I've been a fan of Minecraft for some time now and I've had a copy of Minecraft: Pocket Edition for at least a year. While I still find it a fair amount more difficult to play over it's Xbox One and Xbox 360 counterparts, I do still find it enjoyable to pick up and play here and there.

With the announcement of Minecraft Realms, I thought it wouldbe neat to give that a go with a friend, especially since he got himself a new iPad as of recent. However after reading through their EULA I was completely put off. I did a little looking around and came across PocketMine. It's a solution that allows you to host your own Minecraft server, specifically for Pocket Minecraft. Of note, you can't run the normal version of the Minecraft server as that will only work for the PC/Mac versions of Minecraft.

I orginally started setting up my server environment on a CentOS 6.7 server however after messing around with trying to get an updated version of glibc to work on the system, I gave up and installed Ubuntu 14.04. During the installation process of Ubuntu I setup a user account, minecraft.

Logged in as my minecraft user, I created a new directory in it's home folder called server. I like to keep everything as organized as possible. Change into that directory:

cd /home/minecraft/server

Once in that directory run the following command. This will download and run the PocketMine installer:

curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PocketMine/php-build-scripts/master/installer.sh | bash -s -

Hopefully everything goes without a hitch. It should not only fetch the server itself but install PHP 7.x (at the time of writing this was the version it got).

Next run ./start.sh and it'll bring you through an initial set of questions. Most of them are pretty self explanatory. Once that is done your server should be online.

On your mobile device, go to Play and then hit the Friends tab. If you're local to your server (as in on the same network) you should see your server as already being in the list. If you're not local to server, such as your friend who's at their house or if you're connecting when you're on the go, then you'll have to manually add your server. By default the PocketMine server runs on port 19132, which should be the default value in your Pocket Minecraft.

All in all, it probably took 20-30 minutes to get my own Pocket Minecraft server up and running. I now have my own safe place to build and explore with my friends!