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!

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

  1. Avatar for GaboMcGamer

    Hey there, I have a problem, when I try to enter my server sends this message “Wow this server is popular! Check back later if space opens up.”,I’m using a Linode Ubuntu 19 server

  2. Avatar for chad perry

    I’m seeing this suddenly. Didn’t happen before. Been running a few months now.
    Console says running AutoCompaction. Is this part your your project or could it be from a function I added?
    I appreciate any help you may be able to offer.

  3. Avatar for Anders

    Hello, installed the server on a Unbuntu in Azure, works perfectly. Been running 5 days without a glitch.
    however one question …

    When i Loose the Putty and reconnect to the server how do I get back into MCBE-Console?
    tried the ‘screen -r’ but it says no screen to resume …

    hope you can assist a hopeless Ubuntu wannabee techie …
    Cheers.

  4. Avatar for Ali

    This script no longer works with Ubuntu 19.10. Firstly bash does not recognize “function” on line 17 so I removed that and put “() in front and fixed that error.
    But I still get “SetupMinecraft.sh: 22: Bad substitution” and i’m still trying to figure that out (kinda rusty on bash scripts).

  5. Avatar for Henry

    Greetings,

    I’m on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, followed your tutorial and been playing for last three weeks. Today the server didn’t start, all I see on the logs when I manually start the server is:

    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Starting Server
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Version 1.14.30.2
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Session ID e8b471d4-e4e0-43af-b9ac-3f97f9a62950
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock Vanilla
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
    [2020-02-20 09:39:09 ERROR] Network port occupied, can’t start server.

    I’ve checked process running on the port 19132 or 19133 (IPv6) but nothing is running. If i change the level-name on server.properties the server starts as usual, but obviously my previous seed and constructions are missing.

    Today I downloaded the installer form minecraft web and copy my world to the new installation and I’m getting the same error. If it is a corrupted world problem, how can I restore to last version or migrate my world constructions.

    Thx.

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Henry,

      It sounds like a duplicate of the server may already be running (it says network port occupied meaning it is in use already).

      Try the command ps -AF to list all processes and look for any instances of “screen” or the bedrock server. You can kill these processes by using the command kill and the PID for the process given from the ps command (example: kill 1056)

      Once you have killed them try restarting the server again and you should be in business!

      1. Avatar for Henry

        After running the command, this is my results:
        ps -AF | grep screen
        user 1596 1428 0 19473 5372 3 feb19 ? 00:00:10 xscreensaver -no-splash
        user 1764 1 0 107440 23568 1 feb19 ? 00:00:00 /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver –no-daemon
        user 16964 27672 0 5383 1108 4 11:33 pts/3 00:00:00 grep –color=auto screen

        ps -AF | grep
        avahi 1013 1 0 11848 3740 5 feb19 ? 00:00:09 avahi-daemon: running [.local]
        user 18066 27672 0 5383 1036 2 11:44 pts/3 00:00:00 grep –color=auto

        If I change the level-name= string on server.properties, the server starts as usual:
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Starting Server
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Version 1.14.30.2
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Session ID ace91c9a-0c5f-41e2-a1c2-7aaefc478a83
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
        [2020-02-20 09:29:58 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
        [2020-02-20 09:29:59 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
        [2020-02-20 09:29:59 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
        [2020-02-20 09:29:59 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 45923
        [2020-02-20 09:29:59 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 57382
        [2020-02-20 09:30:00 INFO] Server started.

  6. Avatar for DE

    I think this is more of a quirk with how the bedrock servers start up, but I have two servers setup, one on the default port, 19132, the other on port 19134. on a server reboot and during the cron scheduled reboots, the server on port 19132 regularly complains the port is in use. I need to stop all servers, start server 1 then start server 2 and all is good. I’ve also manually modified the cron job to be 5 minutes apart. Thought I’d post here in case anyone else is running into the same issue.

  7. Avatar for run_tron

    Everything seems to work for me! Has anyone tried to install python modules mpci or the custom python interface bedrock from https://github.com/BluCodeGH/bedrock/pulse? I’ve tried installing both, but cant seems to get mcpi to work, or find the correct path/usage for bedrock. It’s been great having MCBE on Ubuntu but it would be nice to also be able to use python to interact with BE.

    1. Avatar for Steve

      did you find a solution? I’ve been working on this without success. I am wondering if the problem is that MCBE does not allow plugins?

  8. Avatar for Maka

    Hi,

    Everything works fine during process until that error :

    dpkg: error: cannot access archive ‘qemu-user*.deb’ no such file or directory
    QEMU-x86_64-static did not install successfully

    Could you please help me ?

    Thx

  9. Avatar for Daniel

    Hi James,
    Thank you for your amazing script, It was very simple to install, and run the server. Everything works perfectly, but I have a question. Is there any way to log user logins? I would be happy to implement this to my server, and so far what I’ve seen is that I get a Dedicated_server.txt in the root folder. When I enter the screen then the output is saved to it, but if I don’t then this file will be empty after the server restarted. Also I see a text in it:
    “Content logging enabled. Writing log to: ContentLog__Monday__2020_January_27__07_55_06”
    I really have no idea where should I find it, I tried to use google, but found no help.
    Do you have any idea what could I do to make a simple logging?

    Thank you in advance,
    Regards,
    Daniel

  10. Avatar for P L

    Hi James, thanks for creating this. I see the daily restart cron in crontab, but I’m having trouble with autostart.

    I didn’t see a terminal prompt, so checked to see if it was running:

    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ sudo systemctl start loomcraft.service

    Job for loomcraft.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
    See “systemctl status loomcraft.service” and “journalctl -xe” for details.

