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How to Host Your Own Minecraft Server

Many users are able to run Minecraft servers successfully on either a HostGator VPS or Dedicated server. HostGator does not support the use of Minecraft on our servers, and cannot guarantee performance for reasons outlined in this article. See below for more information on the following topics:

Note: A VPS is a shared server, and HostGator reserves the right to suspend users with resource intensive mods and player usage, such as too many players, players performing extreme actions with taxing resource usage affecting the server performance for other users. For this reason, we do not recommend the use of a VPS server for this purpose.

Step 1: Identify Which Server You Need

Due to the wide range of possible uses for Minecraft, HostGator cannot guarantee performance on any of our servers, however, we are able to provide some guidelines and recommendations for vanilla Minecraft server installations (Installations of a basic Minecraft server without any mods) based on the following considerations:

  1. Memory Usage: Minecraft is Java based, and relies heavily on RAM. The number of players largely depends on the amount of RAM.
  2. Disk I/O: Minecraft is I/O intensive due to the way map generation is handled by the software. Servers with a larger number of players will experience performance issues on a VPS due to the shared disk read and write speeds.
  3. CPU Usage: Linux Minecraft servers only use a single CPU core. If mods or the load generated by your player activity cause enough CPU load on a VPS, the VPS may be put into cool down, or even suspended for the health of the server, hence not recommending it. A dedicated server is required to avoid these issues.

The following chart will show the level of server recommended* based on the number of expected players:

Server TypePlayers**RAMCPU
Dedicated Basic474000MB2.3 GHz
Dedicated Standard474000MB2.5 GHz
Dedicated Dedicated Elite948000MB2.5 GHz
Dedicated Dedicated Pro18816000MB3.3 GHz
  • *: HostGator recommendations are based on documented vanilla Minecraft Server Requirements, and HostGator in no way guarantees any level of performance. Performance may vary significantly depending on the number of players, server modifications, actions performed by players on a server.
  • **: This column represents the maximum number of players using a vanilla Minecraft server per server type based on recommended RAM and bandwidth requirements.

Step 2: Buy a Minecraft Server

Since running a Minecraft server does not require cPanel, if you are not intending the server for hosting, you can purchase a Semi-Managed Dedicated Server. Click the link below to order ans see more details about Dedicated Server.

Step 3: Setup Minecraft on Your Server

You will need to make sure that you have Sudo Access enabled. If you have not enabled sudo access, please see Enabling Sudo Access to learn how to do so. You will also need to have Java 1.7 or newer installed. If you have not installed Java on your account, the following article will assist with installation:

To install the default or vanilla Minecraft server:

  1. Open an SSH client and login.
  2. Create the folder that you want to install Minecraft to:
    mkdir minecraft
    This can be anywhere in the file structure, but it is usually best to put it in the home directory.
  3. Change to the minecraft directory:
    cd minecraft
  4. It is recommended at this point you verify you have Java installed, to do this run the following command:
    java -version
    If Java is not installed, please Install Java before proceeding.
  5. Download the Minecraft JAR file:
    curl -O https://s3.amazonaws.com/MinecraftDownload/launcher/minecraft_server.jar
  6. To run Minecraft when you are not connected to your server, you need Screen installed:
    sudo yum install screen
  7. To start the Minecraft Server, run the following command from the folder the file was downloaded to:
    screen java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui
  • You can exit SSH or use ctrl+a+d to exit the Screen session. This will not close it down.
  • To resume your Screen session, you can type screen -r. If you have more than one Screen session running then you would need to know the instance number, which typing screen -list will provide for you.
  • To terminate the Minecraft server:
    1. Resume the screen session.
    2. Press Ctrl + a.
    3. Press Shift + a.
    4. Confirm termination of the screen session.