How to Make a Minecraft Server: Setting Up a Server on Linux, Windows, and macOS

Running a private Minecraft server lets you create a custom world and play with your friends online. What’s better than that? Although setting up a Minecraft server may seem daunting at first, it only takes minutes with the right tools.

Using a virtual private server (VPS) is the easiest way to set up a Minecraft server. This article will cover how to make a Minecraft server with Hostinger, specifically focusing on Minecraft: Java Edition.

Additionally, it will cover how to create a local Minecraft server on different operating systems and avoid common errors during the initial setup process.

Video Tutorial on How to Make a Minecraft Server

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How to Make a Minecraft Server on a VPS

In this section, we will show you how to make a Minecraft server on Hostinger’s VPS using Game Panel. We recommend this method for beginners since it requires no commands.

1. Choose a Minecraft Hosting Plan

Purchasing Minecraft server hosting will save you money and time. The hosting provider will set up your server, manage its back end, and ensure optimal uptime, allowing you to focus on the in-game configuration.

When choosing a hosting provider, make sure it offers various features and suits your budget. Hostinger offers four Minecraft server hosting plans with these features starting at $5.99/month:

  • Abundant server resources. Offers up to 32 GB of RAM and 8 vCPU, enough to support over 20 players
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection. Protects your Minecraft server from cyber-attacks, ensuring optimal performance and uptime.
  • Automatic off-site backup. Regularly backs up your Minecraft server files for easy recovery in case of an accident or hacking attempt.
  • Mod support. Easily install mods and texture packs on the server to customize your gameplay experience.
  • Custom Game Panel. Offers various tools and a graphical user interface (GUI) to help simplify Minecraft server management tasks.

Pro Tip

Hostinger’s Game Panel simplifies the process of setting up a dedicated server for dozens of online-based games, including the latest hit, Palworld. If you’re also passionate about this game, check out our available Palworld VPS plans.

2. Set Up Your Minecraft Hosting

After purchasing a plan from Hostinger, set up your virtual private server by clicking hPanelVPS and selecting your new Minecraft server hosting plan.

Enter information including your server name, Game Panel password, and preferred server location. We recommend choosing the server location closest to your friends.

Then, access your server via the VPS menu. You can view information like server resource usage, operating system, panel access, IP address, and SSH login credentials.

3. Configure Your Minecraft Game Panel

To configure the Minecraft server in Game Panel, navigate to hPanel’s VPS management screenPanel access. Click Login URL and enter the login credentials.

On the main menu, follow these steps:

  1. Click Create instance.
  2. From the Select Application drop-down menu, select Minecraft Java Edition. Game Panel will set up the latest game server version, which is 1.21 Tricky Trials.
  3. Select the default instance behavior from the After Creation menu.
  4. Click Start instance.

Wait a few moments until the new instance shows up on the main menu. Then, follow these steps to configure it:

  1. Click your new instance and select Manage.
  2. Press Start and accept the Minecraft server end-user license agreement (EULA).
  3. Click Return to Instances and copy the endpoint from the sidebar to connect to your server.

This method for setting up a private host applies to other games with dedicated server compatibility that Game Panel supports. However, additional adjustments might be needed depending on the host and environment settings.

For example, you can create a Palworld dedicated server by creating a new instance.

Interested in Palworld?

Learn about why Hostinger is one of the best Palworld server hosting providers.

4. Enhance Your Minecraft Server

Before playing Minecraft, consider taking additional steps to enhance your server.

For example, enable port forwarding to allow users outside your network to join the game using the public IP address. However, we recommend deactivating it if you are playing on a local network since it exposes your server to security risks.

Another tip is installing Minecraft mods to improve the overall gameplay experience. Many Minecraft mods are available for all sorts of different upgrades and adventures, including boosting performance, adding new mobs, and modifying game mechanics.

How to Make a Minecraft Server on Linux

This section will show you how to create a Minecraft multiplayer server on Ubuntu or CentOS manually. To avoid compatibility issues, we recommend using the latest version of each software. 

1. Install Java, Screen, and wget

Java, Linux Screen, and wget are essential software for your Minecraft server installation. Here are their functions:

  • Java – runs Minecraft and JAR files.
  • Screen – lets users use a remote terminal from multiple locations and maintain sessions in case of connectivity issues.
  • wget – allows users to retrieve files from a remote server via a terminal.

