LinuxTek Minecraft Server Updates

Introduction

The original Minecraft server was set up on Google Cloud Platform to provide a space for some of our World of Warships players to try something different as a break. It quickly became cost prohibitive to run on GCP, and was moved on-premise to reduce costs. Since then, the LinuxTek server infrastructure has grown considerably to be able to support the growing number of players, and spinning up additional Minecraft servers as needed.

I’m proud of the community we’ve built, and while activity has ebbed and flowed, I appreciate everyone’s consistent support.

Infrastructure Update

The on-premise server infrastructure for LinuxTek has grown significantly over the last year. It started with one Dell R730XD servers, and we’ve added two Dell R630 servers, as well as a large amount of storage and networking equipment. The entire virtualization stack is managed on VMware vSphere, using vCenter to manage the individual vSphere servers.

I’d like to give a special thank-you to our supporters on Patreon, who have helped support this initiative from the very start. The server equipment was a significant financial investment, and I’m happy to have the support our our dedicated players to help offset some of the costs. I’m always open to suggestions for increasing value for our Patrons, communicating more, and discussing ways to make sure you’re seeing the level of activity from me that you want.

The server infrastructure will also be used for other projects relating to coding, DevOps, Linux, networking, databases, etc. You can see some of the articles I’ve written about this recently, including the work that went into getting ready for having the Minecraft installation automated using Packer, Terraform, and Ansible.

I have plans to add a bit more hardware, and work on getting a Kubernetes cluster running on VMware Tanzu for use in multiple projects.

Minecraft Vanilla Server Update

Currently we are running a Minecraft 1.18.1 server, which the world has been explored fairly extensively all the way to The End. Most of the players have built and explored as much as they feel they want to, and regular activity has dropped off significantly. I think we are all excited for the Minecraft 1.19 release, which will add The Deep Dark, The Warden, and many other changes to explore; especially underground. To make sure that we can fully experience the new features, we will be rerolling the world once Minecraft 1.19 is released stable. We are ready to do this quickly, thanks to the automation that has been created using Ansible. I hope that once we update, we can see the player activity flourish once again.

Minecraft Roguelike Adventures and Dungeons Server Update

I know a lot of our Minecraft community found us through the Roguelike Adventures and Dungeons modpack Discord, where our community was advertised. We ran a small RAD server for the last year, as requested by a number of our active players.

Unfortunately, the server hardware we have does not seem optimal to supporting this modpack. RAD is based on Minecraft 1.12, and requires high speed individual CPU cores. The server architecture we have has many CPU cores at a lower clock speed. Even with a 5 player limit, we frequently hit the CPU ceiling, which resulted in lag, crashes, and an inconsistent experience. Due to this, there have not been any players on the RAD server for a while, so I have decomissioned it.

For those who want to continue with the RAD experience, you are free to create your own server. I’ve uploaded the latest backup of the world files here for you, so you can continue on your journey. If you have trouble accessing the backup, please let me know via Discord and I can provide a different link.

Minecraft Valhelsia Enhanced Vanilla Server Update

The long-awaited Valhelsia Enhanced Vanilla server is finally here! This modpack provides an RPG element to the game, where you start with less hearts, a skill tree to progress through, and the ability to level different skills, equipment, and abilities.

The modpack also includes a number of visual enhancements, including shader packs. There are five different profiles for the shader pack that can be selected in the video settings menu, which allows you to focus on performance, quality, or somewhere in-between. As the shader packs are built into the client and server, we don’t recommend adding your own shaders to the modpack on the client side.

This was a large project, and I’m happy to announce that it is finally finished and the server is up and running. Some of you may be wondering why it took so long. The reason is that instead of manually spinning up a virtual machine, installing the software and managing it through backups; the entire process was instead automated using Infrastructure as Code. This means that the entire setup of the server, from OS installation, deployment to virtual machine, to Minecraft installation is all automated and documented as code. This took many hours of work, but will hopefully make upgrading and spinning up new Minecraft servers faster in the future.

Currently the best way to install the modpack client is through the CurseForge App. It should be possible to install the modpack using MultiMC or GDLauncher, but there is some kind of issue with the Forge API that is preventing the pack from downloading all of the required plugins.

The whitelist for the Valhelsia server is being managed separately, so please ask in the Discord #mc-valhelsia-chat channel if you’d like to be whitelisted to play on this server.

What’s Next?

We will continue to evolve the Minecraft servers we run based on community feedback. Please ask in the Discord if there are any changes or improvements you’d like to see. Ideally I’d like to keep a base Vanilla Minecraft server running as close to default as possible, but we can add a few mods for qualify of life. We have plenty of resources to spin up additional servers if needed, and we can rotate the modded servers based on how popular they are.

Growing the community is also a priority, so if you are interested in playing Minecraft, please read the Contact section for details.

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