lo-resolution fun – setting up a minecraft server

I remember playing computer games on 640×480 resolution and it was a lot of fun. Computer graphics has now improved to the point that some of the games are virtually photo-realistic.

With all of this in mind it didn’t make any sense to me when my son asked for Minecraft.  I tried to be a good parent and tested it out on my sons tablet.  It took me about 5 minutes to get bored and stop testing.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea to create my own buildings and dig holes in the ground but it seemed harmless enough.

For reasons I cannot fathom Minecraft was a instant hit with both boys.  The only thing was that all of their buildings ended up on one tablet which was inconvenient if both didn’t want to play at the same time.

Of course they also found some other Minecraft servers on the internet which allowed them to do some shoot’em up in teams.

Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted

It would be nice if the boys built their own villages and cities here on my server where it would be easier to control.  Shoot’em up games didn’t hurt me but I think the creative mode where you can build your own world is more interesting.

Installation of Minecraft

Microsoft has made the process of installing and running your own server painless.  The task is as simple as download the jar file and run it.  To make things simple Microsoft tells you exactly how to run the jar file.

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.12.jar nogui

The current version of the Minecraft server is 1.12 and requires java 8.

The last parameter is so the gui is not started when the server is started.  Once the server is started it is essentially a command shell.  From this point it is possible to change various aspects about the world, summon additional creatures or even grant operator status to any of the players.

Minecraft commands

There are a lot of commands for controlling the Minecraft world.  It is literally beyond the scope of what I can research and document about Minecraft, here is a small sample of some of the commands that I thought were fun.

Name Description
/time set <int> A day is equal to 24000 ticks where daytime is 1000 and nighttime is 13000.
/time set [day|night] Sets the world time to daylight or night time.
/weather [thunder| clear|rain] This will change the weather to one of the three states.  A fourth state is snow.  Snow only occurs if it is raining and you are in a winter area.
/summon sheep x y z This will summon a sheep to the x,y,z coordinates in the world.

Note: you can get your coordinates from your map.

It was fun to do these commands when my son was playing Minecraft mainly because of what I heard from the other room.

I am sure that there are a lot of sites that fully describe and list these commands.  The one that I used to find these commands was digminecraft.com.

Upgrade of Minecraft server

The upgrade process is simply to shutdown the server, download the new file and then startup the server with the new jar file.


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