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 longN3ck

    Executed this on AWS lightsail, worked perfectly – which was great since before I was trying to cobble together things that were in various guides related to bedrock and Java AWS.
    FTP’d into my lightsail and replaced the world files with a previous realm I downloaded (extracted .mcworld). Joined and was in same position with inventory etc. when I left realm.

  2. Avatar for Austin

    Hey, this tutorial is working great at getting the server installed, but nothing can connect to the server. I’ve tried different phones, tried on a switch, tried on my friend’s laptop, double and triple checked my privacy settings, made sure online mode was set to false, made sure my ports were correct, and nothing has worked. I really want to get this working, any advice would be very appreciated.

  3. Avatar for Christian

    Thanks a lot for all the effort in this project.

    First I tried to install this on one of my servers running Debian 9.
    All went well, but as it tried to start it said: Error: Unknown option Logfile.
    I found out, that this can occur on older versions of screen.
    So I tried to upgrade but it said I was already on the latest version for Debian 9.

    In the end I decided to install Ubuntu 20 and that went fine.
    Perhaps you have a solution to install a newer version of screen on Debian?

    Thanks again and all the best

    Christian

  4. Avatar for Micah Scott

    Hi, thank you for this guide, it was super helpful for info i needed. i have a freenas server with a VM for Ubuntu server 18. my friend has a world on Minecraft for his android phone, we all have to wait until hes online to play so i thought i would make server out of his world, how would i go about doing this? he sent his world file but i don’t know where to place the file (Hes on 1.16 and android 10 if that is helpful) Thanks in Advance

  5. Avatar for RJDaPirate

    Dude, thank your for helping set me straight. Just wish I has found this article (and your one on running Bedrock on Raspberry PI) last week. After 10+ hours of failing to produce a MC-BE on our Pi 4 4gb I pulled my 9+ year old windows 7 machine out of storage. Within one hour my kids were playing together from their Kindles.

    If you are ever in Maryland / DC then I own you at least one drink.

  6. Avatar for Shane Kuester

    Hello,
    I know nothing about MineCraft, but I’m pretty good with servers and such. I’m trying to help my girls setup a server to share with their friends. Not knowing the game, I setup the 1.14 version of bedrock. Now, I’m trying to update to 1.16, but I can’t find the download. If I go to: https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server/bedrock/ all I get is a message saying that it is alpha software, but there is nowhere to download it.
    Do you have any idea what is going on? Is there somewhere else I should go?
    Thanks,
    -Shane

  7. Avatar for Juan-Marc

    Hi James,

    Not sure if you’re aware but some tweaks are needed for the new version of 1.16.1 of the scripts.
    Happy to provide details as required.

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      Hey Juan,

      I wasn’t aware! I’d love some details if you have a chance to briefly describe them. If not I will definitely look into it too and see if we can get these fixed!

      -James

  8. Avatar for Gari

    Hi James, Great work, Thanks for sharing the scripts. This has made my life easy while setting up the server for my son.
    However what I found is that script sets up the server in user’s home folder. Is there is way to setup the server in another folder which is mounted to another drive ?
    I tired to run the script from another folder but it always defualt to CD~.
    Also, is there a uninstall script which will undo all the changed made by script ?

  9. Avatar for lucasblack29

    Hi, I kinda noticed that the restart.sh script causes the service to consider that the server has crashed, so doing service stop no longer works even though the server is actually running.

  10. Avatar for Chad Perry

    I am having trouble finding the Data folder for adding functions to the server. Can someone please remind me where to locate functions?
    Thanks,
    Chad

    1. Avatar for chad

      I found the file location i was looking for.
      My original problem is that functions are not working.
      getting syntax errors with functions that ran properly before.
      anyone else having this issue?
      Thanks,
      Chad

  11. Avatar for toby

    hi, first i just want to say how useful and easy this is to use. i have 8 people able to connect to my server and we are really enjoying it. i wanted to add an Add on so we could get more mob heads much like they have in Hermitcraft. i found one and tried it in one of my worlds and it worked perfectly. i got it from FoxyNoTail.com and he had a tutorial on adding an add on to a bedrock dedicated server. he was on windows and i followed his tutorial and got nowhere. do you know of a way to get mods on a server? also i wanted to know if there is a way to turn coordinates on without turning cheats on. thank you for your time

  12. Avatar for Peter Ruppert

    Look, your script made my life so much easier. I appreciate you so much. Is there anyway I can send you some money? Maybe $20? Just as a small thank you for your time!

