Minecraft Linux Servers - Automated Commands using Screen & Cron

The following is for Minecraft Server administrators running Linux.

If you run your Minecraft server through a named screen session, you can develop simple bash scripts that automate commands. This can be everything from giftbag scripts to automated backups.

An example backup script: /home/user/minecraft/backup.sh


echo "Forcing save-all";

screen -x minecraft1 -X stuff `printf "save-off\r"`;

sleep 5s;

screen -x minecraft1 -X stuff `printf "save-all\r"`;

sleep 60s;

day=$(date +%Y%m%d);




echo "Copying world directory..."

cp -R -p ${orig_file} ${backup_file};

sleep 5s;

screen -x minecraft1 -X stuff `printf "save-on\r"`;

echo "Compressing world directory copy..."

tar --posix --preserve-permissions --preserve-order --create --gzip \
 --remove-files \
    --file="${archive_file}" \

sleep 5s;

echo "Moving compressed world directory copy to remote backup site..."

mv ${archive_file} /mnt/backups/minecraft/;

echo "Backup complete!"

Edit: Now includes save-off and save-on as recommended by aperson. Thanks!

Once done, you can edit your cron settings: crontab -e

# m h  dom mon dow   command
0 12 * * *      sh /home/user/minecraft/backup.sh

A giftbag script can also be created: giftbag.sh


echo "Time for toys!";

echo "${2}@${1} must have been very good!"

screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 259"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 50 64"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 261"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 262 64"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 264 16"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 265 64"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 276"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 277"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 278"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 279"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 310"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 311"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 312"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 313"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 345"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "give ${2} 347"`printf "\r"`;
screen -x ${1} -X stuff "tell ${2} It looks like the gods are happy with you today..."`printf "\r"`;

echo "Enjoy!"

To use this script, you can run the following:

./giftbag.sh minecraftScreenName minecraftUserId

If you want to be an evil admin:  darkness.sh

screen -x minecraft1 -X stuff "time set 18000"`printf "\r"`;

crontab -e

# m h  dom mon dow   command
0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * *      sh /home/user/minecraft/darkness.sh

Or, the short hand version:

# m h  dom mon dow   command
*/5 * * * *      sh /home/user/minecraft/darkness.sh
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