How To Run A Minecraft Server On Digital Ocean

This is a companion article to my other article on how to do this on AWS. If you prefer Digital Ocean, this article is for you.

Minecraft is really great for their creativity, as well as their problem solving skills, and it’s super fun as well.

Reasons you would set up a server – maybe you don’t actually live with your kid full time (this was my situation), or maybe your kid would like his or her friends to join them. Or maybe you’re the one who wants friends to be able to join. Either way, its not too hard.

Step One – Think About The Monthly Cost.

Update: If you use this link, you’ll get a $10 credit for Digital Ocean. It’s a great way to try out the process on a free server.


One of the things to consider is which size Digital Ocean instance you are going to use. For a small group of people, you can choose the $5  or $10. A $5 is going to be about the minimum that will even run Minecraft. You may run into glitches at this size, but its only $5 a month.

My experience: It’s totally doable for the $5 server. My son and I play all the time, and we never have issues.

A  $10 server will be much better from a resource perspective, and probably much less glitchy, if you’ve got more than 5 ppl.

Step Two – Get started.

Create an Digital Ocean Instance

If you don’t already have an account, you’re eligible for a $10 credit, using this link here.

On Digital Ocean, it’s super simple.

  1. Click “Create A Droplet”. It’s a green button in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Choose the following options:
    1. Image: Ubuntu, 64 bit
    2. Size: $5 / mo.
    3. Skip the block storage
    4. Location: Choose SF or NY – depending on which is closest to you.
    5. Skip the “Additional Options
    6. Click “New SSH Key
      1. Enter your personal SSH key. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to create one.
        1. linux / mac:–2
        2. Windows / putty:
    7. Then click the big green button, and you’re off!


To connect, you type something like this:

ssh root@


I replaced my IP with 7s – use yours here.

Once you’re all connected, do an update:

sudo apt update 

Then, make a dir for your minecraft server:

mkdir minecraft

cd minecraft

Download Minecraft Server

Find the latest one here, and copy the download link:

Then in the terminal:


(Thats the link you copied from the website)

Then, make a sym link to it so that it’s easy to start:

ln -s minecraft_server.1.10.2.jar minecraft_server.jar

Start your server!

If you used a $5 server, you’ll want to adjust the memory you’re allowing it to use.

sudo java -Xmx512M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui 

If you used a $10 server:

sudo java -Xmx1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui 

Notice how the memory size is indicated:

sudo java -Xmx512M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui 

You could also do this on larger servers like this for 2 gig of ram:

sudo java -Xmx2G -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Agree to the EULA

You need to do this to allow it to run:

sudo nano eula.txt

Change “false” to “true” and save it. 

To keep the server running

Since the server “start screen” is also the console, I like to use “screen” which allows you to come back to a terminal session after you’ve logged out. 



Then, start your server with the right command from above:

sudo java -Xmx1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

Now, if you leave the terminal session, you can re-enter it later by typing

screen -r

More info on “screen” can be found here. 

You’ll want to connect to it with your Minecraft game, then you can setup whitelisting from the console, or add yourself and others as ops. All of this can be done via the console – and much more.


Will show you all the options!

Now go play, and have some fun!