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How to host a Minetest game server on Linux

If you’ve played Minetest on Linux by yourself and are wondering how to host a multiplayer server, you’ll be happy to know that the developers of the game have made it incredibly easy to start up your very own Minetest game server.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to set up a Minetest game server. We’ll cover setting up a quick server within the game, as well as setting up a long-term dedicated server. Let’s get started!

Note: you must have the Minetest video game installed on your Linux PC before attempting to follow this guide. For help installing the latest version of Minetest on Linux, please click this link.

Method 1 – Hosting a server within the game

By far the easiest, and most straightforward way to host a Minetest game server is by taking advantage of the built-in server hosting feature inside of the game itself. The reason? No command-line wizardry is involved, just fill out a few things, and you’ll be able to have fun in Minetest with some friends.

To set up your very own Minetest server within the game UI, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Launch the Minetest video game on your Linux PC. To do this, open up your app menu, search for the “Games” section, and click on Minetest. Or, Press Alt + F2 to bring up the quick launcher on the desktop and enter the launch command below.


Step 2: With the Minetest video game open on the Linux desktop, locate the “Start Game” tab, and click on it with the mouse. This tab will show you the server hosting area.

Step 3: On the “Start Game” tab, you will notice four check-boxes. These boxes are “Creative Mode,” “Enable Damage,” “Host Server,” and “Announce Server.”

Check the “Creative Mode” box if you want to make your hosted server a creative game rather than a survival one.

Step 4: After deciding whether your server will be running in “Creative” mode, locate the “Enable Damage” box, and check it if you’d like damage to be allowed on your Minetest server.

Step 5: Find the “Host Server” check-box underneath “Enable Damage,” and click on it with the mouse.

Step 6: Click the “Announce Server” box underneath “Host Server.” Selecting this will announce to your network that you have a Minetest server up and running, and anyone can join it.

Step 7: Once all four check-boxes are dealt with, locate the “Name/Password” text box, and click on the box directly under “Name/Password” with the mouse.

Type out the name of your Minetest server. Be creative! Your friends will need to be able to find it!

Step 8: Click on the second text box below the first one, and write in a password for your Minetest server, if you’d prefer the game session stayed private. Be sure to give out this password to friends that intend to join your game!

Step 9: Find the “New” button and create a new world for Minetest to use as a server. Or, select one of the existing worlds on your system.

When your Minetest server name and password (if you choose to use a password) is filled out, and the world is selected, there is nothing left to do in the configuration. Click the “Host Game” button to launch your new game server!

Method 2 – Hosting a dedicated server

Hosting a Minetest server directly through the game is excellent if you’re just interested in playing for a little bit. However, if you’re looking to host Minetest longterm on Linux, it isn’t good enough. That’s why it’s excellent that Minetest has a dedicated server option. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to get yours working.

Step 1: To host a dedicated server in Minetest, you must install the “minetest-server” package. Open up a terminal window and follow the command-line instructions that correspond with your distro.


sudo apt install minetest-server


sudo apt-get install minetest-server

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S minetest-server


sudo dnf install minetest-server


sudo zypper install minetest-server

Step 2: Following the installation instructions of Minetest-server, run the command minetest –worldlist both. This command will display all of the Minetest worlds on your system, as well as the names of the worlds.

minetest --worldlist both

Step 3: Use the minetestserver –world command followed by the name of your Minetest world to initiate the server.

minetestserver --world myminetestworld

Alternatively, if you’d like to send the Minetest server to the background, run it with > /dev/null 2>&1 &.

minetestserver --world myminetestworld > /dev/null 2>&1 &

You can bring the server running in the background back to the foreground with:


Find the number listed in jobs next to minetestserver and run the fg command. For example, if the server is running in the background as job 1, the command will be:

fg 1

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