I've been wondering whether this is possible or not, or if there's a plugin or setting for it.

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    You can always write demon, that listen on minecraft port and start minecraft server when it have incoming connection, but I don`t think, that server will start before client timeout. – Ivan Solntsev Feb 6 '14 at 8:17
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    You could probably do something with inetd to, but as Ivan mentioned. Minecraft starts too slow, I suspect it would time out first. Why do you think you want this anyway? – Zoredache Feb 6 '14 at 8:28
  • a server always loads the area around spawn by default, I'm sure you can set it so it only loads it when a player is logged on, this will lessen the load on the server when no-one is online – ratchet freak Feb 6 '14 at 8:54
  • @IvanSolntsev, that's what I had in mind; let the player connect to said server, server said "We're still setting it up, give us a moment" and then logging in after a minute or two of wait. – user68579 Feb 6 '14 at 9:07
  • This feels like an X-Y problem, because a server with no players on it basically doesn't do anything to begin with. Whatever you're wrapping around Minecraft is doing what Minecraft is doing already. – Nelson Oct 14 '19 at 2:04

As Mushu said, you would need a wrapped Minecraft server. McMyAdmin can be easily configured to do such job. Go to Configuration -> Features tab -> Set 'Enable server sleeping' to Yes and configure the time below.

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    Please expand on this. How would you use McMyAdmin to complete the task the asker wants? – Frank Oct 15 '14 at 17:06
  • Expanded. OK now? – Aleksa Savic Oct 15 '14 at 17:17
  • :) Thanks. I forgot to add it at first. Thanks again! – Aleksa Savic Oct 15 '14 at 17:19

There are plugins and programs that let you put your server into a mode called sleep mode, when in this mode the server is shown in the list as online but is really offline. When a person tries to connect it will give them a message along the lines of; Server Starting and send them back to the list screen. The server will then automatically start up and boom your only running the server when people are on. With programs/plugins such as this it also lets you set how long after the server having no people on will it be before it shuts down. I am sorry I cannot provide the links to the programs/plugins but if I remember them I will post them here.

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Try this link:


It's a python that starts up the server when requested and shuts it down when no players are online

I created this myself and i would be happy if you used this!

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  • Is this something you made? – Wrigglenite Sep 11 '19 at 13:45
  • @Wrigglenite yes indeed why? – gekigek99 Oct 13 '19 at 10:54
  • When posting an answer about something you're associated with, you must disclose that or the answer risks being deleted. See this help center page for expected behaviour around self-promotion. – Wrigglenite Oct 13 '19 at 11:03
  • @Wrigglenite i read the help center page but practically what should i write to disclose myself? – gekigek99 Oct 14 '19 at 9:55
  • Just say somewhere in the answer that you created this script yourself. – Wrigglenite Oct 14 '19 at 10:21

Some people have wrapped the bukkit server in such a way. Some games hosting services also provide this kind of functionality, called "performance mode" or "hibernate mode" :

It displays a message during startup (as you mention in your comment) and it goes into hibernation again after an idle time.

As mentioned depending of your config as the full startup sequence of a minecraft server can be quite lengthy users won't be able to connect to it during boot up time.

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