Minecraft PE Server Without Xbox Live Requirement

Yeah, a Minecraft server… Probably one of the most annoying games that most children are completely addicted to. The issue I have with this game is the requirement for an Xbox Live account in order to play on a server. Not the traditional online server, but rather the local server. Like most parents, I’d like to have a little control over what my kids do on the internet, and playing a game with strangers at their age isn’t something I’m ready for. And, since they both enjoy playing together but still want to play in the same world when each other aren’t around, having to self-host a local game doesn’t seem to solve their problem.

So, I set out on a mission to find the best way to solve this. The solution seemed simple, host a server and bypass the Microsoft requirement so I don’t have to give them an Xbox account. This wasn’t as much of a problem as I had anticipated based on what options are provided from the Bedrock Server edition.

Simply switching ‘online-mode’ to false in the server.properties allowed local server connections. The benefit is that no outsiders can join because I control port forwarding.

My choice for server was the Bedrock edition because of the simplicity and ease of setup coupled with the basic configuration. Another great benefit was the ability to take on of the save files from their tablets and upload it as a server world (so they didn’t have to “start over”).

Installing on Arch Linux was pretty intuitive. I downloaded the server files from Mojang’s website, unzipped it to my /srv folder and launched the server (from within ‘screen’).

In the default folder is the properties file, that was easy to configure as well. I changed all of the game settings for the server to match one of the world’s they created (seed, name, difficulty, etc)and FTPed the files to the ‘worlds’ folder. The last thing I did was change the settings to disable online mode. This allowed them both to join without having an Xbox account.

Using ‘winetricks’ with Steam’s Proton

After spending some time testing out Proton, I’ve noticed that there are games, not officially supported by Proton yet, that don’t function properly without some required wine packages. particularlly Starpoint Gemini 2 (appid 236150) and Sacred 2 (appid 225640). In the case of these two games, they require xact and physx to be installed via winetricks. The solution is simple, but you have to know where you’re games are stored. On Arch Linux, the location is default to ~/.steam/steam/compatdata/APPID/pfx/. To use winetricks, just set your wineprefix to the desired appid folder and run winetricks.

$ WINEPREFIX=~/LOCATION winetricks xact physx

This process works with all of the Windows-based games that Proton creates a profile for. Simply find the appid and you can run winetricks to install packages that are required for play.

Playing Windows Games on Steam in Linux

Gaming on Linux has come a long way, but one of the faults is the ability to play games strictly designed for Windows.  Wine is one solution, but it requires a lot of configuration when it comes to Steam.  Especially if you have a custom built Steam box for casual gaming in your living room.  Perhaps that runs Arch Linux?  Well ut seems that the Steam team has been working on a solution with Proton; a modified Wine launching system that allows you to play Windows exclusive Steam games natively from the Steam interface.  It seems fairly simple to serup up as well, you need to install Proton:

$ yaourt -S proton

Once that’s done, you will need to put your Steam Client into beta mode and enable all games to use Proton (in the Steam Play section of the settings).

After that, windows games will be able to install and launch from your Steam Client on Linux.