When launching the Minecraft game(I am using 1.8.9), on my dock on a Mac, I'll see two apps running related to it:

Two Minecraft icons

The grass block is labeled Minecraft, and it is the Minecraft launcher. The crafting table is labeled java, and it is the game itself.

I can right-click on Minecraft and quit it, and the game appears to be unaffected. I have launcher visibility in the profile unchecked, and the default is Close launcher when game starts. When I close java, Minecraft immediately closes too.

What is the purpose of running Minecraft while running java and what will quitting Minecraft affect?


Launchers are programs with usually a short interface which only influences some settings that may be not acessible on some situations during the actual game (Chosing DLCs to launch like in Crusader Kings II, Versions with Minecraft, or even visual settings). They generally also have a button (although the launcher may be automatic) which launches the game.

That is why you have two applications running, the launcher, which can launch the game, and the game, which is launched. They are not dependant of eachother, and as such, closing either the launcher or the game won't have influence over the other.

Java is a whole other subject. Java is a programming language, which can have a visual interface. Minecraft runs on Java. Closing Java is not a good idea, as it results on Minecraft losing its platform and closing. This can be useful if you can't exit minecraft (or you've opened several minecraft windows by mistake) and you wish to force a close on Minecraft.

  • This does not answer the question: "What is the purpose of running Minecraft while running java and what will quitting Minecraft affect?". It only explains launchers and java. And also, if the two are not dependant on each other, why is the launcher running at the same time as the game? I already understand why the launcher is used before the game is started, and what Java is. But why do I need something that can launch a game which is already launched running? – Ghalid Feb 28 '16 at 0:07
  • Not the launcher doesn't require the game to be running (unless it's specified that it does, such as with trainers). The fact the launcher is still open is most likely because it failed to close. Attempt to close it manually and you'll see that there's no issues (Are you running the launcher on admin mode?) – Oak Feb 28 '16 at 0:14
  • Running as root(sudo /Applications/Minecraft.app/Contents/MacOS/launcher) does not affect the launcher closing; it still remains open. Also, I'm the administrator of this Mac. – Ghalid Feb 28 '16 at 0:31
  • It's weird that you checked the box to make the launcher close after starting minecraft, and while on admin it's not closing. It may be a bug with the launcher version. It's however negligible as it doesn't really impact you – Oak Feb 28 '16 at 0:39
  • Well, it's been like that for such a long period of time over many versions of the launcher; I'm pretty convinced it's not a glitch. – Ghalid Feb 28 '16 at 2:04

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