Choose the server that fits your needs. If you are comfortable in Linux and have no problem using the command prompt in windows then many advanced servers are out there including guides on how to use them. This guide specifically informs the user how to set up a generic Minecraft server using the basic software from Minecraft.net. If this does not work for you then contact me for troubleshooting purposes.
1. Obtain basic server Minecraft_Server.exe file here. Save anywhere (make a new folder called test on your desktop if you want), just remember where you saved the file and be certain it is in a folder of it’s own.
2. Double click the file, and run the program.
You will see a window pop up called “Minecraft Server.” It will prepare a basic spawn area. Take a look at this area by starting up the game and clicking “multiplayer.” Type 127.0.0.1 in the “server” field.
A folder called “world” will appear in the folder you saved the minecraft server to. You can copy a world that you already started to this server (to show your friends or add players to a current world you are already working on).
Go to My Computer–>Users—>(your user name)—>App Data—>Roaming—>.minecraft—>saves
In the saves folder you will find all the worlds you have created. Copy and paste to your server folder.
Note: You will have to change the server.properties file to reflect the name of your world. Open the file and where it says “level name=world” change it to your world name. For example if you copied “World LumLums” to your server folder, you will put “World LumLums” where it currently says world. Save the file and you’re ready to roll.
3. Your Minecraft server is set up. Go to “multiplayer” using the Minecraft.exe and use 127.0.0.1 to connect to yourself.
Things to remember:
Press the question mark key in the server java applet to get a list of simple commands ops can use.
When Minecraft.net is down, so is your server since it requires players to login to Minecraft.net to play.
Multiplayer is not yet complete, this software is full of bugs and you are a beta tester only. That being said, it is still quite fun and most bugs are related to graphical errors.
If you want to allow other users in different homes to enter your server you will need to give them your IP address, and use port forwarding.
You may also change how many players may join, monster and animal spawn options, pvp, etc. using server.properties file. If you want a white list then click the white-list text and add the user names you want to allow into your world to the list and save it.
Anyone can create or destroy anything on a basic server. If you want to block areas off, use portals, and have different op levels, then a more advanced server (such as bukkit) is for you.
Using the /give command can only be done by op players. Open “ops.txt with notepad and add user names you want to op in a list format (including yourself).
If you open a server to the public it will need 24/7 online support…. so leave your computer on 24/7 or find friends that can do it. Otherwise do not make your server public. Also public servers drastically increase the chance of grief players joining your world and destroying all your stuff. Have moderators at all times to ban players who might do so.
Minecraft 3D mode is awesome. Try it with old school 3D glasses.