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Servers on average take about 1-3 minutes to start up depending on what you have running on them. If the server takes any longer and has the two loading arrows still active as shown in the image below, then the server is most likely stuck on startup. Example
When your server is stuck on startup then the next step is to review the console for the reason. You can access your server console from your servers details page on the left side menu. Example
For most, when looking at the server console it can appear intimidating. The important thing to keep in mind is most of what you see is “noise”, just generic information detailing the server startup process. When a server becomes stuck the important information is usually the most recent, which is located at the bottom of the console log.
The panel helps you screen through all the noise by categorizing certain results with tags like:
INFO The Noise, mostly information pertaining to the servers processe.
WARN General warning that indicates an issue that may affect the server.
ERROR General error thats indicates an issue with a process on the server.
Any information proceeding with a red WARN or ERROR message should call for your attention when reviewing the server console for startup issues. With this said, you may also encounter superficial WARN or Error messages that have no real impact on the server.
Here are a few examples of these superficial WARN or ERROR’s that have no real impact on the servers startup process.
ERROR [Galacticraft]: Galacticraft update check failed! Trying again in 15 seconds
WARN [EnderIO]: Not adding supplied recipe as a recipe already exists for the input: 1xtile.thermalfoundation.ore@4
WARN [THAUMCRAFT]: Adding standard crop support for [Bamboo Crop]
WARN [Thaumic Energistics]: Skipping integration with EC2
WARN [AE2:S]: Unable to register a recipe:Unable to find item: appliedenergistics2:BlockSkyChest:0
WARN [BuildCraft]: Using outdated version [7.0.25] for Minecraft 1.7.10. Consider updating to 7.1.17
WARN [ForbiddenMagic]: Mod ForbiddenMagic is missing the required element ‘version’ and a version.properties file could not be found. Falling back to metadata version 1.7.10-0.57
WARN [FML]: The coremod codechicken.core.launch.CodeChickenCorePlugin does not have a MCVersion annotation, it may cause issues with this version of Minecraft
None of the above errors should cause the server to stop on startup. You may encounter in-game issues with that particular mod, but as far as the server is concerned, it will not prevent the server from starting.
Now an issue may not always be preceded with with a red WARN or ERROR message and can sometimes require further analysis of the console log for the actual issue. For example, the following image details a server trying to run a specific mod that requires Java 8. From the image we can see the error is:
INFO !! DO NOT REPORT !!
INFO Pixelmon requires Java 1.8 or newer, you are using 1.7.0_79.
INFO If you are running Windows you can
INFO visit https://java.com/download/ for the latest version.
INFO Please, uninstall the old version first to prevent further issues.
INFO If you are running OSX Lion 10.7 or newer, Please use the following launcher
INFO !! DO NOT REPORT !!
The ERROR line is only the start of the full issue. To understand whats happening you will need to read on for the actual cause as detailed above. In this case the INFO is no longer considered “noise” because of ERROR line that precedes it and is actually telling us the exact issue. With this we can make an educated guess and presume the server needs Java 8 in order to startup. You would then follow up on the issue accordingly by implementing the fix.
Whether or not you know how to fix the issue is not whats important here. Its knowing how to find what you need to know, which you can then use to search for answers online yourself or notify Support with. Being able to troubleshoot your server, is in its own way, more important than an actual fix because a fix may not always be possible, but at least you know what the problem is.