A DIY Raspberry Pi Minecraft server might not only be the cheapest Minecraft server, if you’re a DIY’er, it’s a pretty cool little project, too. Yes, we skipped a crucial question. Can you run a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi computer? The answer, in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, is absolutely. Do-it-yourselfers have been tinerking with the proposition for awhile and at this point it’s relatively easy to get a server up and running. After reading about a few servers out there, we couldn’t resist giving it a shot. Here’s an overview of what we’re trying to accomplish:
Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Objectives
- Quickly and Simply Create a low-cost Raspberry Pi Minecraft server (under $100)
- Have a Minecraft server that can run all the time (freeing up our other computers)
- Have a Minecraft server that is relatively cheap to run from a resources standpoint (power consumption)
- Be able to open the server to outside players (invited players) even though it is hosted from a residential Internet account
We’re starting with nothing, but wanted to get going quickly. To get the server up and running you need three things:
- A Raspberry Pi Computer
- A Few Pieces of Software
- Time and Patience (hopefully not too much of either)
Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Hardware
Today we’ll focus on the first ingredient: the server hardware itself. While you wouldn’t create a Raspberry Pi server to host thousands of people, for hosting a handful of people it should be fine. To get the server software running it is recommended that the computer has 512MB of RAM and it will need 1 GB of storage (or more). There are plenty of options out there for kits that fit the bill.
We also wanted to note that we are not going to be purchasing any additional components. We’ll be using a keyboard, monitor and mouse that are laying around gathering dust. We also mentioned above that we wanted to do this quickly and simply. That drove our Raspberry Pi kit selection process.
The Raspberry Pi Kit
After looking at several Raspberry Pi kits we landed on a CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ kit on Amazon that has everything that we need. The kit, priced at $59.99 at the time of writing this, fits our bill of keeping our experiment under $100.
The list price stated that the kit is normally $89.99, but it is on sale at Amazon for the $59.99 price (CanaKit Raspberry Pi Model B+ 512 MB w/8 GB MicroSD Card and NOOBS). Here’s the specs, and what’s in the box:
- New Raspberry Pi Model B+ (B Plus) 512 MB
- Raspberry Pi Foundation Recommended MicroSD Card (8 GB) pre-loaded with the latest NOOBS
- WiFi Dongle (by CanaKit)
- Clear Raspberry Pi B+ Case
- HDMI Cable
- 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable designed for the B+ (by CanaKit)
- CanaKit General Assembly Guide for Beginners to Electronics
This kit is specifically designed to get your Raspberry Pi computer up and running as quickly as possible. “NOOBS” is a part of that solution (it stands for New Out Of Box Software”. Here’s what CanaKit says about the kit and NOOBS:
“NOOBS” is a way to make setting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time much, much easier. You won’t need network access, and you won’t need to download any special imaging software. When you boot up for the first time, you’ll see a menu prompting you to install an operating systems into the free space on the card. Archlinux, OpenELEC, Pidora, RaspBMC, Raspbian and RiscOS are all included.
Sounds good! When the kit arrives, we’ll walk through getting it up and running, then we’ll acquire, install and configure any remaining software we need (including the Minecraft Server software), and finally we’ll get the server up and playable. Stay tuned!