Setting up a server/Debian
|Language:||English • Deutsch • русский|
A simple Minetest server can be started in any Debian (Ubuntu, Linux Mint or derivative distribution) that has the
minetest package by going to its “Server” tab, however such a game only remains available for the duration of the host's playing session.
This guide is aimed at providing a more permanent, minimal server environment setup without a graphical desktop environment.
Installing Minetest version 5 from Buster Backports
As of August 2019, minetest is available in version 0.4.17 in Debian Buster (Stable), and also in version 5.0.1 in Buster Backports.
The two versions are not compatible, and installing both version on the same system would be tricky. Since most servers probably use the newest versions, and players too, the version from the backports comes as a natural choice.
First, add the Backrpots repositories as explained on Debian Wiki.
Then install the minetest packages you need from it.
# apt install -t buster-backports minetest-server
Manage the server startup
Systemd is the default and currently prefered solution to manage services on Debian.
Since version 0.4.10+repack-3 the Debian minetest-server package automatically creates a system-wide, unprivileged user called Debian-minetest. The home directory of this user is /var/games/minetest-server. You can do all the configuration in /etc/minetest/minetest.conf. All log files are written to /var/log/minetest.
It should already be started. Check whether its running (or why it doesn't start) with
# systemctl status minetest-server
Start the server with
# systemctl start minetest-server
Stop the server with
# systemctl stop minetest-server
You can disable the server on boot with
# systemctl disable minetest-server
You can start multiple servers with different configurations by using systemd's template unit feature.
# systemctl start email@example.com
Provided that you also saved the configuration file for this server in
/etc/minetest/pvp.conf, the server will now use this second configuration and log everything to
pvp after @ with your desired name.
If systemd is not your default init system and you still prefer to use the old sysV-init style configuration, you can use the service command to start or stop your server.
# service minetest-server start
# service minetest-server stop
Configuration of the server
You can find a commented server configuration file on /usr/share/doc/minetest/minetest.conf.example.gz.
# zcat /usr/share/doc/minetest/minetest.conf.example.gz > /etc/minetest/myservername.conf
Interesting parameters start with the Server / Singleplayer section, you may delete client parameters prior to that.
Install and enable mods
Install a mod
You can install the packages you want from the available mods.
If you need to install mods which aren't packaged yet in Debian (for instance, mobs_animal and mobs_monster), you can add them in the /var/games/minetest-server/.minetest/mods directory (create it if needed).
Enable a mod
You will need to enable them afterwards. Mod activation is not a general server setup, but a world setup.
Once a server is started, it should create world files, and refresh them to add configuration lines with the available mods in the world.mt file.
$ cat /var/games/minetest-server/.minetest/worlds/world/world.mt creative_mode = false auth_backend = sqlite3 player_backend = sqlite3 gameid = minetest enable_damage = true backend = sqlite3 load_mod_mobs_animal = true load_mod_mobs = true load_mod_mobs_monster = false
First, stop the server running the world. Then edit this file to enable the mod, just change the value from false to true on the corresponding load_mod_* lines.
- For a detailed explanation of the server configuration file, see the minetest.conf page.
- Use a different database backend for your world.
- One-line script for installing/compiling Minetest Git, for Debian / Ubuntu / Mint
- Debian Wiki Minetest page
- Guide to create fast minetest server on Debian
- Server commands page for a list of useful commands.
- Item strings for the itemstrings for use with the
- See the Privileges page for detailed information on the privilege system.