Minecraft is a popular sandbox game that allows players to build and create their own worlds. It is called "sandbox" because it provides a creative landscape for players without fixed goals or missions.

The player can build, create, explore, interact, within the infinite environment and world.

What is a Minecraft server?

Minecraft depends on server which are a company or player-owned server. The Minecraft server allow players to connect with each others, play online or via a local area network.

Minecraft's servers varies in shape, functions, license, and cost.

Public Minecraft servers are often shared on Minecraft official forums.

In this article, we collected the best open-source, free Minecraft server and server managers for anyone who wants to own his server.

1- Glowstone

Glowstone is a free, open-source, cross-platform lightweight Minecraft server, written in Java programming language.

Glowstone supports all plugins written for the Bukkit, Spigot and Paper APIs natively.

GitHub - GlowstoneMC/Glowstone: A fast, customizable and compatible open source server for Minecraft: Java Edition
A fast, customizable and compatible open source server for Minecraft: Java Edition - GitHub - GlowstoneMC/Glowstone: A fast, customizable and compatible open source server for Minecraft: Java Edition

2- Minestom

Minestom is a Minecraft server implementation which is totally free and open-source. Minestom is a developer-friendly project which is packed by rich documentation and code snippets. It supports blocks, entities, inventory, instances, and commands.

Minestom has a modular structure which allows developers to build their own extensions.

Minestom uses Apache License V2.0 (Open-source license).

GitHub - Minestom/Minestom: 1.19.3 Lightweight Minecraft server
1.19.3 Lightweight Minecraft server. Contribute to Minestom/Minestom development by creating an account on GitHub.

3- Cuberite

Cuberite is a simple yet powerful extensible Minecraft game server. Unlike most of the other projects on this list, it supports Windows, Linux, macOS as well as Android systems.

Cuberite offers several demo servers for free testing, and a well documented get started documentation.

Cuberite - A lightweight, fast and extensible game server for Minecraft
A custom Minecraft compatible game server written in C++. It’s a fast, lightweight, and awesome replacement for Vanilla.

5- PufferPanel

PufferPanel is not actually a game server for Minecraft, it is game sever management panel which offers a full support for Minecraft, Forge, Spigot, Sponge, Forge and many more.

PufferPanel is released under Apache License 2.0.

GitHub - PufferPanel/PufferPanel: PufferPanel is an open source game server management panel, designed for both small networks and game server providers.
PufferPanel is an open source game server management panel, designed for both small networks and game server providers. - GitHub - PufferPanel/PufferPanel: PufferPanel is an open source game server…

6- Fork

Like PufferPanel, Fork is a Minecraft server Manager graphical user interface GUI. It comes with a clean user-interface which does not require a steep learning curve, plugins, multiserver/ instance support, and multi-platform support.

Fork - Minecraft Server Manager GUI
A free and OpenSource Minecraft server GUI designed to make server hosting easy, clean and fast. Features allow automatic server restarts, hardware statistics, player management and more

7- Crafty Controller

Yet another Minecraft server control platform for gamers. It is coded with Python 3.7, uses SQLite DB, and can be installed on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Crafty Controller
Crafty Controller is a cross platform minecraft server controller that you control in your web browser.

8- Paper MC

Paper is a free Minecraft server software which is compatible with Spigot plugins. It comes with expanded API, community support, and offers a seamless performance.

PaperMC is a Minecraft software organization focusing on improving the game’s ecosystem with faster and more secure software.

9- Bukkit

Bukkit is a free open-source software that helps developers extend Minecraft multiplayer servers.

Bukkit comes with a large base of third-party projects which include modules, plugins, and code snippets.


10- Pterodactyl Panel

Pterodactyl Panel is a free, open-source game server management tool for games.

It is built using the latest trending web technologies as React, Go and PHP. Pterodactyl Panel is a user-friendly systems that comes with a responsive user interface, Docker support, and scalable-ready architecture.

Pterodactyl is an open-source game server management panel built with PHP, React, and Go. Designed with security in mind, Pterodactyl runs all game servers in isolated Docker containers while exposing a beautiful and intuitive UI to end users.

11- Gamocosm

Gamocosm is an open-source that allows gamers to run their cloud Minecraft on hosting services like DigitalOcean.

Gamocosm - The open source Realms alternative
Gamocosm is an open source Realms alternative. It helps you host cloud Minecraft servers.

12- MultiMC

MultiMC is not a server or a server management panel, but it is worth mentioning here because it allows gamers to run multiple, separated instances of Minecraft, as every of them has its own mods, packs, and resources.

MultiMC is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux (Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, Linux Mint).


13- MSM

MSM is a free, open-source popular Minecraft Server Manager for admins, DevOps, and gamers.
It allows users to create WorldEdit compatible snapshots without breaking a sweat.

Minecraft Server Manager

14- Schlagwetter

Schlagwetter is an open-source project to create a server for Minecraft. However, it is not receiving regular updates like its competitors.

Schlagwetter: A Minecraft Server

Wrapping up.

Here as our list comes to an end, we listed the best open-source and free Minecraft server and management panel projects. If you know of any other project that fits our list, let us know.