How to Install Minecraft Mods on Windows, macOS, and Linux Servers

How to Install Minecraft Mods on Windows, macOS, and Linux Servers

If you are tired of playing the vanilla version of Minecraft on your server and want to try something new, consider installing custom Minecraft mods. These will significantly enhance your Minecraft gameplay experience and bring something completely new and unique, sometimes rather strange but nonetheless entertaining.

This tutorial will show you how to install the Forge Mod Manager and upload mods on an already existing Windows, macOS, or Linux Minecraft server. We will also cover the differences between Minecraft Forge and other mod launchers to help you decide what’s more fitting for you.

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What Are Minecraft Mods?

In essence, mods are user-made modifications to an original game. Usually, Minecraft mods include new items, blocks, resource packs, interface changes, and overall quality-of-life improvements for players.

The main charm of custom mods is the ability to change pretty much anything, making the whole Minecraft experience unique and personalized. However, it’s worth mentioning that each mod needs to be downloaded and installed on both the server and client to work correctly.

Important! Keep in mind that Minecraft mods are not the same as plugins. Unlike mods, Minecraft plugins need to be installed on the server-side only.

Prerequisites for Installing Minecraft Mods

Before we go any further, make sure you have set up a Minecraft server (Java Edition) and installed the Java Development Kit (JDK). However, there are some other factors to consider before installing Minecraft Forge or adding mods in general:

  • Most Minecraft servers run on the Java Edition of the game. Unfortunately, the Bedrock Edition doesn’t support mods and only works with add-ons from the official Mojang Studios Minecraft Marketplace.
  • Each mod will significantly increase server RAM usage, so make sure that your hardware is able to handle it.
  • Back up your server files before installing any mods to have a clean restoration point in case something goes wrong.
  • You will need to stop the server to install any new mods. The installation process might still be successful if the server is running, but any changes will only appear after restarting it.

Expert Tip

Try to install mods one by one, as this will ensure that all of them work as intended and will save time if troubleshooting is necessary.


Eimantas M.

VPS System Engineer

How to Install Minecraft Mods Manually

Now that your Minecraft server is running and the JDK has been set up, we can proceed with the Minecraft mod installation process.

Expert Tip

If you have a Linux-based Minecraft VPS and want to install mods, make sure to follow your specific hosting provider’s guidelines. It’ll save you some headaches in the long run.


Eimantas M.

VPS System Engineer

1. Install Minecraft Forge

Arguably, the most popular modding add-on today is Minecraft Forge. It allows players to install and manage custom mods on the Java Edition of Minecraft.

Check the following steps to install Minecraft Forge on a Windows Minecraft server. Note that the installation process will be similar for Linux and macOS users.

  1. Go to the official Minecraft Forge website and download the recommended version.
  2. A new window will pop up. After a short countdown, click the SKIP button.
  3. Once downloaded, open the Minecraft Forge installer. Select Install client and press OK.
Forge installer with Install client selection highlighted
  1. The client version will allow players to join the Minecraft Forge server. If an error message about a missing Minecraft profile pops up, ensure that the default Minecraft launcher is installed and working correctly.
  1. Rerun the installer once more, but this time select the Install server option. Specify the directory used by the vanilla Minecraft Server. Ignore the warning message; there is no need to worry about that. Proceed with the installation process.
Forge installer with Install server selection highlighted
  1. Open the newly created folder and double-click the run.bat file. Then, your Minecraft server will start alongside Minecraft Forge.

Important! A EULA agreement error may appear. If so, look for the eula.txt file and open it. Find the eula=false line and change it to eula=true. Once you’re done, open the run.bat file again.

2. Download the Mods You Want

The next step finally involves downloading actual Minecraft mods. We recommend browsing through such popular sites as CurseForge or MinecraftMods. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different mods to choose from.

Expert Tip

If you’re looking for a specific mod and none of the websites mentioned above have it, be very careful. Mods from untrustworthy sites may contain hidden malware or viruses.


Egidijus N.

Head of Cyber Security

In this tutorial, we’ll be setting up Just Enough Items (JEI) mod, an excellent first addition to install.

Open the website and check the Minecraft version indicated on the mod page. Your game must match it! If everything checks out, hit Download.

Just Enough Items Minecraft mod download page on the CurseForge website

Keep in mind that some mods come in .zip archives, so you’ll have to extract them before installation.

Copy a Mod to the mods Folder

It’s time to install some Minecraft mods! No matter your operating system, the overall process should be rather similar:

  1. Open your vanilla Minecraft mods folder. Its location will differ depending on your operating system, but we’ll cover how to find it a bit later.
  2. If the folder is not there, create a new one and name it mods.
  3. Copy and paste the downloaded mod to the new mods folder. Also, do the same for the mods folder located in your Minecraft server installation directory.

Locating the mods Folder on Windows

Your Minecraft client’s mods folder will usually be located in the .minecraft folder. The full path is Users/{Windows-Name}/Appdata/Roaming/.minecraft .

