Running a forge server on headless linux

I’ve had a lot of trouble getting Minecraft Forge to run headless. They have a friendly installer option that I just can’t use in my situation, but one of the devs seems actively hostile around providing help to headless servers, so I didn’t bother asking forge for help. I thought I’d write up what I had to do to get things working. As a warning, it requires some local work; you can’t do everything headless with these directions.

I’m running Minecraft 1.6.4, with the latest version of forge for that,

  1. Locally, download and start the minecraft client for the correct version at least once. Not sure if you’ll need to ‘play online’ or not. If you have the current installer, you need to make a new profile with the correct minecraft version and play that.
  2. Copy ~/.minecraft/libraries to the headless machine.
  3. Download forge (the installer version, not the universal) from The non-adly version is the little star for non-interactive use.
  4. Run
  5. Delete the installer, you don’t need it any more.
  6. Install any mods you want to the ‘mods’ directory, edit, etc. Normal server setup.
  7. To execute the server, run the file indicated in the installer. In my case, I run

Alternatively, you can install the entire server locally and copy it over.

Amazon AWS

I was originally planning to write a rosetta-stone style guide for similar commands between digital ocean, google compute, and AWS. Instead, I spent all day writing this CLI tool for EC2 which wraps the enormous and unintuitive AWS command-line tool. It’s not totally polished, namely you’ll have to hand-substitute some stuff at the top of the script that should properly go in a config file, but hopefully someone will find it useful.

As a warning it terminates, not just stops, all amazon instances when asked.