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I have a private Minecraft server where we are 2 people playing.

Earlier today I logged on, observed it was night, and logged back off.

Then I logged on just now, it was day again.

In the meantime, I know the other player has not been online.

So my questions (they are related) are these:

  1. Does time pass in Minecraft if the server is running, but nobody is online?
  2. Can I use this to my advantage to:
    1. Cook or smelt things in furnaces while I'm offline?
    2. Plant trees or other things before I log off and log back on to them being grown?
    3. Get grass to spread while I'm offline?

This might be a related question, but if not, please just leave a comment and I'll take it out to avoid having a too broad question:

  1. Does time only pass in a region if players are in the region? Like, if both of us are online, then I log off, and the other player is far away, does "time pass", like trees grow, furnaces run, etc. in the region he's not in? I would imagine that would take a load on the server if there are large explored areas.
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2 Answers 2

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Time in the sense of day/night cycle and weather passes while no one is on, however in all other senses time doesn't pass in a given chunk unless a player is online and nearby enough for it to be loaded.

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Ok, so there's two things in effect here. The daylight cycle and weather effects, which are server-wide, and thus runs constantly, and localized effects, like fire, growing of plants/trees, and similar things, which require not only someone to be online, but also close enough, I guess to observe? –  Lasse V. Karlsen Aug 10 '11 at 8:44
1  
To the best of my knowledge, yeah. However, I'm pretty sure that lightning striking and snow covering tiles are local effects despite clear/rainy/snowing being a server wide effect. If someone can confirm that I'll edit my answer. –  Fambida Aug 10 '11 at 8:54
9  
If no one is online, then no chunks are loaded. In order for time to pass in a chunk (i.e. crops and trees grow), then the chunk must be loaded. –  MBraedley Aug 10 '11 at 12:32
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I was under the impression that the "spawn" chunk is always loaded. –  Broam Dec 6 '11 at 21:14
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I can confirm that an SMP Minecraft server will not unload chunks in an 8x8 chunk grid centered on the world spawn point. That is: once loaded, those chunks will stay loaded until the server restarts. Source: server source code, ChunkProviderServer.java, method "public void dropChunk(int chunkX, int chunkZ)". –  Elliot Nelson Nov 3 '12 at 13:04

Chunks do not update with no one around so I created a character called "updater" to just sit inside of my server. This will allow chunks to be updated, even if no one is on the server.

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protected by fredley Nov 1 '12 at 15:43

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