How to Set Up a Minecraft SMP Server

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Mojang's free-roaming building game Minecraft includes both single player and multiplayer modes. SMP, or Survival Multiplayer allows users to collaborate on constructions and explore the world together. Setting up a server requires a separate server program, which downloads for free from Mojang's website.

  • Download the server software from the Minecraft website. The program comes in three separate versions for Windows, Mac OS and Linux systems. You can download and use the server software without a Minecraft account, though you will not be able to connect unless you purchase the game.

  • Place the server software file in a new folder on the system. You may run the program from any location, but placing it in its own folder ensures the server files generate in a centralized location. Do not run two server files from the same directory, as the generated files may conflict and cause malfunctions.

  • Run the downloaded file. A window will appear and the server will generate a new world, which may take several minutes. Terrain files and server configuration setting files will appear in the server file's directory. Users may begin connecting and playing as soon as the server window displays "Done."

  • Open the new "server.properties" file in a text editor program to change the server's basic options. Enter the desired values after a property to alter its behavior. Many properties use "true" or "false" as accepted parameters. The "hellwold=" property changes the default terrain to the Nether. "Spawn-monsters=" controls whether enemy mobs spawn, while "spawn-animals=" controls whether neutral mobs appear. Change "white-list=" to "true" to confine access to the server to a specific list of users.

  • Open the "banned-players.txt" file and enter the names of any users you want to prevent from connecting to the server. You may do the same with IP addresses in the "banned-ips.txt" file. If you turn on the "white-list=" option in the server properties file, enter allowed user names in the "white-list.txt" file.

  • Give other players the system's IP address to allow them to connect. If you want to connect to the server from the machine running it, type "localhost" into Minecraft's multiplayer connection box.

  • Type "stop" into the server's command box and press "Enter" when finished playing to save the server's contents and close the program. If you close the window without using the "stop" command the server may not save correctly.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to start a server using an existing single-player world or a downloaded world file, replace the contents of the server's "world" folder with the desired contents, and then run the server.
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