    So I followed the prompt:

    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ systemctl status loomcraft.service
    loomcraft.service – loomcraft minecraft server
    Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/loomcraft.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled
    Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2020-01-27 11:57:08 PST; 13s ago
    Process: 2802 ExecStart=/bin/bash /home/loomcraft/minecraftbe/loomcraft/start.sh (code=

    Jan 27 11:57:08 loomcraft systemd[1]: Starting loomcraft minecraft server…
    Jan 27 11:57:08 loomcraft bash[2802]: Server is already started! Press screen -r loomcra
    Jan 27 11:57:08 loomcraft systemd[1]: loomcraft.service: Control process exited, code=exi
    Jan 27 11:57:08 loomcraft systemd[1]: loomcraft.service: Failed with result ‘exit-code’.
    Jan 27 11:57:08 loomcraft systemd[1]: Failed to start loomcraft minecraft server.

    So I tried to bring up the screen, but:

    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ screen -r loomcraft
    There is no screen to be resumed matching loomcraft.

    Then I tried to stop and restart the server, but ran into the same issue:

    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ ./stop.sh
    Stopping Minecraft server …
    No screen session found.
    No screen session found.
    ^C
    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ ./restart.sh
    Sending restart notifications to server…
    No screen session found.
    ^C
    loomcraft@loomcraft:~/minecraftbe/loomcraft$ ./start.sh
    Server is already started! Press screen -r loomcraft to open it

    Any idea of what’s going on?

    Thanks.

  11. Avatar for Robert Willhelm

    another question. Auto restart and backup function doesn’t seem to be giving my players notice. and seems to be losing their inventory, i have also seen stuff i have put into chests go missing after these restarts. is there a way to save the world before it restarts?

  12. Avatar for Steve D

    Hi James,

    The guide & script is excellent, thank you.

    One question… I’m setting this up for my kids to play on with their friends… how do I go about adding one of the worlds featured on the marketplace?

    Many thanks,

    Steve D.

  13. Avatar for Fresh Pepper

    Thanks for the script and guide, this is super cool!

    I recently picked up a Mac Mini 2012 i7, 16GB RAM for cheap and have been looking for something to do with it. I had your script up and running in like a minute! My question is about CPU usage, as I noticed all 8 CPU cores immediately jump to 100% when a user joins and was wondering if that’s a problem, or a sign that this computer isn’t up to the task? I did notice that A) the CPU usage drops after the initial world is loaded in for my player and B) the CPU usage starts much lower when I drop the view distance, but to be honest, view distance is exactly why I’m looking for this instead of using official Realms, where the view distance is forced to only 10.

    Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Nils

      Hi James,
      thanks for the nice script!

      How do I start a 2nd world on the server, so I have e.an main and a “test” world on it?

      greets Nils

  14. Avatar for Norman

    Hi James –
    Thank you for the scripts and the excellent guidance. I followed it all but in minecraft cannot connect to the server (via LAN). Running ‘top’ on the server shows ‘bedrock_server’ is running. I kept the port at 19132. Do you know of a troubleshooting guide? FAQ?
    xxx:~/minecraftbe/candiceMC$ ps -Flww -p 3070
    F S UID PID PPID C PRI NI ADDR SZ WCHAN RSS PSR STIME TTY TIME CMD
    0 S norman 3070 3069 1 80 0 – 325270 hrtime 152408 1 23:36 pts/1 00:00:14 /home/norman/minecraftbe/candiceMC/bedrock_server

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Norman,

      First lets look at the server console. Type screen -r to bring up the Minecraft Bedrock server console. Check the console screen and see if there is any information that would explain like a port binding error, etc.

      Also make sure that the Minecraft version you are trying to connect with is definitely Bedrock. Anything to do with the Java version for example is the wrong version of Minecraft and won’t work!

      1. Avatar for Norman

        Thank you James. At 3AM this morning I woke up and remembered that I had enabled ufw. Ugh, my memory is shot. But that did the trick.

  15. Avatar for Robert Willhelm

    my server is ignoring default-player-permission-level set in the server.properties file and any one who joins comes in as a visitor, as the op i can set their permissions from in game but i want people to come and go.

  16. Avatar for User

    Is there an rcon utility that can be built into this script to remotely control admin actions, etc? or is that what screen -r is?

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey User,

      Type screen -r and you will get the admin console! Typically most people will only use the console to give themselves operator rights and most of the commands will be used in game.

  17. Avatar for AndrewG

    Can I run this on the same server we have our Minecraft Java edition running? If so, how do I enable it to work alongside the Java edition?

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Andrew,

      Right now it performs too slow but I’m working on a guide that uses the native ARM version (very fast in comparison). I’ve been slow to complete this as some of the other projects I have on here have taken priority but it’s my 2020 new years resolution to get one that’s as simple and fast to run as the Java version!

  18. Avatar for Durrg

    Thanks for your efforts and the excellent guide. I am new to using ubuntu in virtualbox and this was very helpful. How do I add a saved world to the bedrock server and edit the JSON files?

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Durrg,

      Great question! Basically you transfer everything from your “db” folder to the “db” folder on the server. Before you do that though delete all the existing stuff created by the Bedrock server in that same db folder!

      1. Avatar for Durrg

        Thanks for the quick response James! Forgive me I am a ubuntu noob and working this out for the first time. I don’t have much Ubuntu terminal (or associated commands) experience, tho I am familiar with android ADB. For the life of me I cant find the “db” folder on the server. Do I have to access “db” folder on server from the virtualbox Ubuntu terminal?

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