is the error:

    ● BedrockServer.service – BedrockServer Minecraft Bedrock Server
    Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/BedrockServer.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
    Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Sat 2021-03-06 08:52:46 NZDT; 10s ago
    Process: 309975 ExecStartPre=/bin/chown -R admin /home/admin/minecraftbe/BedrockServer (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 309988 ExecStart=/bin/bash /home/admin/minecraftbe/BedrockServer/start.sh (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 310066 ExecStop=/bin/bash /home/admin/minecraftbe/BedrockServer/stop.sh (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[310009]: 250K ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. 72.1M
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[310009]: 300K .. 5556G=0.04s
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[310009]: 2021-03-06 08:52:41 (8.33 MB/s) – ‘downloads/version.html’ saved [310183]
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[309988]: Minecraft Bedrock server is up to date…
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[309988]: Starting Minecraft server. To view window type screen -r BedrockServer
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 bash[309988]: To minimize the window and let the server run in the background, press Ctrl+A then Ctrl+D
    Mar 06 08:52:41 srv01 systemd[1]: Started BedrockServer Minecraft Bedrock Server.
    Mar 06 08:52:46 srv01 bash[310066]: Server is not currently running!
    Mar 06 08:52:46 srv01 systemd[1]: BedrockServer.service: Control process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
    Mar 06 08:52:46 srv01 systemd[1]: BedrockServer.service: Failed with result ‘exit-code’.

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Pete,

      I would try removing the service and rerunning the script completely. This can be done with:

      sudo rm -rf /etc/systemd/system/BedrockServer.service
      sudo systemctl daemon-reload

      You can also try running the service yourself and see what happens with:

      sudo systemctl start BedrockServer

      This may yield an error message that may be helpful. It may also be possible that after your upgrade you just need to reload the daemons with the command:

      sudo systemctl daemon-reload

      Can you give those three things a try? This should help us narrow down what is going wrong here!

  2. Avatar for Anders Ruberg

    Awesome script, was able to setup a bedrock server in a couple of minutes on ubuntu 20.04 server!
    One question, is it possible to get timestamp in the server logging? I would like to be able to get some stats for how long time a player has been connected etc.
    Currently it just says
    [INFO] Player connected:

  3. Avatar for Knut

    Hi James,

    thank you for the brilliant guide! It worked perfectly on a HP Microserver!

    After that, I wanted to set up on a standalone server, so that the kids can play around on therer own. An older Dell 4600 with Pentium 4. I upgraded the Memory to 2GB, put in a 240GB SSD. Just when I installed Ubuntu, I realised that it is a 32Bit system. After some trying I found a 18.04. LTS for 32 Bit and the installation went fine. Then I was stuck. I understood, that I somehow need to get a 64-bit emulator with QEMU running, but it seems beyond my capacity. I found a lot of comments on your site, but something in the beginning seems to be missing. Could you give me some hints what to do after I installed ubuntu?

    BR, Knut

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Knut,

      That is awesome, I have wanted one of the HP Microservers for a long time! I have a couple old retired servers I use at home (Gen8 ML350p) and I’m fairly certain one Microserver could handle all the duties those perform and then some!

      So for the 32 bit we did try once before and the issue we ran into was that the libc library available on 32 bit Ubuntu was too old to support running a newer version of QEMU. You can check this thread out here where we give it our best to try to get it to run on 32 bit on both Ubuntu and Debian. I think Matt eventually gave up (which I don’t blame him, he had installed 2 32 bit OS’s and was still running into too old of libraries at every turn).

      That being said, you can definitely give putting QEMU on there a try. It has been a couple of months and maybe they backported the right libc back to 18.04 potentially. It may be worth trying with the steps I gave to Matt in there to see if you can get QEMU going but I wanted to give you the heads up that we have ran into trouble trying this before. This method can even be used to run the server on the Raspberry Pi. Building a static version of QEMU yourself from source should also work but it’s quite a bit of work and takes a long time to build.

      I think the biggest issue we ran into is that most 32 bit distributions/updates seem to have been discontinued. Here’s Ubuntu’s official discontinuation of 32 bit which wasn’t supposed to impact 18.04 in this announcement but the libraries in there were too old to run a new enough version of QEMU. There has to be some other distros out there that still update 32 bit so that is another thing to check as well!

  4. Avatar for Ema

    Hi James!

    Thanks a lot for this scripts! it’s really easy to make a server!

    I had one problem. I’m using it in a VM and in that VM I have 2 eth ports. For some reason when you use 2 eth ports I can’t connect to the server outside my network (over internet) but when I have only one eth port I can access without ptoblem. What can it be? I tried to see if I need to configure the port but I don’t find nothing to do that on your script.

