Minecraft in Ubuntu

Installing, playing, and adding mods to Minecraft in the Ubuntu linux distribution.

Minecraft is an exceptional game, all the better for being easily useable on any major operating system since it runs on Java. You can easily play on Ubuntu (or most if not all linux distributions) by installing Java and then Minecraft itself. This guide is intended for Ubuntu 11.10; the procedure may differ for other operating systems.

Installing Minecraft

1. Install java (if you don’t already have it). This is included in the Ubuntu Restricted Extras package, which is what you’re downloading here. Open up a terminal (hover your mouse over the far left of your screen, click “Dash Home” at the top and seach for “Terminal”) and enter the following:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

and enter your password when prompted. Wait a moment while this is installed. If it’s already install, you’ll get a message to that effect. Either way, proceed to step 2.

Some notes: It’s also possible to install java separately – I mention the above method because it’s very simple and something you very likely did even before this tutorial. Additionally, while it’s recommended to run Minecraft with the proprietary Sun java, I’ve run it on the open source version without problems, both client and server side. To install the open source version, type:

sudo apt-get install default-jre

2. Install the Minecraft jar. You can do this by entering the following into the terminal:

wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/MinecraftDownload/launcher/minecraft.jar

or just downloading the JAR manually from here. It’s possible the URL will change later. If so, you may be able to find it by going to minecraft.net, going to the download page and hovering your mouse over the link for the JAR. You should buy Minecraft in order to install in play it.

3. Open the properties of the Minecraft JAR by right clicking on it and selecting properties (it was probably installed in your home directory by default), go to the Permissions tab, and check the “Allow executing file as program” box. You can also do this by typing

sudo chmod +x minecraft.jar

in your terminal.

4. Run Minecraft once (you can now run Minecraft just by double clicking on the JAR) , login, get the updates etc.

Minecraft is now playable. If you wish, you may close the Minecraft window for now or continue playing.

Playing Minecraft

Minecraft is now playable at any time by double clicking on the JAR file. There are other methods to run the game, but this is the simplest.

Adding Mods

This is fairly similar to applying mods to Minecraft on any other system. The only real difference is that the folder is located somewhere else. Different mods are sometimes installed in slightly different ways, but here are some general guidelines.

First, you’ll need some sort of mod loader. This is usually the trickiest mod to install – others often just need to be dropped in a mod folder. One that I use and can confirm works for Ubuntu is modloader, downloadable here. To install modloader:

1. Download the file that I just linked.

2. Go to the minecraft.jar inside your hidden .minecraft folder. To get to this JAR:

  • Open your home folder
  • Press Ctrl + H to show hidden files and folders
  • Open the newly visible .minecraft folder
  • Open the bin folder

3. Open the minecraft JAR and also the modloader zip file you downloaded in step 1 (probably located in your downloads folder).
4. Drag all the files within the modloader zip file into the minecraft.jar file. Accept any prompts (e.g. you do wish to replace any files it asks if you wish to replace).
5. Delete the META-INF folder in your minecraft.jar.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully modded and enabled further modding of Minecraft. One more thing:
6. Create a “Mods” folder if there isn’t already one in there. Most future mods will just need to be stored in here to be used.

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