Have you ever wanted to set up a Minecraft Server? Have other guides made it seem too hard or boring and lengthy? Well with this tutorial I am going to teach you the knowledge you need to set up a server easily and get rid of the information you don't need. Now to start off you need to meet few basic requirements.
Basic Computer Knowledge
A Desktop Computer With At Least 2GB of RAM
A High Speed Internet Connection
Java Installed On The Computer You Will Be Hosting On (Download Here)
Now to start off we want to create a new folder for our server. Place it somewhere that's easy to get to like the Desktop. Name it something like "Server" or "Minecraft Server". It doesn't really matter as long as you can get to it easily.
Now you want to download the Minecraft Server software. Here is a link to the download page. Now you will notice that there are two files with the server software; Minecraft-Server.exe and minecraft_server.jar I recommend using the minecraft_server.jar instead, because it makes it easier to install server mods later on and allows greater flexibility. However, there are a couple of extra steps with this method, but it is worth it. I've placed these steps in the spoiler below so if you chose to use the Minecraft-Server.exe file you can easily skip over them.
First start by going to this page and click "Verify Java Version". This will tell you if you have the latest version of Java. If not, I recommend upgrading to the latest. Next, open Command Prompt. This can be found by going to Start->Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt. Type "java -version" (without quotes). If version information appeared on the screen, you are good. If it said "'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." there is one extra step we must follow. Go to Start, right click on Computer and choose Properties. Go to the Advanced section and click "Environment Variables" Find "PATH" under the section labeled "System Variables". Click the "PATH" variable and click edit. Scroll to the end of the value. If there is no semicolon at the end put one there. Then enter the path to the bin folder in the java folder. (This is usually found in C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin). After that click ok on all the windows and type "java -version" (without quotes) into command prompt again. It should now show version information. Next we want to make our launcher. Open Notepad by going to Start->Programs->Accessories->Notepad. Type "title Minecraft Server" (without quotes) on the first line and "java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui" (without quotes) on the second line. Notice the 1024. This is the amount of memory dedicated to your server. Remember that 1GB is 1024MB. So here we are dedicating 1GB. If you needed to change this, change both the numbers. However 1GB is a good amount for a server for you and a few friends. Now that you have your two lines in Notepad, go to File and then Save. In the file type box, change it to All Files. Now, save your file as Start.bat.
To start off, you want to open Command Prompt. This can be found by going to Start->Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt. Type "ipconfig /all". Minimize this for now. We'll come back to it later.
Now go to Control Panel->Network and Internet Connections->Network Connections. Now find the connection that you use (this is usually the one in color). Right click on it and select Properties. Now, in the tab labeled "General" click "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click properties. Select "Use the following IP address:" Enter the information from the Command Prompt window in its appropriate places. (Ex. Put the subnet mask number in the subnet mask field) However, in the IP address field, if you have multiple computers add about 20 to the last set of numbers (Ex. 18.104.22.168 make it 22.214.171.124). This prevents conflicts down the road. Click OK on everything and check to make sure you still have internet.
You will want to restart Command Prompt and enter "ip config /all" (no quotes) again, since some of this information has changed. Now find "Default Gateway" in the command prompt window. Enter the number beside of it into your address bar. Type your login information (if you don't know it the manual for your router or modem may have a default login). Once you get in, look through the tabs until you see something about port forwarding. Tell the device to forward port 25565 to your IP address. 25565 is the default port for Minecraft servers. This can be changed but it doesn't matter and can be left alone. Save the changes and log out. If you are having trouble with this, this site has individual instructions for most routers on how to setup port forwarding.
Now, the hard part is over. Wipe the sweat off your brow, take a break, whatever but we are now entering the easy part. Go ahead and open whichever file you have to start the server. A lot of things will popup about missing files. This is normal because files have to be made the first time the server runs. Keep in mind that the waiting time is always longer the first time because it has to generate a world and get everything set up. As soon as you see the word "Done" type "stop" (no quotes). Wait until the window closes itself.
If you go to the folder you made earlier you will notice some new files. The one we will be using in particular is server.properties. Double click it and select "Select the program from a list". Choose Notepad and select the box labeled "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" Everything here should be common sense but just in case, here is a reference page. You shouldn't have to deal with "enable-query", "server-ip", or "enable-rcon" as these are for more advanced servers.
So now we have come to our final step, getting the address. Go to this page for your external IP address. The one we used earlier was your internal IP address. External is on the internet while internal is within your network. Next, add a colon and the port that you set up earlier (Ex. 72.458.32.478:25565) Use this address to connect while your server is running. Congratulations! You now have your own Minecraft Server!