How to run a Minecraft 1.3 snapshot on Debian GNU/Linux

I’ve been wasting time playing Minecraft on my Debian box recently, and I wanted to try the new 1.3 snapshots. I found they couldn’t run with the same invocation as I had been using for the 1.2 release. I couldn’t find any help at all out on the web, so I had to puzzle it out myself. Hopefully these instructions will help someone else out there.

The 1.3 snapshots have a different main method and require some extra packages to be installed. In particular, the Lightweight Java Game Library ( needs to be installed.

On Debian, this is packaged:

apt-get install liblwjgl-java

The Debian package is missing something, though — more on that later.

You would also need the packages for OpenGL and OpenAL, but you probably already have those.

You need specify in your command line invocation where the shared libraries are that perform the JNI links to native code; the Debian place for this is /usr/lib/jni.

Finally, I have Oracle Java 7 installed in /usr/local/lib/jvm. I don’t know if that’s really necessary, but others have recommended this. I’m not going to document how to do that now — Google is your friend. Maybe later.

Ok, given all that, here’s the script you’ve been waiting for:

/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu \
java -Xmx1024M -Xms512M \
-cp /usr/local/share/minecraft/minecraft.jar:\
/usr/share/java/lwjgl_test.jar \
-Djava.library.path=/usr/lib/jni \

Note that the LD_LIBRARY_PATH setting is needed for 64-bit OSes, but not 32-bit AFAIK. It’s relative to where you installed the jvm so adjust it as necessary.

But wait, there’s no sound! I really need to submit a bug on the Debian package, but here’s the workaround: download the binary package of LWJGL from You probably want the same version as the Debian package you installed.

Now uzip it and copy native/linux/ (or native/linux/ if you’re running a 32-bit system) to /usr/lib/jni/ . Yay, sound!

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5 Responses to How to run a Minecraft 1.3 snapshot on Debian GNU/Linux

  1. Reade says:

    Awesome! Nice job, works great. Thanks!

  2. Brian Kemp says:

    Oracle JVM is not necessary – OpenJDK6 works a peach.

  3. Terion says:

    I’ve always been playing minecraft on GNU/Linux, first Ubuntu, and now Mint. Nothing has changed for me on how I have to start minecraft since I bought it somewhere while it was still in alpha. How come people suddenly started claiming this is necessary? Note that I always install the latest JWLGL from the JWLGL website, to fix the ‘randomly start walking’ bug that’s been in the minecraft version JWLGL since alpha, and was never fixed. (I still had it in a snapshot a few weeks ago when I was using the normal JWLGL).

    • Terion says:

      * I’ve always played minecraft
      Inappropriate use of the present continuous is a common case of hyper-correction for Dutch people. We have a tendency to think that the simple present sound ‘too Dutch’ and will erroneously default to the present continuous.

  4. Gregory Brown says:

    It won’t work for me (Ubuntu LTS) I even tried “cd”ing it and it won’t work does anyone know of a way to fix this or maybe post a youtube video?

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