If you use Hostinger’s VPS, obtain the server IP address and SSH login credentials via hPanel. Then, connect to your remote server via SSH using PuTTY or Terminal and proceed with the installation:

SSH access credentials in hPanel VPS overview menu

Ubuntu and Debian

Download and install the latest version of Java, Screen, and wget using the following commands. While you can use different Java runtime environments, we will use OpenJDK since it’s the simplest to install:

apt update
apt install software-properties-common screen wget apt-transport-https gnupg
deb -i isntall jdk-21_linux-x64_bin.deb


Run the following commands to install all the required software packages. If you use CentOS 8 or later, replace yum with dnf:

yum update
yum install epel-release
yum install screen wget
dpkg -i --nosignature jdk-21_linux-x64_bin.rpm

2. Configure the Minecraft Server

After installing the packages, follow these steps to set up the game server:

  1. Run this command to create a new folder for your Minecraft server configuration files:
mkdir minecraft
  1. Enter this command to move to the Minecraft server folder:
cd minecraft
  1. Use wget to download the server setup file from the Minecraft website:
  1. Use this command to run the Minecraft server software setup file. Omit nogui if you want a GUI. If the command doesn’t work, change the file name to server.jar:
java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar nogui
  1. The server will create an EULA file. To accept it, run this command to open the eula.txt file with the Nano text editor:
nano eula.txt
  1. Modify the eula value from false to true and save the changes.
  2. Activate Screen to allow the server to run in the background.
screen -S "Minecraft server 1"

Important! Make sure your Minecraft installation matches the server version. In our case, it is 1.19.

3. Run Your Minecraft Server

Enter this command to run the Minecraft: Java Edition server. Remember to change the Minecraft version number accordingly.

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.21.jar nogui

We entered 1024M since the server requires at least 1024 MB or 1 GB of RAM. Feel free to change the number according to your server resource.

The server window will remain open in the background. Press CTRL + A, then D to leave Screen. Enter the following in the server command line to reopen it:

screen -r

We recommend using the default server configuration to prevent issues. If you want to modify it, run the following to open the server properties file with Nano:

nano ~/minecraft/

Minecraft players can join the server via MultiplayerAdd server. Then, enter the server name and public IP address.

How to Make a Minecraft Server on a Personal Computer

If you want to get more involved, you can set up a Minecraft server on your own computer. While the process is somewhat more complex than hosting on a VPS, the outcome is more rewarding.

Whether you’re using Windows or macOS, the steps for setting up your server are very similar, allowing for a more personalized gaming experience across all platforms.

How to Set up a Minecraft Server on Windows

If your computer meets the hardware and system requirements, you can create a private local server for Minecraft. However, the initial process will depend on your operating system.

For example, here’s how to set up a basic server on Windows:

  1. Press Win + R and enter cmd to open Windows Command Prompt. Then, run this command to check the currently installed version of Java:
java -version
  1. Minecraft and its servers require Java SE Development Kit 21 or higher. If you have an older release, download the latest version from the official Java website.
  2. Download the Minecraft: Java Edition JAR server software.
  3. Create a new Minecraft server folder and move the JAR file there.
  4. Double-click the file to generate an EULA in the server folder.
  5. Open eula.txt using a text editor like Notepad and change the eula value from false to true. You must accept the Minecraft EULA to start the game.
  6. In the same folder, create a new text document.
  7. Open the new text file and paste this script to run Minecraft. -Xms256M and -Xmx1G are the server’s minimum and maximum RAM for the game.
@echo off
start "My Server" /min java -Xms256M -Xmx1G -jar server.jar nogui
  1. Choose Save As. Rename the file to run.bat and select All types.
  2. Double-click the batch file to start the server. If the firewall permission window pops up, click Allow.

You can run the server manually instead of using the BAT file. To do so, open Command Prompt and navigate to the Minecraft folder. For example:

cd Documents/Minecraft

Then, run the command manually to execute the server JAR file:

java -Xmx256M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar nogui

Pro Tip

Edit the file in the same folder to adjust your server settings, such as the default Minecraft port, game mode, and maximum players.

To connect to the server, open Minecraft and click MultiplayerDirect Connection. Enter localhost or your server’s local IP address in the Server Address field and click Join Server.

If you are joining the server from another device, enter your Windows server IP address. To find out the value, enter ipconfig /all in Command Prompt and check the IPv4 address.

