Even after all these years, Minecraft continues to confound the world with its immeasurable popularity and the creativity exhibited by its users. The block-building/survival game from Mojang (now owned by Microsoft) is basically the virtual form of Legos, allowing players to create and explore worlds of their and other people’s imagining. Luckily for Linux users, this wonderful experience isn’t locked off from them, and we’re here to show you how to get it up and running on the all-popular Ubuntu.
Note: There’s a free 100-minute demo for Minecraft, but to play beyond that you’ll need to own Minecraft Java Edition. If you already own the PC/Mac version of Minecraft, there’s a good chance you can just use the activation code from that version of the game to play this one. You don’t need to buy it twice.
While the steps below are meant for Ubuntu, the installation is similar for most Linux distributions.
First, Install Java for Ubuntu
The Windows version of Minecraft no longer requires Java, but Ubuntu folk aren’t quite so lucky and still need to download Java, the programming language that Minecraft was built in.
With that in mind, we’re going to install Java directly through the Terminal which, as is often the case in Ubuntu, is simpler than getting the package from the official website and doing it that way.
So go to the Ubuntu Terminal and make sure your OS is all up to date by entering this command:
sudo apt-get update
Once that’s out the way, enter
sudo apt-get install default-jre
to install the latest Java Runtime Environment package.
To confirm that Java is indeed installed, type
java -version into the Terminal. You’re now ready to install Minecraft.
How to Install Minecraft
First up, download the Linux version of Minecraft from the official website. This will download an executable JAR file. It should just work by double-clicking, but if it doesn’t, go to the Terminal and type the following:
sudo chmod +x /home/User/Downloads/minecraft.jar
Change the file path to where you have saved the JAR file.
This will unlock the JAR file so that you can use it like a regular executable file from now on (by double-clicking it, of course). Now go to the folder where you downloaded the Minecraft.jar file, double-click it, and the Minecraft Launcher should open.
If you haven’t yet, follow the prompt to register for a Mojang account which will open the official website in your browser and start taking you through the process. Follow the instructions, but if you just want to play the demo and not the full game, ignore the page where it asks for your payment details.
Back in the Minecraft Launcher, sign in with your newly created account, and you’ll be taken to the main menu in the Launcher. Click “Play Demo” at the bottom, which will start downloading all the files you need to play the game.
Once that’s done, you’ll be taken to the Minecraft main menu where you can select your game mode. Enjoy!
The above guide is just the start of your Minecraft journey. If you want to play with your pals, you can either join their games or follow our guide to create your own Minecraft server.