Sleep for Docker Minecraft

Porting a solution to sleep minecraft servers when nobody is online to docker-minecraft-server by using docker pause and unpause.

Using docker-minecraft-server

I realized I could leverage docker's docker pause CONTAINER

Based on the guide by Michiel Bruijn on Mojang bug reports If you aren't running a docker minecraft server then their guide will fit you.

make a shell script with the following (remember to modify CONTAINER):

# Check if there are still connections made to minecraft server, otherwise PAUSE the process so that it won't take any CPU anymore.
# Also check /lib/systemd/system/knockd.service
CONTAINER = <docker container name or id>
if ! netstat -tn | grep 25565 | grep ESTABLISHED ; then /usr/bin/docker pause $CONTAINER ; fi

and name it This script checks for established connections, if it doesn't find any, it calls docker and pauses the minecraft container

change its permissions

sudo chmod ugo+x

then add it to crontabs

sudo crontab -e

Put this in the cronjob:

*/10 * * * * /home/user/

The path will be where you placed and named the previous script. This cronjob will run the script every 10 minutes.

Then use Knock to trigger when a connection is started.

sudo apt-get install knockd

edit /etc/knockd.conf and replace with:

# UseSyslog
 interface = ens2
 logfile = /var/log/knockd.log
 sequence = 25565
 seq_timeout = 1
 start_command = /usr/bin/docker unpause <CONTAINER>
 tcpflags = ack

Change interface to your interface (do ip addr, and check what network interface is used to connect to the network)

Change <CONTAINER> to your minecraft container name/id.

Change sequence to the port you use for your minecraft. 25565 is the default minecraft port.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart knockd

I'm running papermc flavor, so I also changed the timeout-time in spigot.yml to 86400 which is 1 day in seconds. This means that minecraft won't consider the server to have crashed even when it's paused for a full day. You can change this as necessary. Keep in mind that if the server does crash, it may take this long for it to realize it crashed and try to stop and restart the server.

With the timeout-time on default 60 seconds, generally it will consider the server to have crashed on resume and stop the server, then restart it. The issue with this for me is that the server restart takes what seems to be 2 to 3 minutes. Thus, if someone tries to connect, they'll time out before the server is ready.

Got comments or issues with what I wrote? Please let me know by submitting an issue with the blog title :)