A plugin file is a Java Archive (JAR) containing files and run-time code that is in a format recognised by the CraftBukkit Server. They are used to over-ride or extend the functionality of a Minecraft server. The most common used plugin type are concerned with managing player permissions, letting server owners have control over what players can and can't do. World protection plugins that manage building and demolition rights in specific areas are probably the next most popular, some even support the ability rewind block changes made by TNT, fire, water or a specific player. Most Plugins have an entry over at Bukkit.org, have a browse to see what else is possible.
How CraftBukkit Identifies and Attempts to Load Plugins
When CraftBukkit launches it will open the plugins directory on your server and look for files with a .jar extension. In each JAR file it will look for a plugin.yml file. This is a configuration file that tells CraftBukkit firstly that it is a plugin so that its contents can be copied into memory, it also tells CraftBukkit which file needs to be run first. The next pieces of important information plugin.yml contains are any server/chat commands that the plugin adds, definitions for permissions to functions of the plugin, and a list of any other plugins that this plugin is dependant upon. The plugin.yml also contains other useful meta-information such as the plugin name, the version number, the plugin's author.
Using all this information, CraftBukkit can decide upon an order in which to load the plugins and add their commands and permissions to the server.
Adding a Plugin Using FTP
Before attempting to install via FTP, please read our How To: FTP Access guide. This section of this guide will only cover where you need to place the files.
We strongly suggest that you download your plugins from a trusted source. There are many griefers who will try to get you to install a bogus plugin that will give them Operator control of your server. If another player recommends a plugin to you, don't use any files that they send you, try and find it elsewhere. The listings on Curse and Bukkit.org are subject to the scrutiny of the Minecraft community so any bogus plugins would quickly be spotted and removed.
Installing a JAR file Plugin
JAR files need to be uploaded in the /Plugins folder of your server.
Installing an Archive file Plugin
Using the Multicraft FTP Client
The 'Upload' tool in the Multicraft FTP client lets you upload a file to your server but it also has the option unzip/unpack that file at the same time. A general guide to do this:
- Browse to the /Plugins folder
- Click on the 'Upload' button
- Add the file using the right hand file chooser
- When you upload the file, it will then attempt to unzip/unpack it into the same directory
There is a limit to the size of file that you can upload. If the archive file is bigger than the limit then you will have to extract the files on your computer and upload them separately or use a 3rd Party FTP application. If an archive contains sub-folders, you will need to create those folders within /Plugins and upload those files too. If an archive has a lot of sub-folders, you should consider using a 3rd party FTP application.
Using a 3rd Party FTP Application
- Create a temporary folder to hold the extracted files
- Extract the contents of the archive to the temporary folder
- Use your FTP application to upload the contents of the temporary folder to the /Plugins folder on your server
- Most FTP applications will let you drag and drop the entire contents of a folder into the FTP application window
Locating and Editing Config Files
Many plugins offer the ability to change how they function by making changes to configuration files. Multicraft lets you find and edit these files as long as they have a .txt .csv .xml or .yml extension and are located in the \plugins folder or one of its sub-folders.
- Log into Multicraft
- Browse to your Server
- Click on the 'Config Files' link in the navigation column on the left
- You will be given a list of all the files Multicraft finds and their location, config files for a particular plugin will typically be located in a sub-folder named after the plugin
- Click on the link in the first column to open the file in a plaintext editor
- Once you have finished editing the file, click the 'Save' button to commit your changes
- Changes will not take effect until the server is restarted. However, some plugins may have a command to reload the config files
- For files not located in the /plugins folder you will have to use FTP to gain access to them, check out our How To: FTP Access guide.
Take care when editing these files, it's possible to make changes that prevent a plugin, or even the server itself, from loading. Take particular care when editing .yml files, they have a hierarchy dependant upon line indents. Copy the text into a tool like Notepad++ or the Online YAML Parser (or YAMLLint) to help you validate the file.