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My mate suspects some members of my server for cheating using player editors to edit their inventory however I'm the mod, shouldn't all the data be JUST on my server? They shouldn't have access to it right?

Also, 1 player however always seems to know exactly where theres diamonds on the map and digs straight down to find it which i find quite odd and may be a result of cheating.

I'm new to MC server management and would like to know if the members of a server have any way to cheat by modifying themselves or viewing the map (either by the saves or any other method).

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The inventories are entirely server-side, so players can't modify theirs by cheating. There may be item duplication exploits, but I'm not aware of any that exist in the current version of Minecraft.

However, wallhacks for certain blocks or entities, such as diamond, are entirely possible. The map save resides on the server as well, but players download the needed chunks from it, and thus the client necessarily knows what blocks these chunks consists of. It has to, in order to render the world.

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The could also use the seed of the map (found by pressing F3) to make there own copy of the map to find diamonds and such. –  Ronan Forman Jan 14 '12 at 13:50
    
You left out texture packs. Personally, I find those to be the most prevalent form of cheating in SMP. –  John the Green Jan 14 '12 at 16:13
    
@John "X-ray" texture packs are basically a simple form of wallhack. Minecraft doesn't render unexposed blocks though, which makes them way less effective than a more sophisticated mod. –  lunboks Jan 14 '12 at 16:55
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Welcome to the world of the server owner - It takes a copy of BUKKIT and a huge load of effort and dedication to set up a public server that is open enough for people to want to play on, and secure enough to discourage griefers and cheaters. I've been running my own server for a couple of months and it has been a HUGE effort. Just when you think you have got it all set up ok, Mojang updates the clients and all of a sudden, no-one can play on it any more until you update it.

Unfortunately it takes a while for the bukkit developers to re-code the bukkit server and even longer for the plugin authors to update their code. Also, when the terrain generation algorithms change, this can result in subsequent chunks not matching up and you end up with huge clipped areas that look awful.

Also you will find your players having a lot of demands on you all the time. But it can be huge fun to see what other people build.

At the very least you need the bukkit server from here http://wiki.bukkit.org/Setting_up_a_server you can copy your current world into it providing you know the seed.

You can then start adding and configuring plugins - this is a simple case of downloading the jar files from bukkit dev and dropping them into the plugins folder. At the absolute least you need essentials and permissionsbukkit. This will give you plenty of control to start with. Then look into WorldEdit and Voxelsniper - two excellent plugins for building and terraforming. After that - you can add whatever you want ie iconomy, mcmmo/heroes, ranks/roles/jobs etc

The players that are digging directly down to diamond are using an x-ray mod or texture pack on their local client that makes dirt and stone transparent. There are some block obfuscator plugins that prevent this by changing the block data, but I have never trusted them - they always have comments to say they are buggy, or cause other issues. The best solution to this problem is to build a (essentails) jail for these players and throw them in it permanently, or ban them from your server. You can then use WorldEdit to regenerate the chunks they have mined with the /regen command.

Running your own server can be fun, empowering and very absorbing, but don't let server admin take over your enjoyment of the game - remember why you started playing minecraft in the first place!

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