Minecraft Server wrapper providing world data backup functionality, log reader, launch configuration and a named pipe (FIFO) for sending commands.
Shell Ruby



A Minecraft Server wrapper for OSX and Linux (and any othe POSIX-compatible OS). mcwrapper enables a Minecraft server admin to easily start and stop their server, send commands, and also do safe, automatic world data backups.

I'm MC Wrapper and I'm here to say that I wanna wrap up minecraft so everything'll be okay.

mcwrapper has been designed for ease of use and simplicity, but also kept developers in mind. It provides facilities for reading configuration options from Minecraft Server and mcwrapper itself and also has a robust collection of status codes that it returns when it's run.


mcwrapper can now be installed via RubyGems.org. To install, simply run the following command:

gem install mcwrapper

This will install a new executable in your RubyGems installation's bin folder. To verify that it installed properly, you can run:

mcwrapper --version

This should show your currently installed version.


If you don't have minecraft_server.jar installed on your machine:

mkdir minecraft_server
cd minecraft_server
mcwrapper install

Follow the instructions (press enter when prompted). This will download the current version of minecraft_server.jar from Mojang and place it in the correct location.

To start Minecraft Server, cd into the directory with minecraft_server.jar and execute:

mcwrapper start

The above will start up a Minecraft server instance using default settings. All support files related to mcwrapper will be stored in the minecraft_server.jar directory.


Basic usage is:

mcwrapper <action> [ <action_params> ]

Use the help action to see a full breakdown of usage:

mcwrapper help

See the Configuration section below for instructions on modifying the default configuration and creating an mcwrapper.config file.


See the wiki page for actions for detailed information:



mcwrapper is configured using environment variables, but you can also specify these settings in a mcwrapper.conf file. mcwrapper searches for this file, in the following order, in the following places:

  1. $MCWRAPPER_CONFIG_PATH environment variable
  2. ./mcwrapper.conf
  3. ~/.mcwrapper.conf
  4. /etc/mcwrapper.conf

All parameters that can be set in this file can also be set in your shell's environment either via using export directly or by putting in your .bashrc or .bash_profile.

The mcwrapper.conf file and other configuration is not required as it has sensible defaults and will try to find the location of minecraft_server.jar on its own (starting with the current directory). An example mcwrapper.conf-example file is located in the distribution which contains documentation and examples of all configuration options.

See the Configuration wiki page for detailed information:



When running, mcwrapper uses 2 files:

  • mcwrapper.pid -- the pid of the currently running process. This is used by mcwrapper for sanity checks but can also be used by 3rd party scripts to see if minecraft_server is running.
  • command_input -- the FIFO used for communicating with the server.

The names and locations of the above files are both configurable in mcwrapper.conf.

You can run arbitrary commands either through the mcwrapper script as seen in the Quickstart or you can output commands directly to the command_input FIFO. This is handy if you write re-usable Minecraft scripts.

Examples of working directly with the FIFO:

echo "tell spizzike you are awesome" > command_input

If you have a file called gimmie_diamond.mcs containing the following text:

give spizzike 264
give spizzike 264
give spizzike 264
give spizzike 264
give spizzike 264
give spizzike 264

You can run that all through the Minecraft server with the following command:

command_input < gimmie_diamond.mcs

Backing Up Minecraft Data

Since it's not safe to back up the world data while the server is running, you need to force a save, then disable writing world data to disk during a backup.

mcwrapper contains a backup action for just this purpose. To back up your current world data directory, run the following command:

mcwrapper backup

mcwrapper will read your server.properties file to learn the location of your world data and, after flushing anything in memory, creates a timestamped directory in the minecraft server directory and creates a symlink to the latest backup called latest.

By default, the backup action will simply copy your world data and server configuration (white lists, server.properties, ban lists, etc) into the backups directory, but it can be configured to zip or tgz the backup data. See mcwrapper.conf-example for information on this.

Assuming your mcwrapper lives in /usr/local/minecraft/mcwrapper, backup will do the following:

  1. create /usr/local/minecraft/backups/YYYYMMDDHHMMSS where YYYYMMDDHHMMSS is the current timestamp
  2. copy /usr/local/minecraft/world and any other configuration data in /usr/local/minecraft into the above directory
  3. create a symlink to the latest backup at /usr/local/minecraft/backups/latest
  4. delete old backups. Defaults to keeping the latest 5.

The name of the latest backup can be configured by editing that setting in mcwrapper. You can also configure how many previous backups are kept. Again, see mcwrapper.conf-example for information on doing this.

For an example of doing automated backups via cron see the wiki:


Restoring from a Minecraft backup

If you ever find a need to restore from a previous world data backup, mcwrapper now using the restore action and passing a path (full or relative) to the backup you wish to restore:

mcwrapper restore backups/20111118123456

The above example will perform the following actions:

  1. gracefully stop the Minecraft server if it's running.
  2. do a non-clobbering backup of the current world data. This means that regardless of what your backup retention settings are, it will not delete any while creating a backup of the current world data.
  3. copy the specified backup directory into the servers's world directory.
  4. start Minecraft server up if it was previously running.

In addition to the above, a file is also created inside the world directory called RESTORED_FROM which contains the argument specified to the restore action.

The Future (Todo List)

In the future I aim to create sysV init scripts for Linux (Ubuntu flavoured) and OSX launchd configs. I also plan on including Minecraft backup support to SnapBackup, my backup script (http://github.com/spikegrobstein/snapbackup).


mcwrapper is written by Spike Grobstein me@spike.cx