Welcome to the Playerlands Minecraft Server Jargon Buster! A collection of weird and semi-weird (is that a word?) words that you might not fully understand, made understandable! Think of it as our way of introducing you gracefully into the weird and whacky world of Minecraft servers!

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. This is where computers load applications when you run them. Your computer will fetch the programs files from your hard drive and then store them in RAM to run them on the CPU.

For your Minecraft server that means the plugins and the world files. When you start your Minecraft server up, your server gets all the plugins and the chunks of your world and then puts them in RAM. This is why the bigger your Minecraft world and the more plugins you run, the quicker your RAM will fill up.

It's best to assign as much RAM as you can to your server so it doesn’t run out of space to store information - if it does your server will crash!

Your CPU, or central processing unit, is the processor of your computer or server, which is in charge of executing and running all the tasks on your server.

Minecraft runs on a single core; a core is a simply smaller processor in your CPU that can split up the running of multiple tasks. Since Minecraft runs on only one, it's not the most efficient so you will need a powerful CPU for larger servers so it can keep up with executing each task.

Minecraft runs on a cycle, executing commands at intervals, this is everything from saving your world, updating a player position to making crops grow. The measurement of time Minecraft uses to run these tasks is known as TPS or Ticks Per Second. You may have heard this term used with redstone. A tick takes 0.05 seconds and Minecraft runs at 20 ticks per second, so it is refreshing every 1 second.

If your server is using a lot of your CPU or you’re near your overhead on your RAM, your server will start to struggle to run at 20 ticks per second. In game this is perceived to players as lag as blocks go missing, their positions are reset or the sun suddenly jumps forward.

You often see an error in your server console too saying something along the lines of “Can't keep up! Is the server overloaded? Running 8400ms or 168 ticks behind” because something has held the server up and it has had to dump that task and begin again.

When computers exchange data, they do so by sending packets, these are small amounts of information sent between your server and the Minecraft clients of the players on your server. When a player does something on your server, like changes position or breaks a block, this new information is sent to your server which shall take this information and then update that action to the rest of the players within your server.

If the packet gets lost, for example if the user has a very slow connection, this will be seen by the player as lag because the server won’t have the updated information for that player. if this happens, you'll normally see the console message, “WARN [Player] moved wrongly!”

You may see this often if a user is in a vehicle, because they move faster than the server can process and it may have missed the latest information about a player position while executing something else.

Hackers can also send false packets to your server allowing them to fly or destroy large areas of land instantly. If you're using Spigot these exploits are less common, and you can also install a plethora of plugins to stop hackers. If it proves a big problem you can change your server.properties file to limit the size of packets that your server will accept, but that's generally not advisable, a better solution being moderators looking out for people trying to hack.

Ping is the time it takes, or latency, between packets being sent from a player’s computer to your server and back to the player's client. It's often the thing players assume is responsible for lag on your server, but as above lag occurs for a number of reasons.

DDoS Or DoS Attacks
This is a term thrown around a lot, especially by disgruntled users on your server or hackers. These are both cyber-attacks.

DDoS stands for Distributed-Denial-of-Service and is when a large network of computers attempts to disrupt your server, or the network your server runs on by making and/or sending lots of packets to your server. What eventually happens is your server has too many false requests to deal with that it can't deal with the legitimate requests sent by your players. It could also be that the attack will use up all the bandwidth to your server stopping all requests getting through.

DoS attacks are the same in practice as DDoS attacks, yet instead of a network of servers it is just one computer.

It's unlikely you'll need to worry about this kind of threat, and players who claim they're going to DDoS or DoS you should be taken with a large pinch of salt. DDoS attacks are very expensive and one person on their own is unlikely to make a dent in your server's connection. If your server is hosted with a reputable supplier, they'll automatically mitigate these attacks by blocking the attacker or redirecting the traffic to a special network that can sieve out the false requests before they reach your server.

IP Address
IP addresses, or Internet Protocol addresses are 12 digit locations on the Internet, split into four groups of three, like this:
An IP address is like your computer's house number, and the internet is the street. To be on the street your computer needs to have a house number so it, and other computers can send information to one another. When a user joins your server you'll see the IP address they joined from. IP addresses for your players will change depending on various circumstances, so if you're building a database of players, don't identify them by IP.

Under GDPR, the data protection laws in Europe, IP addresses are considered personal information, so should be treated with the same protection you'd afford your home address or full name. In the US, this is not the case, but it's still advised that you do not share your users' IP addresses outside your server's console.

Hackers or disgruntled players on your server may claim they can find out where you live from your IP address - this is not strictly true. IP addresses are different in different countries so you can identify what country an IP address is from, but you can't trace an IP address to a specific street, let alone an accurate longitude and latitude. You can see this when you log into some online services where they will email you the IP address you used to login. It will often say that you logged in from your nearest city or even further away.

If you're worried that someone may be trying to find your IP address make sure not to click any suspicious links sent to you.

This is what your server's world is made of. Minecraft breaks your huge world down into easily manageable chunks, which are 16 blocks by 16 blocks and stretch up to the full 256 block height of the world. This is a photo of four chunks:

Chunks are loaded into RAM when your server is running. Each player that joins will also load more chunks into your server's RAM as they explore your world. Once nobody can see a chunk your server will eventually unload them.

This stands for Universally Unique Identifier, which is used for all kinds of things, but most frequently to identify players. Minecraft doesn't use your Minecraft username to identify you, instead when you buy the game you're given a fixed UUID. That way if you change your Minecraft username, the game and the servers you play on can still recognise you.

You can get players' UUIDs from the console when they log into your server, or you can find derive it from their Minecraft username from this site.

Mobs in the game are also given UUIDs. Occasionally you may see an error like this in your server's console:

[00:00:00] [Server thread/WARN]: Keeping entity <Entity> that already exists with UUID d86566d7-c33a-45f3-bd6f-cbb2a202145

If a player attempts to join your server twice or spoofs by hacking the UUID of someone already on your server, they won't be able to join because the server knows they're already online. In rare cases some mobs can spawn with identical UUIDs, which will also cause that error message.

To get rid of an error like this if it happens, open your server console and type /kill followed by the UUID of the duplicate entity. Keep doing this until the server can't find any more entities with that UUID. There's no danger in leaving the entities in your world, but these errors will clog your server's log files and make solving other issues harder down the line.

This is the act of destroying other players' buildings. Depending on what your server's rules are towards griefing you may want to stop people doing this - or encourage it. Do note though, that players who've invested time in your server and built large structures may well be upset and demotivated to find their work destroyed and may stop coming back.

An API is an Application Programming Interface, it creates hooks for things like your server plugins to tie into and send instructions too. Unless you are developing your own Plugins you shan't have to worry too much how this process works.

Plugins are just that, additional code that you can plug-in to your server. They can add new game mechanics, automatically kick trolls and hackers or create minigames.

This is a Minecraft term to describe the base game, it is untouched, unaltered or added to with Plugins or Mods. The term likely comes from vanilla ice cream which is occasionally described as plain as ice cream can come!
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