Installing Minecraft in Linux

1. Download Oracle Java

First you will need the official Oracle version of Java (the open source alternatives will probably not work as well for Minecraft). I think you can just download the runtime, but I personally opt for installing the complete Java Development Kit (JDK).

You can download the official JDK here.
If you run a RedHat based distro, there is a .rpm, otherwise just get the .tgz for your system.

2. Installing Oracle Java

At the time of writing, the version of java is 7u45.
I move this .tar.gz file from my downloads folder to /opt and unzip it there, like this:

mv ~/Downloads/jdk-7u45-linux-x64.tar.gz /opt
cd /opt
tar xzvf jdk-7u45-linux-x64.tar.gz

This will create a new directory called jdk1.7.0_45.
As there is a good chance we will be updating java in the future, I create a symlink that we can easily change to the new versions in the future like this:

ln -s jdk1.7.0_45 jdk

Now when ever you want to find java, it will be in /opt/jdk.

All we have to do now is make the executables available on the PATH.
Edit your .bashrc (or .profile, etc.) and add this line:

export PATH=$PATH:/opt/jdk/bin/

3. Install Minecraft

Get Minecraft from the official Minecraft download page. Under the “Minecraft for Linux / Other” there is a link to download the official Minecraft .jar file. I also put this in /opt:

mkdir /opt/minecraft
mv ~/Downloads/Minecraft.jar /opt/minecraft

At this point we can start Minecraft with this:

java -jar Minecraft.jar

4. Setting up an Application Launcher for Gnome

I use Gnome Shell and if I’m not in a terminal, I normally use Gnome’s Activities Overview to launch apps by pressing the ‘super’ key, typing “Minecraft” and pressing ‘enter’.

We want Minecraft to be installed just like any other app, so we will need to add a launcher for Minecraft, but before we do that, we need an icon for it. I just found one online, so lets download it to our /opt/minecraft directory.

cd /opt/minecraft

Then to make an application launcher, you can use this:

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/.local/share/applications

You can assign it the logo we downloaded earlier and use this for the command:

/opt/jdk/bin/java -jar /opt/minecraft/Minecraft.jar

5. Have fun!

Now you can launch Minecraft just like the other apps in Gnome Shell!