    Hope you can help me!

    Best regards

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Ema,

      If I were to guess I would say that it’s potentially listening on the wrong IP address. When you have 2 eth ports it should have two different IP addresses for each one of those ethernet connections. If you type the command “ifconfig” (may need to be installed through apt-get, it will tell you which package you need if it’s not present, usually the net-tools package) it should give you a list of all your connections and the IP addresses assigned to them.

      You should be able to put the IP address you want to bind and “listen” on in server.properties which is located in the ~/minecraftbe/yourservername folder.

      The property you would set in the server.properties file for your server would be:

      server-ip=x.x.x.x

      Normally it’s recommended to leave this blank (which will usually try to listen on 0.0.0.0 or all IPs) but the option is provided for situations where there might be multiple network connections and leaving it blank isn’t listening on the desired/correct IP(s). If you set the server-ip property and restart the Minecraft server it should be available on that address!

  5. Avatar for Moses

    So i have the server installed on an old desktop and it is working, i can connect to it using the same network. We have 2 routers the one is connected to the public ip, and the other is a local network, the one with the public ip (let’s just call it router 1) forwards port requests to router 2 (the local network one). But my friends can’t seem to connect, any tips or advice? i’m sure you can fix it based on all the other people you’ve helped

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Moses,

      Going through two different routers gets very tricky. The configuration you are describing looks like a double NAT issue to me:

      https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT

      Your configuration may not match the picture perfectly depending on what role the internet device has (this picture shows a standalone modem but a lot of them these days are wireless modems as well that also have their own private network). The double NAT issue comes from when you’re going through two routers like this that both have private networks. You can do this and it won’t break the internet but it will break port forwarding and have some other side effects such as Xbox Live and Sony PSN rating your console’s connection as poor and unsuitable to be a game host, etc.

      The bottom of the article I linked has some alternate configurations you can try to resolve the double NAT issue such as putting the internet connected device in “bridge” mode. If you are in control of both of these networks (at least enough to configure them) then it may be worth a shot to try putting it in bridge mode!

      1. Avatar for Moses

        Thank you for the quick reply, i changed from where the server was connected, i connected the server to router 1 and now it works well.

        Thank you for this post because it would’ve taken me ages and a loss of sanity to get this done.

        Thank You!

          1. Avatar for Moses

            sadly i have yet another problem, it’s been a few days since my MC server got running, i log in this time but it says “You need to authenticate to Microsoft services” and then I can’t do anything, i don’t want to turn of online mode in server.properties because that kind of beats the whole point of the server

            1. Avatar for jamesachambers

              Hey Moses,

              It sounds like you need to sign out and back into Xbox Live on the computer you are connecting with giving you that error. You can also restart the server if you haven’t done it already but most likely the issue is actually with the client. Usually signing out and back in to Xbox Live will do the trick!

              EDIT: Oops, I just saw your other message that the authentication servers are having issues. There’s nothing you can do on your side about that and I’m sure it will be fixed soon!

  6. Avatar for Dmitri

    Hello! Thank you for the fantastic job done! The installer goes like a breeze!
    Do you have a modified version of the same script that is capable of installing any server version available for download with version number passed as, say, a script parameter?

  7. Avatar for Martiese

    Hello! Thank you for this.
    I also followed along to the discussion in the comments and was able to add a second server instance with different ports and delay, however Its too much for my little old machine to have multiple running.

    How to uninstall / remove multiple instances?
    Thanks
    Martiese

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Martiese,

      Great question! There will be a service created for the server that will be located at /etc/systemd/system/yourserverlabel.service. The “yourserverlabel” is the label you gave to your server during the installation. If you aren’t sure what it is you can cd /etc/systemd/system and then do:

      ls

      to see all the services installed on your system (be careful though, there’s lots of system services in here, but it should be obvious which one is the one you chose previously).

      Now just type:

      sudo rm -f /etc/systemd/system/yourserverlabel.service
      sudo systemctl daemon-reload

      And that will remove the startup service!

      1. Avatar for Martiese

        This worked perfectly. I really appreciate the response.

        I also wanted to note that your blog is very informative and the fact that you are so responsive and active in the comments as well, has turned this into more than just a blog post, but a learning adventure. Thank you.

  8. Avatar for Manney

    Hi James,
    thanks for this …. used parts of this to get a server up and running in azure both my sons + 6 of their mates all connected in using their xboxes…. happy days 😉

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