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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Is Minecraft server on Mac really safe?


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grahammeigh

 
Member Since: Jul 20, 2011
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My son has installed a Minecraft game server on my wife's work iMac and is now giving access details to all and sundry.

I have three questions:

What are the security implications?

Can he "screw" the iMac? (we have had to erase the harddrive on previous Macs!)

How easy is it to remove?

Please help!
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bobtomay

 
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I'm afraid your son is not going to like me very much.

??? Don't really have a clue of the implications. But, I wouldn't allow access to any portion of my computers to only god knows who might be accessing it via a game server. And on my work machine?

Someone may come along that knows about this stuff and say it's not an issue, they can't access anything outside the game, maybe aside from using all your bandwidth. Don't care... not happening... And on a machine I rely on to get my job done? No way, No how.

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grahammeigh

 
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Well, yes. My thoughts exactly.

But I would like some sound techie answers if possible please?
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noahjk

 
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Personally I'd say no. I run a server myself, and here are a few reasons:

1. Open ports - Unless he uses hamachi (port forwarding over port 80 or 8080 or something) he is opening ports on your router so people can directly access that (or all, depending on how he sets it up) computer(s). This allows people direct access to your computer (the whole point of a firewall is to block this).

2. Giving out your IP - while if you have a router he's only giving out the router's ip, you're still making your router susceptible to attacks through those previously opened ports.

3. Minecraft server itself is very ram intensive and somewhat hardware intensive. If your wife plans on using the computer at the same time, it will decrease preformance and usability for both her and the players on said server.

In lieu of letting him use her iMac, I would buy/find/barter for an old computer from someone (check craigslist & consignment shops!) and let him use that as a server. Other than just letting him have a server, it will teach him a lot about computers! I'd highly recommend it. Help him install a linux distrubution (try xubuntu or ubuntu server (command line only - but not hard to pick up and totally worth learning)) for something not very ram-intensive. The computer should have 1-2 gb ram for a good experience for around 8 players (he shouldn't need more than 8). Any size hard drive is large enough, I only use maybe 4 or 8 gb of hard drive space total for mine.

Do this together and teach yourself something, too! Good luck either way


Quick edit on the last two questions you asked:

1. No, minecraft itself will not cause any system malfunctions

2. It is very easy to remove, just remove the minecraft folder (holds everything!) and either hamachi or close your router's ports (just a hard reset should solve that.)
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McYukon

 
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I agree with the above poster, the only thing you have to be worried about with a Minecraft server is your computers RAM and CPU being maxed out most of the time.

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In lieu of letting him use her iMac, I would buy/find/barter for an old computer from someone (check craigslist & consignment shops!) and let him use that as a server.
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grahammeigh

 
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll think I will kick him off the Mac and buy him a machine of his own.
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chas_m

 
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I take it he's not old enough to be capable of buying his own?

I'd also strongly recommend you monitor bandwidth use, as his server could *very possibly* violate the TOS of your broadband provider and *could* become a problem if it becomes a popular server, leaving you with some unpleasant consequences.
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grahammeigh

 
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He is 13, so can't afford his own computer yet.
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