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Minecraft server with Podman

I’m running a Minecraft server in my LAN for the family to play in the same world.

It should be OK running it from the jar file, but I decided to use podman because:

  • It adds security and “peace of mind” because I’m running it in my personal desktop PC.
  • I wanted to try podman as root-less alternative to Docker.

Install in Debian

sudo apt install podman crun slirp4netns uidmap fuse-overlayfs


  • Apparently you can also use the runc runtime.
  • Both slirp4netns and uidmap are “recommended packages”, but they are needed in this case.
  • fuse-overlayfs is also a “recommended package”, but I have encountered issues with the default vfs storage driver (e.g. stuck on Storing signatures).

Note: if you started using vfs –like I did–, you may need to stop your containers and, keeping safe your volumes, remove ~/.local/share/containers/storage before installing fuse-overlayfs. Then pull the images again and it should be using overlay. It is unfortunate that podman uses the best available driver by default, independently of your existing storage, and they aren’t compatible.

Configure registries

By default podman on Debian doesn’t come with any registries configured.

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/containers
echo 'unqualified-search-registries=["", ""]' > $HOME/.config/containers/registries.conf

From Podman page in Debian’s wiki; although having only is probably enough.

Start script

I don’t want to run the container all the time, so this is convenient to start it when needed.

# start the minecraft server


podman ps | grep $NAME && exit


podman run -d -it --rm -p 25565:25565 -e EULA=TRUE \
    --name $NAME \
    -v $VOLUME:/data itzg/minecraft-server:$TAG

This expects some directories in place, run:

mkdir -p $HOME/pods/minecraft/data

Tip: save as start script in $HOME/pods/minecraft/.

Setup the server

  1. Start the container and check the logs until it has finished.
  2. Stop it and edit changing anything you want.
  3. Start the server again.

I’m using itzg/minecraft-server, and these are the docs.

The clients can connect using the IP of the machine running the server (in my case, in my LAN).

Server cheat-sheet

  • Start the server: see start script
  • Stop the server: podman stop minecraft-server
  • Check the logs: podman logs -f minecraft-server

Useful console commands

Disable raids:

podman exec minecraft-server rcon-cli '/gamerule disableRaids true'

Spawn entities:

podman exec minecraft-server rcon-cli '/summon minecraft:chicken x y z'

(get the x y z coordinates from a player by pressing F3 on their client; ensure the player is in an appropriate place!)

Last updated Jul 6, 2023