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!

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

  1. Avatar for AlunR

    Maximum Kudos for your script. It’s saved my sanity during lockdown allowing all the kids from my son’s school to play together!

    The only problem is I can’t find any kind of logs that will help me keep an eye on the users. We seem to have a young arsonist who like setting fire to people’s houses when they arent there!! Any ideas where I could find out who has been online?

    1. Avatar for Alun Rowe

      So, I added L to the start command so it reads

      screen -dmSL NamOfMyWorld /bin/bash

      and now I get a screenlog.0 file I can review on a regular basis so I at least know who has been in the server outside the usual playtime.

      Pity the JS server scripting so well developed yet as I could log anytime TNT or Fire is used!

  2. Avatar for Uzair

    So I’ve run through the instructions, and everything seemed to be working fine (great site, by the way). But when I go onto my phone and try to connect, it just sits at the ‘Locating server’screen and disconnects. It does show me as being connected in the console, though.
    I’m running this off a raspberry pi if that helps.

  3. Avatar for Dan

    Fantastic! I made a Debian Server in virtualbox on a 2010 Macbook Pro (Core i5, 8GB RAM, SSD) because it was available. Hosted 8 kids from our Boy Scout troop and they had a blast. Your server packaging was perfect. I changed nothing. Worked right out of the box. (I only wish M$, Nintendo, and Sony could make it easier and cheaper on their end!)

  4. Avatar for Ian

    A while back I installed using this script – left a nice kudo in the comments about it 😉 Anyway, I tried to run again today in order to set up an additional server. I ran the script, chose a unique name, and unique ports for both ipv4 and ipv6, and all seemed well. However, I can only get one of the two to start at a time.

    The new server starts on reboot, and the original won’t. If I stop the new, start the old, it’s fine. The new always seems to jump on 19132 despite having specified it as 19134/19135. I noticed after install that it wasn’t correct in server.properties, so I updated everything there thinking that would do it, but no dice.

    Is there somewhere else I might find 19132 incorrectly assigned to the new instance? I’d really love to have multiple servers running simultaneously in the house for Survival/Creative/Flat/etc. A Netstat –listen shows all four ports I’d designated. It’s really quite curious 😉

    Much appreciated!

    1. Avatar for Ian

      I just redid the install and noticed it’s doing this….

      [2020-06-03 23:42:58 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19169
      [2020-06-03 23:42:58 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19170
      [2020-06-03 23:42:58 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
      [2020-06-03 23:42:58 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
      [2020-06-03 23:43:00 INFO] Server started.

      1. Avatar for Ian

        One note on this – although I do seem to have a conflict somehow, part of the problem is the Xbox One. After stopping both servers, starting one, then starting the other. I can see one on the Xbox One, and the other is connectable by specifying the port from Android. Looks like the Xbox One can ONLY see the server if it’s on port 19132.

        That said – here’ s a workaround if the goal is to connect without specifying ports:

        in server.properties, set one server as 19132 for ipv4, something else for ipv6. Set the other as something random for ipv4, and 19133 for ipv6. Once I did this, both of my servers popped up on the xbox, and natively on Android without having to specify the port – woot!!

  5. Avatar for Latsyc

    I stumbled across this article trying to work out how to have my existing bedrock server run as a service on my server rather than having to manually start it after a reboot. This is a more complete and elegant solution than anything I could have done myself. Thanks for making this awesome script and saving me a lot of time and frustration!

  6. Avatar for JM

    Were you able to successfully connect external network UPD using this version?

    I seem to have internal network access but external access seems to fail, I’m happy to troubleshoot but was curious if there is confirmation of external UPD success?

  7. Avatar for Jonathan Gahan
    Jonathan Gahan

    Thanks for this great write-up. It made it really easy for me to set up a Minecraft server for my kids and I on an old desktop made from leftover parts I had lying around. Installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and installed the server, and it pretty well, given the hardware it has to work with (an Atom D525 with 4GB RAM and rust-based storage).

  8. Avatar for Paul

    I can not connect to Minecraft bedrock edition. I’m currently hosting this on digitalocean/droplet and used the Minecraft bedrock edition from marketplace.
    I have the scripts list above and have everything already running but I can’t connect from Minecraft client to bedrock server.
    Any idea on how to configure this?

