Gaming Linux

How to Install the Full Version of Minecraft on a Linux PC

Christian Cawley 12-10-2017

Minecraft is one of the biggest games in the world, with a massive following. While there is a version available for the Raspberry Pi Learn Python and Electronics with Minecraft Pi Edition Have you always wanted to learn to code but didn't know where to start? Learn how to control Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi using Python and some simple electronics. Read More , you probably thought that this stripped-down take on the explore-and-build game was as good as it gets on Linux.


child games minecraft

In fact, you can run the full version of Minecraft on Linux, thanks to the cross-platform Java software platform.

Want to take Steve on some new adventures on your Linux PC? Here’s how.

Why Run Minecraft on Linux

Mojang’s Minecraft is an incredibly popular, and addictive, gaming experience. But finding it runs on every other platform except the one you’re using is quite frustrating. Minecraft is widely available, with versions available on everything from the Xbox 360 to the Nintendo Switch — even the Apple TV You Can Now Play Minecraft on Apple TV Mojang has ported Minecraft to tvOS, which means you can now play the insanely popular sandbox game on your Apple TV. Read More .

So, what about Linux?


Well, it’s actually not as bad as you may believe. Minecraft will run on Linux, in the right conditions. It’s certainly possible to set up a local Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi, and it’s not too difficult to install the full game on your Linux PC.

To do this, you’ll need the right graphics drivers, a Java runtime, and of course, a suitable copy of Minecraft.

Get Started: Install Graphics Drivers

As you may have noticed, Minecraft utilizes 3D graphics.

For the best results with this, you’ll need to have the right graphic drivers installed on your system. Most Linux distributions install open source graphics drivers Open Source AMD Graphics Are Now Awesome, Here's How To Get Them The AMD proprietary driver on Linux is fast but buggy, and the open source driver has now become awesome Read More , but in most cases, proprietary alternatives (drivers produced by the graphic card’s developers) are available. Which drivers you need depends on your GPU:

  • Intel Graphics: You’ll already have the best driver installed.
  • Nvidia Graphics: Swap from the open source driver to the proprietary version.
  • AMD Graphics: Again, you’ll need to overlook the open source driver in favor of the proprietary option.

To change the driver in Ubuntu (and similar) Linux operating systems, open Software & Updates, select the Additional Drivers tab, and select the proprietary option. Click Apply Changes when done, and wait. Once complete, you’ll need to click Restart… to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

linux gaming minecraft graphics

In most cases, the proprietary driver isn’t selected by default, but you can switch to it here. See our guide to installing proprietary drivers How to Install Proprietary Graphics Drivers in Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint Most of the time, you'll be fine with open-source software on Linux. But if you want real gaming and graphical power, you'll need proprietary drivers. Here's how to get them. Read More in Linux for further details.

Decision Time: Java vs. OpenJDK

Next, you’ll need to choose a suitable Java runtime. This is a software platform upon which the Minecraft software will run.


You have two options available. First is the open source OpenJDK, which you can find and install via your distro’s software center. If you’re keen on keeping your Linux machine as open source as possible Your Complete Guide to Living a 100% Free and Open Source Life Windows and macOS are commercial, proprietary, closed source operating systems. Linux, and its many applications, are free and open source. Want to use only free and open source software? Here's how. Read More , this is the best option. However, if you want to ensure Minecraft runs at its most optimum, you might prefer to employ the official Java runtime from Oracle.

This is available in RPM format from the Oracle website, and easily installed using your package manager. Alternatively, you can install the files by adding a PPA.

linux minecraft java install

Open your terminal emulator and add

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

Wait for this to install, then update your system.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install Java.

sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Meanwhile, if you need more detailed instructions, Oracle provides a guide for installing Java on other Linux operating systems.

Java Security Concerns

Java has a bad reputation The Web Just Became More Secure: Google Drops Support for Java When Java was first released in 1995, it was revolutionary. But now, it's safe to say that Java has lost its shine, and Google is about to drop support for it in Chrome. Read More when it comes to security. It was once declared the most vulnerable software on Windows computers, and these weaknesses are not absent on Linux. The only difference is that the underlying operating system is more secure, and has fewer hackers trying to break it.

Installing Java on your Linux computer will, therefore, make it less secure. This isn’t a case of what is most secure (OpenJDK or Java). Rather, you need to know that any form of Java installed on your computer introduces vulnerabilities. Whichever version you choose, we would recommend keeping it updated.

This way, you’ll ensure that any vulnerabilities are immediately patched.

Download Minecraft and Start Playing!

Okay, you now have everything you need to install Minecraft — except the game itself. To download the Java edition, head to the Minecraft download page and select the Linux version. Save the Minecraft.jar file to your computer.

linux gaming minecraft launcher

Once downloaded, all you need to do is browse to the directory where the Minecraft.jar file is saved, and right-click. Select Open with… > Java Runtime, and wait while the game starts and checks for updates. You now have two options. The first is to play a free, time-limited demo version of Minecraft.

linux gaming minecraft start

Alternatively, you can sign into the game with your existing Minecraft credentials, and start a game. The Linux version of Minecraft is the main desktop version, as opposed to the Pocket Edition (also known as PE) for mobiles. As such, you’ll be able to host your own Minecraft server, perhaps on a Raspberry Pi (as noted above) or on your own PC. And if you’re new to the game, take a look at our beginner’s guide to The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More Minecraft The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More .

Is There Another Way?

As of 2017, you can install Minecraft on Linux with a dedicated installer… but it’s a bit unstable, and doesn’t work across all distros. Eventually, the intention is that this will replace everything above, but until it’s ready for the big time, you can carry on with the Java installation.

If you want to try out the new method, check the Debian package or the Arch Linux package. In time, the Java version of Minecraft will fade away, forcing Linux users to employ this new launcher. As of October 2017, the new launcher isn’t for mainstream use, but this will change in the future.

Once you’ve got the game running, check out the best Minecraft seeds for cool worlds The 8 Best Minecraft Seeds for Cool Adventures Want to explore the world of Minecraft but don't know where to begin? Here are the best Minecraft seeds to explore. Read More .

Related topics: Install Software, Linux, Minecraft.

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  1. Yvan
    March 2, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I have been running Minecraft for a very long time

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  3. Mike F
    October 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Actually, the open source AMD drivers work just fine for Minecraft. At this point, there is very little difference in speed and quality between open source and proprietary, thanks to AMD open sourcing part of their core driver code a couple years ago.

  4. Gary Stanullwich
    October 14, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Stop buying ROKU. I was looking into this device, when I found out that I had to pay a monthly service fee to ROKU to add the Netflix channel. Even though I ALREADY have a subscription to Netflix !!!!!!!! That is called gouging the customers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Glen
      April 10, 2019 at 4:58 am

      Roku doesn't charge monthly service fees on any of their devices or services. You might have a bogus product.

  5. spyjoshx
    October 13, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I am curious where you got the information about the debian package from Mojang. Can you please show me where you found the link?

    • Christian Cawley
      October 13, 2017 at 9:09 am

      I don't have the link to hand, but it was one of the Minecraft Reddits

      • Spyjoshx
        October 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

        Now to clarify, this is just an official installer for the Java Edition?