Hey guys. I am currently starting my first Minecraft server and would like to know how to install mods. I have tried to do bukkit but its kind of complicated. Is there anyway to use mods without using bukkit? If not, is there something better than bukkit, or should i just use it? If bukkit is the best way to go could you please give a
step-by-step instructional on how to install and use it?
For mods that add animals, blocks, et cetera:
The minecraft_server.exe is unmoddable. But you can easily mod the minecraft_server.jar (much the same, download it and run like the .exe, the difference is you can use 7zip/WinRAR to open it and add class files). It's like modding the client, just make sure the mod has server install instructions. Generally (with Forge mods, like IC2 and RedPower) you download the Forge and put it in the server jar, then you run it, it will create a mods folder. Then you put the jar/zip files for the mods you want in the mods folder (note that Forge is now "universal" meaning both the client and server use the same downloads).
You must have the same mods, and config files for those mods when connecting to a modded server.
For plugins (which do things like protection, world editing, chat management, et cetera):
You need Bukkit, the wiki has a good setup tutorial and then you just download plugins from bukkit.org and drap 'em into the "plugins" folder that's created when you run Bukkit for the first time.
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If your talking about plugins (different to mods), then they are most likely Bukkit plugins, which require Bukkit. But you seem to talking about actual mods, which you can't install to the .exe, but you can install to the .jar, so use that. Have a look for some up to date tutorials online on how it install them.