    1. Avatar for jamesachambers

      You’re too kind Peter! I’m glad it was able to help.

      If you’re super motivated I have some crypto links at the bottom (I know not everyone has crypto) but I think just stopping in and saying thanks was enough!

  13. Avatar for Puzzled

    Thank you for your scripts. They are very helpful. I’ve had the bedrock server running successfully for few days now on Ubuntu 20.04. However, starting this morning, the server keeps terminating by itself (after running with one or two users for an hour or so). I tried to check the server log to see what may be wrong, but I cannot seem to be able to find the log. One of the lines in the screen console is
    [2020-06-29 15:40:04 INFO] Content logging enabled. Writing log to: ContentLog__Monday__2020_June_29__15_40_04
    So it seems that the log should be there, but I cannot find it. Do you know where the log would be? Also, could this be a memory issue? Should I be increasing the memory allocated to the server, if so how would I do this? Your instructions mentioned that it can be done by running the SetupMinecraft.sh script again, but I didn’t see where the memory allocation is set.

  14. Avatar for Chaiya Laoteppitaks
    Chaiya Laoteppitaks

    Thanks for sharing this. I ran the scripts on an Amazon Lightsail instance and things look like they are running but I can’t seem to connect, I created a firewall rule: application Custom, Protocol UDP, port range 19132-19133 and no IP address restriction. I tried checking the port using yougetsignal.com’s port checker and it’s coming up as blocked. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    1. Avatar for Lyco Tatierra

      Here in Manila, We have Received the new update for BDS (June 24, 2am PhST) i think it may vary on the timezone of your server.

  15. Avatar for Hobes128

    Afternoon James. I’ve been using your scripts to manage my Ubuntu Minecraft bedrock server for a few months now, and it’s all been working great so thank you!

    The windows 10 Mincraft bedrock client has been updated today to version 1.16.0 (the so called “Nether update”), but as far as i can tell, the ubuntu server has not been updated. Your script is coded to automatically find and download server updates when they are available but when i ./start.sh it reports that the server is up to date with version 1.14.60.5 and i confirmed via the Minecraft.net website (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server/bedrock/) that there’s no newer version.

    Just thought I’d mention this, becuase if you update your game client to the latest version, you;ll no longer be able to connect to the world(s) hosted on the ubuntu server (it just gives an error message stating that the server version is out-of-date).

    Lets hope Microsoft/Mojang release a new version of the server sometime soon!

  16. Avatar for David E Coles

    Hey folks, wanted to make a note if you’re running this script with autostart on Ubuntu Server and pulling your hair out because you can’t get a screen session. For whatever reason, on a few different server builds, I’m having the autostart running as root – so you need to assign a password for root using
    sudo passwd root
    and then once you’ve assigned a root password, move over to that account
    su – root
    and then you should be able to connect via
    screen -r
    and get to your console. Thought I was losing my mind since root is “disabled” by default on Ubuntu, but apparently that’s disabled from logging in, not disabled from running processes.

    1. Avatar for Mike

      I had the same problem, I found the session with additional digits along with the server name:

      screen -list

      this should give you the name of the screen session you want to load e.g.: 21523.yourservername, then you can call that name to open the session.

      screen -r 21523.yourservername

      (Press Ctrl-A then Ctrl-D to detach from the screen session without closing your Minecraft server.

  17. Avatar for Josh

    With the update to 1.16 coming next week, I wanted to clarify the update procedure. Do I just wait for the server software from the Mojang site to update, then run the install again? What a great script you have created. Thanks in advance.

    1. Avatar for Groumy

      You just have to restart your Minecraft Server (not the computer 😉 ).

      Simply run the ./restart.sh script and enjoy !

    2. Avatar for venanx

      Hi ! Help needed, I was running a dedicated bedrock 1.14.60.5 Ubuntu Server on my local network for 3 months. Today I received the info about the 1.16 update. So why not upgrade my server ?, download the new files from https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server/bedrock/ created a separated directory folder and copied the server.properties and the worlds folder to new server location. But when I logged in a saw THAT MY WORLD WAS ROLLED BACK TO A OLDER SAVE THAN THE LAST ONE . What I did wrong ? I’m also planning to use these script.

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