What is Minecraft?
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.
Open-source, free Minecraft server and server panels
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Gamocosm is an open-source that allows gamers to run their cloud Minecraft on hosting services like DigitalOcean.
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).
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.
Schlagwetter is an open-source project to create a server for Minecraft. However, it is not receiving regular updates like its competitors.
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.