Minetest Server Setup Thread

Welcome to the minetest server setup thread.

The purpose of these posts are to help you set up and operate a minetest server on your freedombox.


We will:

  • install minetest from the freedombox app page
  • download the minetest client software and you’ll install this
  • connect to the minetest server on your freedombox
  • register a user (minetest player) account
  • configure the player user to be a server admin user
  • enble some mods from the default distribution

Out of Scope

Minetest installation - use the minetest app page in freedombox to install minetest. If you have trouble with this then make a post in support and you’ll get help there. Follow any instructions for installing the minetest client on your platform, and seek help from the documentation or minetest forums if you have trouble installing the client.


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First connection to your minetest server

We’ll connect to the minetest server on your freedombox.

Software installation

You will need to have minetest client software which may be downloaded from minetest.net, or obtained through your preferred software repository.

Debian client installation

You will have the minetest client on your freedombox when you install the minetest application through plinth. On a debian client you’d install the minetest client using apt.

sudo apt install minetest

Server connection

On your first connection you will register an account on your minetest server. Your username and password are for this application - you may use a different username and password than your freedombox account. Your minetest password will be encrypted when it is stored.

  1. open your minetest client software

  2. specify the ip address or hostname of your freedombox

  3. specify port 30000 if this is not filled out for you

  4. enter your desired username for the game

  5. press the Register button

  6. complete the registration by adding a password

  7. Once you complete registration with your password you will enter the game.

Make yourself the minetest server admin

Once you have connected to your minetest server you’ll be a normal player. The application needs admin users, and we’ll make you one for your minetest server. We will edit the configuration file and restart the server to make you an admin user.

Stop your minetest server

Navigate to the minetest app page in freedombox and stop the service.

Edit the minetest configuration file

Minetest server configuration is in /etc/minetest/minetest.conf. You will need to complete this operation as root.

using sudo

sudo nano /etc/minetest/minetest.conf

using su

$su -
#nano /etc/minetest/minetest.conf

Search for these lines in the configuration file, and we’re going to use the “name =” key to make your count server admin.

# Client and Server

# Name of the player.
# When running a server, clients connecting with this name are admins.
# When starting from the main menu, this is overridden.
# type: string
# name =

Remove the leading # in front of name, and set your minetest username (not your freedombox username… unless they are the same) after the = …

# Name of the player.
# When running a server, clients connecting with this name are admins.
# When starting from the main menu, this is overridden.
# type: string
name = joseph

Save your file.

Start the minetest service

Start the minetest service again from plinth. Connect to minetest from your minetest client and type in this command from the game:
/privs and hit enter.
You will see that you have privs: interact, shout, password, server, ban, privs, kick, basic_privs. Congratulations! You are server admin.

Where are the animals?

Minetest content is configurable and the game defaults do not have all of the features you expect in other well known mining/crafting games. Just as the server has a configuration file, the game instance also has a config file. In your shell you’ll need to look in:

You can edit this file as root using sudo nano world.mt. Enabling animals takes two changes to this file. world.mt looks like this:

enable_damage = true
creative_mode = false
mod_storage_backend = sqlite3
auth_backend = sqlite3
player_backend = sqlite3
backend = sqlite3
gameid = minetest
world_name = world
load_mod_worldedit_commands = false
load_mod_throwing = false
load_mod_quartz = false
load_mod_pipeworks = false
load_mod_moreores = false
load_mod_protector = false
load_mod_moreblocks = false
load_mod_unifieddyes = false
load_mod_mobs_turtles = false
load_mod_mobs_jellyfish = false

The default animals (such as sheep) are in:

load_mod_mobs = false
load_mod_mobs_animal = false

Set both of these to ‘true’ by editing the file using nano or your favorite text editor and make this change…

load_mod_mobs = true
load_mod_mobs_animal = true

… and saving the file.

Now stop the minetest service and then start it again from plinth.

Connect to minetest with your client software and begin to wander. You will see an animal soon!

Turn on charcoal, too!

If you have not played minetest or other similar games before, charcoal is important. That’s also in the default world.mt file:
load_mod_charcoal = false

Change that to…
load_mod_charcoal = true
… save the file and restart the service.

With animals and charcoal turned on you now have a well-playable minetest environment!

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Play with fire

Minetest pyrotechnics are a part of the game mainly disabled by default. Fire behavior and tnt are of note here. Fire and tnt can be used for good or evil, of course. Tnt is much faster than a pick-axe for mining, but you can cause uncontrolled fires. Injuring yourself with explosion damage and accidentally burning down your house is part of the fun.


Fires that spread

Burning combustible objects will not spread fire to nearby combustible objects by default. You can change this in /etc/minetest/minetest.conf:
disable_fire = false

This will cause fire to spread.


If you want players to engage in bulk mining this is a requirement. Again in /etc/minetest/minetest.conf:
enable_tnt = true