I finally decided to install Minecraft on my new shiny Toshiba Portege z830.
Ubuntu ships with an open-source version of Java, which did run Minecraft, but the graphics were terrible, even on the lowest settings. There were artefacts everywhere!
So as recommended, I switched to the official JRE. Now the login screen works, but that’s about it. After logging in, I just got a black screen and the following exception in the console:
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After discussing the problem in IRC, the solution was quite simple. It turns out
lwjgl is a “Light Weight Java Game Library” and the version I had wasn’t behaving.
On the advice of the helpful IRC’ers, I downloaded the latest
lwjgl from here (which at time of writing is 2.8.3) to get it all to work nicely.
To install it, I downloaded the zip file, extracted it to a temporary directory, then copied across these files:
Done! Now it works nicely.