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Rpi3 as a minecraft server?

Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:57 pm

I was wanting to turn a spare pi3 into an always on minecraft server for my nephew to tinker with (TLDR below)

first step I tried Cuberite, but I had huge complaints from my nephew about combat being flat, AI feeling bad, everything in the region instantly moves towards you in a straight line, core settings like mobgriefing and keepinventory don't exist, spawn point isn't buildable which isn't a minecraft thing, skeletons are super accurate and get stick inside blocks and shoot you from inside! etc

basically a lot of the mechanics just feel really off which is a shame because I was blown away by its performance, world generation took seconds, cpu and ram usage when idle are hardly anything!

switch to minecraft java server, vanilla no mods, people say java is as fast as c++ but initial world generation took minutes, after reboots initial startup takes maybe 60 seconds, its slow to generate new chunks outside of the spawn, its slow to load chunks when exploring and when idle with no users it is eating 60% of the ram and 40% of the cpu !

tldr : I was wondering is anyone was successfully using a pi3 as a MC server ? what are the biggest bottlenecks? any tips or tricks I can do to make it a better experience? (linux stuff or mc settings)


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Re: Rpi3 as a minecraft server?

Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:59 am

I have a Minecraft Java Edition 1.12.2 server that's been running since 2017 on a Pi 3B (now 3B+).
I'm using SpigotMC as the server and it has been working well for me and a small group if friends. It runs off a SanDisk Ultra Plus A1 64GB micro SD card, which has also worked well, although changing dimensions is slow (going from the overworld to the Nether or The End and vice-versa takes awhile, but once the transition is complete it plays fine). I had planned to run it from an SSD, but it worked so well in my initial testing from the SD card I just kept it (I did make some system optimizations that reduce unnecessary writes to the card).

Render distance is 10, and the world size is not limited. I think the most players we've had online simultaneously was 4, and it was fine. OS is Raspbian Lite (still on Stretch) with Oracle Java 8. The Pi3 is in a Flirc case to keep it cool, and it runs completely headless. Java memory allocation is 640MB reserved with a max of 880MB (GPU split is at the minimum 16MB). The server does take awhile to start up, but it works well with minimal lag once it's up and running. I run the server in a screen session and mange it using SSH/SCP.

I used Daniel Lemire's guide as a reference, but didn't follow it exactly because some of it was unnecessary (desktop version of Raspbian) and some was just wrong (allocating all RAM to the Java heap).

I tried it on 1.13, but that didn't work well (too much lag). Haven't tried a 1.14 server on the Pi3, but I did try it on a 4B2 and it was laggy (been meaning to try it again with a 4GB model and 64-bit OS/Java, but haven't had the time).

Hope this information is helpful. Check out the guide in the link, and if you have any questions, ask away.
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