Alternatively, hit Control + R, type %appdata%, and press Enter. Look for the .minecraft folder, open the mods directory, and paste your mod files there.

Minecraft mods folder with Just Enough Items mod .jar file highlighted

Locating the mods Folder on macOS

The default directory for the Minecraft client on macOS is ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft.

You can easily access it by hitting the Command + Shift + G shortcut to open the Finder file manager and entering ~LibraryApplication SupportMinecraft.

Locating the mods Folder on Linux

To find the Minecraft client directory on Linux-based systems, open Terminal and run the following command:

xdg-open ~/minecraft

4. Check the Mod Installation Status

Once you’ve installed a mod, it’s important to check if it’s working correctly. You can do so by running Minecraft Forge and following these steps:

  1. Open the Minecraft launcher, select forge from the dropdown menu at the bottom left corner, and click Play.
Minecraft Launcher with Minecraft Forge selected
  1. Once you’re on Minecraft’s main menu, click the Mods button.
Minecraft: Java Edition main menu
  1. Here, all of your installed mods will be displayed on the left, including the Just Enough Items mod we installed earlier.
Minecraft in-game Mods screen with Just Enough Items mod selected
  1. If you want to check if the mods work on your server, select Multiplayer and add your Server Address. In this example, we’re running both the client and server versions of the game on the same machine, so our Server Address will be labeled as localhost.
Minecraft Edit Server Info screen with the word localhost written under Server Address
  1. Once connected, we can confirm that the JEI mod is active and working fine.
In-game prompt showing that the Just Enough Items mod is working correctly

What to Do if Mods Aren’t Working?

In case any of your mods aren’t functional, check out the following troubleshooting tips step by step:

  • Make sure you have the correct version of Minecraft Forge installed
  • Check that the Minecraft Forge profile is selected in the Minecraft Launcher
  • Ensure that the mods are installed both on the server and client instances of Minecraft
  • Double-check that the mod version corresponds to the Minecraft Forge version and that no duplicate mods are conflicting with one another
  • Find out whether the downloaded mods have come from a reliable source and that you’re running the official version of Minecraft
  • See that the mods are installed in the correct directory
  • Some mods have dependencies (other mods) that must be installed before other modifications can work

How to Install Minecraft Mods With a Mod Launcher

Mod launchers allow users to install modpacks with just a few clicks. These offer hundreds if not thousands of custom mods that are handpicked by Minecraft community members. This allows players play modded Minecraft without the need to install mods manually.

1. Choose a Mod Launcher and a Modpack

Note that mod launchers are separate from the default Minecraft Launcher. In other words, you’ll need to download and install them separately. Some of the best mod launchers out there include CurseForge, ATLauncher, Feed the Beast (FTB), and Technic.

In this tutorial, we’ll be using the Technic Launcher to install the Tekxit 3.14 Pi modpack.

2. Install a Modpack

  1. Download, install, and run the Technic Launcher.
  2. Find a modpack on Technic and simply hit Install. This will set it up automatically for your Minecraft client.
Technic Launcher with the Tekxit 3.14 Pi modpack selected
  1. Find the same modpack on the Technic website and click Server Download.
Downloading the Tekxit 3.14 Pi modpack from the Technic website
  1. Create a new folder for your modpack and extract all the files there.
  2. Double-click on the minecraft_server file to start your server. Once the EULA error appears, locate eula.txt, open it, and change the eula=false line to eula=true. Once that’s done, rerun the server.
  3. Once the server starts, players will be able to connect to it via the Technic Launcher.

Important! Your modpack server installation process might vary depending on the mod you’ve chosen. For additional instructions, always refer to the website from which you downloaded the modpack.


If you’ve been running your Minecraft server the standard way for quite a while, you might be getting bored with the bare old vanilla game. To remedy this, we recommend trying out some custom Minecraft mods. They introduce a whole world of new features to Minecraft, making your gameplay experience fresh and exciting.

In this guide, we’ve covered the steps of setting up the Forge Mod Manager, along with installing and testing whether a Minecraft mod is working correctly. We’ve also discussed how to use different mod launchers to streamline the game customization process.

We hope that this tutorial has helped you figure out how to install custom Minecraft mods on your server. If you have any questions or further insights, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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The author

Ignas R.

Ignas takes great satisfaction in helping people tackle even the most complex technical issues. His current goal is to write easy-to-follow articles so that these issues will not happen at all. During his free time, Ignas likes to play video games and fix up things around his house.

The Co-author

Paulius Zunda

Paulius is as a Content Editor who excels in creating engaging technology-based content, while his keen eye for detail ensures accuracy in all aspects of his work. In addition to his role, Paulius brings 4+ years of valuable experience to the team, with a particular knack for crafting YouTube-related content. Beyond his professional know-how, he is more than willing to talk to you about everything board games.