  9. Avatar for JB

    Thanks for this! I slavishly copied your setup (including the compute stick) and am up and running. I suspect the creative flag being ignored is part of the alphaness.

  10. Avatar for Tom

    This script was great! I used in on my Linux machine with no problem. I have since purchased a new computer, however, I’m having trouble dual booting, so I’m stuck with Windows 10 for now. Using WSL seems like an obvious option, however, I don’t think the server will automatically start when the computer first starts up. Also, is there an update function as well that can check for the latest version and update if needed?

    Thanks again!

  11. Avatar for Farina

    This script is awesome and works fantastic on my Ubuntu server…that said I was trying to move it over to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and I keep running into an issue. When it tries to start the server it says “System has not been booted with systemd as init system (PID 1). Can’t operate.”. I’ve found a lot of articles basically saying that WSL doesn’t have access to run files the same way as native Linux so you have to change the way you invoke the server. That said, I can’t figure it out :(. I’ve changed your script such that it calls “sudo service $ServerName start” but it cannot find that server.

    I thought I might drop you a line just to see if you have played with WSL and possibly solved this issue. Thanks!!

  12. Avatar for Alex

    Hi,
    Thanks for your script !

    Juste one question: I have setup up the autostart at boot, and it works.
    But now how can enter in interactive mode of the server without stoping it ?

    Thank you …

      1. Avatar for Spinner

        The script works fine and everything is running fine. However I have also set up the auto start at boot and would like to enter the interactive mode for administration. Problem is that screen -r says ‘There is no screen to be resumed’. Also right after a reboot. Any pointers?

  13. Avatar for chris

    it looked like things were working but this is what I get…. I’m not sure if I did something wrong.

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ ls
    SetupMinecraft.sh minecraftbe
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ cd ~/minecraftbe
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/minecraftbe$ ./start.sh
    -bash: ./start.sh: No such file or directory
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/minecraftbe$ sudo systemctrl start minecraftbe
    sudo: systemctrl: command not found
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/minecraftbe$ screen -r

    NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Starting Server
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Version 1.14.60.5
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Session ID 94c985fe-f439-4bfa-9884-a0bfa0551c74
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Game mode: 0 Survival
    [2020-04-26 23:51:11 INFO] Difficulty: 1 EASY
    [2020-04-26 23:51:15 INFO] opening worlds/Bedrock level/db
    Unsupported setsockopt level=41 optname=34
    [2020-04-26 23:54:05 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 19132
    [2020-04-26 23:54:05 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 19133
    Unsupported setsockopt level=41 optname=34
    [2020-04-26 23:54:05 INFO] IPv4 supported, port: 52437
    [2020-04-26 23:54:05 INFO] IPv6 supported, port: 51591
    [2020-04-26 23:55:16 INFO] Server started.

    1. Avatar for Lars Wolf

      The scripts are in the named directory, you need to go one level deeper than minecraftbe/

      And the command is systemctl without the r 🙂

  14. Avatar for Lars Wolf

    Thank you so much! I found this while trying to get the server to start at boot. All sorted now!
    I will try to tweak things a bit, as I don’t plan to run the server 24/7.

  15. Avatar for Ian

    This is pretty fantastic – thank you! I’d already set up MinecraftBE on ubuntu, and was working through auto-start/backups, how I’m going to keep it up to date, etc. I stumbled across this when looking into how to keep the version current, and this is absolutely fantastic – thanks again!

  16. Avatar for Eric

    I just want to say your script is great. I have used it once and I never had a problem. I do have a question. My nephew plays on the server alot but I wanted to know how to add mods to the server without building a whole new server. He wants to play crazy craft but he is young so it would have to be on creative like the server is configured for now. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

  17. Avatar for Dereck

    When I run the script, LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./bedrock_server, I get

    ERROR: ld.so: object ‘/usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libarmmem-${PLATFORM}.so’ from /etc/ld.so.preload cannot be preloaded (cannot open shared object file): ignored.
    NO LOG FILE! – setting up server logging…
    [2020-04-19 11:31:05 INFO] Starting Server
    [2020-04-19 11:31:05 INFO] Version 1.14.60.5
    [2020-04-19 11:31:05 INFO] Session ID dfcbbca9-6ad8-429f-b29f-cb48d6555b5e
    [2020-04-19 11:31:05 INFO] Level Name: Bedrock level
    Bus error

    What am I doing wrong? I’d really appreciate some help.

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