Owning a ten year old son has meant that for the past few years Minecraft has become a staple diet in our house. If he’s not playing it, he’s watching DIAMOND MINER* or STIMPY* or BALISTICFISH* on YouTube. He plays it on iDevices, Xbox 360 and PC and we only got him a PC because he winged about not being able to ride a horse in the other platforms.
The thing is, I don’t actually mind it – It’s creative and it’s teaching him quite a lot about the things he’s probably going to need to know if he wants to get his dream job in computer game design**. Ever since Lego decided to become a £70-£100 branded pack of Batman or StarWars rather than just a large box of bits he’s lost interested in physical building and has turned to the virtual World.
I created him a Windows server on a PC under my desk in the office running the full version of Minecraft some time ago and it’s great to hear all his mates messing about together and building in one place – sometimes destroying each others creations. One thing we’ve not explored is the Pocket Edition server and after a chat with a friend who was thinking along the same lines for his son, I decided to see if I could create a cost effective solution for a group of kids all wanting to link up on their tablets – even when on a campsite.
I’d looked into the possibilities of running a Minecraft PE Server on Raspberry Pi before, but the 700MHz processor with 512mb RAM just didn’t inspire me to try. When they announced the Quad Core 900MHz with 1GB RAM version last month my ears pricked up.
So here we are, a total PIe NOOB with a £25 circuit board landing on my desk – here are the steps I took to get a Minecraft PE Server on Raspberry Pi 2 using PocketMine. The first steps are just the general installation of the OS Raspbian on the Pi and the second set include delving between command line and the graphical interface. Weirdly there seem to be extra steps to get PHP working rather than an easy installation of PocketMine and there’s a fair bit of conflicting information on the net.
PocketMine-MP on Raspberry Pi
- Purchase a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B http://bit.ly/raspberryPi2
- Grab a 16 GB micro SD card for a fiver http://bit.ly/16GBmicroSDHC
- Got to http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/ and download NOOBS (754mb)
- Format the 16GB SD card
- Extract the NOOBS files onto the SD card drive
- Safely remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi
- Plug in your keyboard, mouse and HDMI cable
- Now plug in a micro USB power cable and it will boot
- Tick the box next to Raspbian and click on Install (extracting 2349mb = 30mins)
- Use arrows and tab key to navigate the raspi-config configuration screen
- Expansion of SD storage was already completed by NOOBS
- Change the boot to desktop if you want it to jump straight into the GUI (optional)
- Note if you do not set boot to desktop: The default login for Raspbian is username: ‘pi’ with the password: ‘raspberry’ and to load the graphical user interface you will need to type startx
- Change time zone to Europe > London (location was already set to en_GB UTF-8)
- Tab to Finish and wait for a reboot
- Plug in the network cable into the Pi and Router.
- The router should assign an IP using DHCP
- Open the Internet browser and ensure you can get a website
- Run LXTerminal and type: sudo ifconfig
- You will see the assigned IP address e.g. 192.168.1.100
Update August 2015: Please view the comments below as over time some of the commands and download links have changed.
- Make a folder on the Raspbian desktop called pocketmine
- open up LXTerminal and type the following
- cd /Desktop/pocketmine
- sudo apt-get install autoconf libtool make
- wget -q -O – http://get.pocketmine.net/ | bash
- note: In the comments below there is mention of using an em-dash – before the http (I used a hyphen)
- note: In the comments there is mention of using the development URL wget -q -O – http://get.pocketmine.net/ | bash -s – -v development
- Open the Internet browser and go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/pocketmine/files/builds/
- Download “
PHP_5.6.4_ARM_Raspbian_hard.tar.gz” the latest PHP build.
- Extract the file into the folder pocketmine/bin
- To clarify, extract the files in the bin folder from the archive into the pocketmine bin
- Back over in LXTerminal make sure you are still in the pocketmine folder and type
- pwd (to check present working directory)
- chmod 0755 bin/php5
- Answer the PocketMine language and setup details and the world will start building
- Once complete the new world will show up on the LAN to any device running Minecraft Pocket Edition
The first tests this evening have been promising, we’ve chopped some trees down and built a few structures, killed a sheep for wool and the Pi server seemed to be stable. The next stages will mostly consist of:
- Boot straight into PocketMine from power up (see comment below)
- Use an iPad network scanner app to find the Pi’s IP (done see below)
- Connect over LAN with an iPad app (WebSSH) requiring no keyboard, mouse or monitor (done see below)
- Reduce the GPU memory allocation, as we’re not using a monitor
- Port forward the Pi to the outside world
- Administer the server from said outside world
- Try VNC and connect to the GUI with the iPad
- Purchase WiFi dongle for a fiver (done see below)
- Purchase a case for a fiver (done see below)
- Run the server from a USB battery with a travel router (or MiFi) for campsite get-togethers (part done, see below)
- Host a Minecraft LAN party as a stress test
- Package the SD card into a disk image for anyone to download, bypassing all that install crap above
- See how much more geek I can achieve with the Pi
- Buy a T-Shirt with a penguin on it
As always, I’m learning, so please let me know of any steps I can change in the above process. If you’ve had success or failure, let me know and the world can be a better place.
Here’s the Blue Transparent Case for Raspberry Pi 2 for a fiver …
Here’s the Pi running from a battery and connecting to a router with a £7 Edimax EW-7811UN 150Mbps Wireless Nano USB Adapter no installation was required other than using the GUI to connect to a WiFi network.
The iPad is controlling the Pi using the WebSSH app and PocketMine can be administered from here totally wire free and without the need for a keyboard, mouse or monitor.
The iPhone installing VNC over SSH and then connecting to the GUI …
- Run a network scanner app to find the Pi IP (if unsure)
- Use WebSSH app on iPhone to install and run tightvncserver …
- sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
- vncserver :0
- Use the VNC app to connect with iPhone or iPad
*I have changed the names of DIAMOND MINER, STIMPY and BALISTICFISH to protect them from the worldwide parenting community.
** He was born in Derby, UK where Lara Croft was created.
Update to Minecraft PE Server on Raspberry Pi August 2015: Please view the comments below as over time some of the commands and download links have changed.