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This is a Minecraft Server plugin which embeds an OSGi Framework (Apache Felix).

This Minecraft plugin can then (dynamically, HOT, re-*) load OSGi bundles as additional Minecraft plugins. This dynamicity is very useful particularly during development of extensions to a game which has a relatively "heavy" start-up time, incl. the typical disconnecting of game clients, and thus gives you a very quick in-game change turn around experience while coding.

Watch this early POC video on YouTube demonstrating live Minecraft mod development, and see the vorburger/HoTea project for an earlier pre-OSGi take on (and superseded by) this. Also check out the ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle companion project.

Licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 (AGPLv3). Contributions most welcome.

Please Star & Watch this project if it's of any interest or use to you!

How to use this

Build it

git clone
cd ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi
git submodule update --init --recursive
cd ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle
./gradlew install test
cd ..
./gradlew install test

NB: You must use install and not just build (because the MinecraftOSGiTest fails otherwise).

Get a Sponge powered Minecraft server

Create a home directory for the Minecraft server, and download the matching version (see ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/build.gradle) of the Sponge Vanilla JAR from (e.g. spongevanilla-1.10.2-5.1.0-BETA-374.jar) into it, and try starting it once:

cd ..
mkdir spongevanilla-1.10.2-5.1.0-BETA-374
cd spongevanilla-1.10.2-5.1.0-BETA-374
echo "eula=true" >eula.txt
java -jar spongevanilla-*.jar

Install minecraft.osgi & its dependencies

We now copy the Sponge OSGi mod we just built from source above into the mods/ directory of our Sponge Vanilla server we just set up:

cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/build/libs/*.jar mods/

This mod embeds an OSGi "kernel" (framework), and you could now start your Sponge server with this mod alone - this will work, but it's not particularly interesting; it won't "do" anything, yet.

But we can now install a few OSGi mod bundles built earlier; those JARs need to be put under a (new) osgi/boot directory (NOT mods/), like so:

mkdir -vp osgi/boot/

cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle/org.gradle.tooling.osgi/build/libs/*.jar osgi/boot/4_org.gradle.tooling.osgi-3.3.jar
cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle/ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle/build/libs/*.jar osgi/boot/4_ch.vorburger.osgi.gradle-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar
cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi.templates/build/libs/*.jar osgi/boot/5_ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi.templates-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar
cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/*.jar osgi/boot/
cp ../ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi/ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi.users/build/libs/*.jar osgi/boot/6_ch.vorburger.minecraft.osgi.users-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

Some of these bundles above have dependencies to some external 3rd party libraries, which are all valid OSGi bundles themselves, that must now ALL (!) also be installed into osgi/boot:

wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_guava-18.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_guava-19.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_guava-20.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/1_org.apache.felix.log-1.0.1.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/2_org.everit.osgi.loglistener.slf4j-1.0.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_org.eclipse.xtext.xbase.lib-2.10.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_org.eclipse.xtend.lib.macro-2.10.0.jar
wget -N -O osgi/boot/3_org.eclipse.xtend.lib-2.10.0.jar

Note how, thanks to OSGi, we have no "classpath hell" issues - we can, easily, have several different versions of the same library, such as Guava!

Later, you can also add any other OSGi bundles into the osgi/ directory. (Note that the numeric prefix indicates the order in which the bundles are installed and started.)

Developing OSGi bundled Minecraft mods

The minecraft.osgi.users which we just installed above makes it easy to now develop your own OSGi bundled Minecraft mods:

  1. Create a directory, where your own mods will go:

    mkdir -vp dev/

  2. Start the Sponge Vanilla server create above, and verify that there are no errors shown in the log on the console:

    java -jar spongevanilla-*.jar

  3. Connect your Minecraft client to this local server

  4. In game, you should have just been greeted with a HELO message followed by .. will install ... This chat message is issued by minecraft.osgi.users on join. More importantly, it has created a new development project for you under the dev/ directory (which you created above). The project is under a sub-directory with your player's Minecraft UUID.

  5. Open this new dev project in your favourite Java IDE (like e.g. Eclipse, or IntelliJ's IDEA). Note that this project uses Gradle for dependency management, so you must have Gradle support in your IDE (e.g. the latest Eclipse version Oxygen already includes Buildship). (Gradle is also used to produced a valid OSGi MANIFEST.MF for the JAR, via BND.)

  6. Try out the example command this project registered by typing /hello into the in-game chat window (it should reply with the obligatory Hello World!). Likewise, if you bump into anything, it will say boing in the chat.

  7. Your mod can use the full Sponge API. But note how this OSGi-based Minecraft Mod uses an OSGi Bundle Activator (or BP or DS), instead of the typical Sponge @Plugin annotated class, to register its Minecraft Commands and Event Listeners. (BTW: You could, of course, make your own Mod have both a Sponge Plugin class as well as an OSGi Activator, and register the same commands and listeners in it; thus creating a JAR which could be used in both environments.)

  8. Try changing something, say fix the chat message printed the HelloWorldCommand class from the (wrong) "Hello World!" to the (correct) "hello, world" ... ;-)

  9. Now note how, as soon as you save this changed Java source file (even if your IDE were to not have any build), a Gradle running in continous mode, launched in the Minecraft server, by the plugin, will detect the change, execute a re-build, which will re-create the bundle JAR, which will get (HOT) re-loaded into OSGi! Do check out the Sponge Vanilla server console to see the log messages piped through from Gradle, and the OSGi reload notifications.

  10. If you re-try typing /hello now, you'll get the changed message. This will work for ANY code changes, incl. new classes, etc.

Reference doc

The /osgi:install <URI> command, where URI is typically a file:/ prefixed path to an OSGi bundle JAR file, or a directory to a Gradle project, installs (and, if it's a directory, continuously builds and HOT reloads) that OSGi bundle. This lets you work with projects outside of your dev/<User-UUID>/project1 directory.

The osgi/installedBundles file lists all so installed bundles. What is listed here is started on server boot, after those in the osgi/system directory. You can edit this file, and e.g. remove the example dev/<User-UUID>/project1 from here.

When using it like this, you do not need to copy the osgi.templates and osgi.users (but all the other ones listed above).

What else?

The and ch.vorburger.minecraft.worlds are two example OSGi mods which you don't need to write your own, but can have a look at, and could also optionally install into osgi/boot (with boot order prefix 6_...) if you like.