I'm trying to setup a Minecraft server of my own. I've successfully done so before on Windows, but since the new server will be always on and headless (remote access only, no screen or other peripherals attatched), I decided to use Ubuntu instead. Figured it couldn't be too different, but I was wrong.

Google isn't much of a help: every tutorial starts with a list of dependencies to install, and every tutorial has a different list.

On Windows, it was as simple as installing a JRE and downloading and running the server.jar. I don't see why I need a JDK, and why I specifically need a headless JDK. I also don't understand why I would need the Screen package on a displayless server.

Of course, none of the tutorials actually explain WHY I need those dependencies, or what they do. I'm no security expert, but I refuse to install a random list of programs just because a site tells me it will work. Therefore, I'd like to ask what dependencies I NEED to install, and why?

Any other help or tips are also appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

  • Screen is not for real displays. It's basically simulating desktops, so you can have your server run in the background while managing your server via terminal or safely close it. – dly Jun 19 '19 at 12:10
  • And why do you need Ubuntu for it when you've already succeeded using Windows? Windows servers work as well and can be managed just fine via Remote Desktop. – dly Jun 19 '19 at 12:11
  • I was talking about a Windows client running Windows 10 Home, not a server, which also didn't run indefinitely. If I'm gonna make it a server, I'd rather use Ubuntu. – Jaïr Paalman Jun 19 '19 at 12:27
  • Does that mean that not using Screen will result in the MC server stopping when I exit my SSH session, and is there a good source to read up on that? – Jaïr Paalman Jun 19 '19 at 12:30
  • Yes, without screen the server will stop when you close your remote connection. That's the whole purpose of screen.. letting you run applications in the background and the possibility to switch between them. – dly Jun 19 '19 at 12:57

Therefore, I'd like to ask what dependencies I NEED to install, and why?

You only need the JRE (preferably Java 8). This is the openjdk-8-jre-headless package on Ubuntu. You can download the server file on minecraft.net.

Then you run it like this:

$ java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar nogui


  • -Xmx1024M says that the server can use no more than 1024MB.
  • -Xms1024M says that the server initially starts with 1024MB.
  • server.jar is your Minecraft Server jar that you dowloaded
  • nogui specifies that the gui is not opened. This is needed for headless since it can't open if there is no window manager.
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