New image: Minecraft server and some goodies!

Özgür Bal City Cloud 4 Comments

minecraftOur cloud computing platform is really flexible. It allows us to offer all kinds of operating systems and pre-packaged software. We have already added some interesting options, such as Windows and MS-SQL, Nginx/Ruby/Rails and L.A.M.P.

This time we wanted to go further and be a little whimsical, let’s have some fun, why not? So, without further ado, we present you with: Minecraft server image.

Minecraft, what’s that?

Minecraft is a construction game phenomenon that was released just recently, on november 2011, but has been under development for a couple of years. Created by the guys at Mojang, from a nearby town here in Sweden.

The game might seem simple at first glance, but exactly there lies its beauty. You are a character in this blocky world, where you can harvest, battle creatures and build, build, build.

Due to the playful nature of this mini-universe, thousands of players all over the world have created all kind of inspiring artifacts, fortresses, even giant models of real life objects. You just have to admire the passion Minecraft gamers put into their creations.

If you want a sample of that, just put “Minecraft” on YouTube and prepare to be amazed. Last but not least, the game has multiplayer support and several modes where you can cooperate with your friends or battle away until the wee hours of the morning.


Your very own Minecraft server

minecraft-overviewerTo be able to play you have to purchase the game, which gives you an account and access to several goodies (or play the basic version on the browser for free). You can also get the server, free of charge, right here.

That’s right, you can download the server written in Java and install it on your very own computer, or server, or even here at City Cloud.

The process is not that complex, but it requires some working knowledge of Linux (or Windows and MacOSX for that matter) so we’ve decided to build an image that gives you a basic server from the get go.

Your Instant Minecraft server in just a couple of clicks!

Goody goody gumdrops

Some of us at City Network play Minecraft, of course. So we wouldn’t settle for a barebones server, we had to add some punch into it. So we have decided to install the following:

  • Official Minecraft game server, version: 1.1
  • Init script from Athenus (which in turn uses the following init script). This script lets you start, stop and restart the server, among other options such as log rotation and backups.
  • The script also supports loading a world from a Ramdisk (already setup). This is specially useful for Virtual Machines and gives you a much more speedier experience when traversing through regions.
  • Minecraft Overviewer (from here), coupled with a web server (nginx) so you can view your world right from your browser, a la Google maps. Just paste the IP address of the server into your browser.
  • And last but not least, we tweaked the script to support real-time configuration of cpu cores and memory. This basically means that when you change a server profile template from City Cloud and add more cores and memory, the server will automatically use it. You can also scale back and it still will behave nicely. However, we recommend at least a server with a 1 GB of RAM.

Chip those blocks away

And that’s about it. Once you create a City Cloud VM, you just have to select the Minecraft image from the App Center and you will have a running server automatically. No configuration, no nothing. Just load the client, setup a server with the IP address and join.

Of course, you can still go in via SSH and change any settings you desire, it’s still your server, remember?

That’s all for now, next time we will give you a full step-by-step guide on how to setup a Minecraft server from scratch with all the goodies we just mentioned.

Happy minecrafting!