Alpine Minetest Container


Last updated: 08 Oct 2023

I wanted to run a simple Minetest server on my Synology using podman. I found some containers that the community put together, but after having some trouble with those, I put together a few scripts that got me what I needed.


FROM alpine:latest


CMD ["/"]

This depends on two other scripts: and Both are trivial.



set euo pipefail

apk update
apk add minetest-server sudo



chown -R :games /var/lib/minetest/.minetest
chmod -R 775 /var/lib/minetest/.minetest
chmod -R g+s /var/lib/minetest/.minetest

while true; do
  sudo -u minetest minetestserver --gameid minetest --worldname <worldname> --port 56789
  sleep 10

It runs as user minetest so the directories for configuration/mods/worlds will be set to /var/lib/minetest, since this is where we will mount our data.

<worldname> will be the name of the folder the world you want to load is stored under worlds.

Building the Container

A simple script builds the container:

podman build -f Containerfile -t minetest:$VERSION

Assembling and Mounting the Data Directory

The Alpine container has Minetest installed, and it will look for .minetest at /var/lib/minetest/.minetest. So we'll need to mount a configured .minetest directory. For version 5.7.0, the minetest game is not included in the Alpine package, so it's necessary to assemble a .minetest directory on a different system:

  • games needs to include minetest_game, installable through the client. Alpine's install doesn't have this. If you want to use another game as a base, of course that will need be installed.
  • mods needs to include any mods you want to use in the world you'll be hosting.
  • world needs to be created with the mods you'll want, and they'll need to be installed in the mods folder mentioned above. Its name needs to match <worldname> in the scripts baked into the container.

Crafting minetest.conf

In the .minetest directory is minetest.conf, which is read by Minetest on startup. Several settings are necessary to get the server running properly.

enable_server = true
// Register with the server using this name, and set a password
// This is the server admin
name = <admin username here>
// Can be anything, I use this value. Default: 30000
port = 56789
default_privs = interact, shout, fly, fast
server_name = <server name>
// Adjust based on whatever your default game is
default_game = minetest
// Optional: message of the day
motd = Message of the Day! 
// Whether to announce the server globally
server_announce = false

Full docs on all the settings can be found in the minetest docs.

Running the Container

Running the container requires two adjustments: one for network mapping, and the other for mounting a volume with data.

  1. Make the .minetest directory available for reading and writing at /var/lib/minetest/.minetest.
  2. Expose whatever port the server is running on (I use 56789) on the host for both TCP and UDP.