How to Make a Minecraft Server on macOS

Setting up a Minecraft server in macOS involves steps similar to those in Windows. Here’s how to do it:

  1. The newer macOS version should have Java installed by default. To check if it’s already installed, run this command in Terminal:
java -version
  1. Skip this step if the command outputs the version number. Otherwise, download and install a legacy version of Java.
  2. Create a folder for your Minecraft server files.
  3. Download and move the Minecraft server setup file to that directory.
  4. Open TextEdit and click Format → Make Plain Text. Copy and paste the following lines:
cd "$(dirname "$0")"
exec java -Xms1024M -Xmx1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.19.jar nogui
  1. Save this file as startmc.command in the same directory as the server file.
  2. Open Terminal and navigate to your Minecraft folder. For example:
cd Documents/MinecraftServer
  1. Change the file permissions using the chmod command to make startmc.command executable:
chmod a+x startmc.command
  1. Double-click the COMMAND file to start the server in a new terminal window.

Pro Tip

A missing file or directory warning might appear when you run a Minecraft server for the first time.

Minecraft Server Troubleshooting

Configuration and internet connection issues may cause Minecraft server errors. Here are some of the most common problems and their solutions.

How to Fix “This Server Responded With An Invalid Server Key” Error

This Server Responded With An Invalid Server Key indicates that the server or the Minecraft launcher might be outdated. If it’s your server, try accessing the server’s localhost address and restarting the client.

Since this error commonly occurs when starting the server using the .exe file, try the .jar file instead.

How to Fix “You Are Not Whitelisted On This Server” Error

A whitelist includes the list of players with access to the server. The You Are Not Whitelisted On This Server error means that the server operator hasn’t included the player in the whitelist.

To solve it, run the following command to enable the Minecraft server whitelist management.

whitelist on

Then, add the player to the whitelist. Replace playername with their username.

whitelist add playername

Here’s the command to see the list of players on the whitelist:

whitelist list

Pro Tip

If you want to use these server commands in-game, use a slash symbol at the beginning. For example, /whitelist add playername.

How to Fix “Connection Refused: Connect” Error

The Connection Refused: Connect error message appears when Minecraft servers drop or cancel users’ connection requests. Here are several solutions for this error:

  1. Join the server via a different internet connection. Your internet issue may prevent you from connecting. If the problem persists after reconnecting, it’s likely a server error.
  2. Add Minecraft and the game launcher to the firewall exception list. The system firewall may block your connection. Configure your Linux firewall to allow the Java binary or javaw.exe.
  3. Reinstall your client and restart the server. Check if you can connect to other Minecraft servers. If there are no issues, your own client and server may be misconfigured and must be reinstalled.


Hosting your own server lets you design a unique Minecraft world and enjoy online adventures with friends. The easiest way to do this is by getting a VPS from a hosting service like Hostinger. Here’s a quick guide on setting up a server using the Hostinger Game Panel.

Here are the steps to set up a server on Hostinger Game Panel:

  1. Choose a Minecraft server hosting plan.
  2. Enter your server name, set a password, and select the closest server location.
  3. Open the Game Panel and create a new instance.
  4. Configure the instance and copy the endpoint to connect to the server.

Alternatively, create the server on the VPS manually via SSH. However, this option takes longer and requires slightly more technical knowledge. 

You can also make your own server on a local Linux, Windows, or macOS system. To do so, install Java and the Minecraft server file using the terminal emulator of your choice. Then, create an executable file to start the server.

Enabling your Minecraft server port forwarding and installing mods will improve the overall gameplay experience. You can also need to reconfigure the server to troubleshoot issues like invalid keys, whitelisting errors, and refused connections.

How to Make a Minecraft Server FAQ

This section will answer some of the most common questions about Minecraft server hosting and maintenance.

How Can I Limit Access to My Server to Only My Friends?

You can set up a whitelist that includes only your friends. Alternatively, disable port forwarding and keep the server’s IP address private among your friends.

How Do I Protect My Minecraft Server Against DDoS Attacks?

Choose a web host with built-in DDoS protection in their server, such as Hostinger. Alternatively, get a DDoS protection service from a third-party company like Cloudflare.

Can I Run a Minecraft Server for Free?

Yes. However, free Minecraft hosting plans tend to have limited server hardware resources and features, resulting in a poor gameplay experience. Self-hosting your own Minecraft server costs less than using a third-party service, but it requires some technical knowledge.

The author

Aris Sentika

Aris is a Content Writer specializing in Linux and WordPress development. He has a passion for networking, front-end web development, and server administration. By combining his IT and writing experience, Aris creates content that helps people easily understand complex technical topics to start their online journey. Follow him on LinkedIn.

The Co-author

Paulius Zunda

Paulius is as a Content Editor who excels in creating engaging technology-based content, while his keen eye for detail ensures accuracy in all aspects of his work. In addition to his role, Paulius brings 4+ years of valuable experience to the team, with a particular knack for crafting YouTube-related content. Beyond his professional know-how, he is more than willing to talk to you about everything board games.