Admin Wiki - Tools & How To's


Staff member
Dec 15, 2013
This is a staff wiki for our Admin team. This is apart of an effort to create an organized team, as well as being open to our community.

:mc_278-0: Tools / Downloads
  • FTP:
    What is FTP?
    Use FTP to access our server files, and do tasks such as plugin updates, plugin configurations, and restoring backups.

    What is SSH?
    Windows: cmder (Linux/Mac: Has built in SSH. Just type in 'ssh' in terminal to check)
    All of our servers are in one dedicated machine, think of it like an external computer, somewhere around the world that hosts our files. A server has applications like a regular computer does, however it's all in command line. Think typing CMD in windows. With SSH, you're able to access and run those applications remotely, as well as unzipping, moving and remove files very fast, and you'll be able to access our Minecraft server sessions for stopping and starting without the need of the control panels. Cmder is like a CMD alternative that has SSH support for Windows.

  • Editor
    Visual Studio Code
    When using the FTP, you'll right-click to and choose "edit" to edit files, such as plugin configurations. Doing so will download the file and open it in the your default editor (configurable in your FTP''s settings). After editing the files, you can CTRL+S to save, and it'll upload the edited file for you. (Though FileZilla requires a confirmation first).

    After you install VSC, open the editor and press ctrl+shift+p, type "install" then click enter on "Install Extensions", in the extensions list that opens up, search for "Yaml" and click the green install button for "YAML Support by Red Hat". After that, click reload.

    Since plugins use .yml (Yaml) files primarily, this extension will let you know, by red dotted lines and such that there is an error in the document. Make sure to fix these errors before you save, as it may break the file or wipe it to its default.

  • Trello
    Trello is our task management application of choice. Get it for your desktop & phone so you can always stay up to date and add tasks/updates whenever you're modifying the server. Make sure to let an admin know when you make an account, so we can add you.

  • Communications
    Discord is our communications tool of choice. It provides us with tools that allows us to message all of our staff and players in a more instant and responsive way. While the web version works, it's best to download the Desktop version, and if possible, the mobile apps.

  • Optional: Note taking & Password Management
    Evernote & LastPass
    If you're as forgetful as me, you'll probably have a bad time trying to remembering everything that you have to do on the servers, as well as every account name and password you'll need to access to. Since we can't use Trello to publish our credentials so our other admins know where to look, I would highly recommend to take note of things you need to personally remember, and when it comes to super sensitive logins, I would recommend lastpass to store your usernames/passwords. We also do daily password resets everything, so being able to use a manager to store it without using brain power is a plus.

  • Screen capture
    ShareX let's you quickly capture a part of your screen so you can share it with others. It also has auto-upload to imgur option where you can quickly share it on forums and other websites.

:mc_331-0: Admin Duties
Admins have different roles, and not every admin does the same thing, besides the basic moderator duties that all staff should partake.

Admin tasks are listed at <link needed>. Make sure to also follow the basic guidelines at the Staff Wiki

Duties, Activity & Discussions

  • Discord: Be active as much as you can, and take part in staff discussions.
  • Trello: Whenever you make a change on the server, such as changing parts of spawn, to fixing something in plugin configurations, report it on the Admin Trello. Use the Staff Trello for moderation purposes. Even if the change is small, report it!
  • Server: Being active on the server depends on what your tasks are. If it requires you to be on a lot, you're expected to be on as much as you can, if your role doesn't require you always be online, then you can be less active on the server. Just make sure your tasks are being fulfilled! Obviously, all staff should be be on and try to engage with the players, it helps player morale and your own.

:mc_124-0: Using The Tools / Tips

  • In "New Sessions" (WinSCP) or "Site Manager" (FileZilla) you can input the server credentials that are given to you by other admins, to connect to the server. From here, you can enter files, move folders, and do any basic file editing like you'd do on your computer. Here's some tips.
  • BE CAREFUL. While the server files are backed up daily, we rather not spend the time restoring them from a very large backup. Be careful when dragging folders and files. I've accidentally moved folders to other folders quite a few times, so it's an easy thing to do by mistake, so take your time and do not rush things when using the FTP.
  • BE CAREFUL. When you're done editing files and the FTP uploads the file, and you've tested to make sure everything works, close the file in the editor so you can't accidentally upload a typo or some other unintended edit.
  • Set up your FTP in it's options so editing files opens your installed Editor.
  • This is obvious, but you should not, in reason, share our FTP creds with any other player unless they have the Admin rank.
  • To use ssh, you use the SSH tool and type in ssh [email protected], a password will be requested for you to type in. The SSH credentials are the same thing as the FTP details.
  • Unlike FTP, you can't save the creds, however you can hit the up arrow key to get a previous login.
  • Try to avoid SSH unless you have too. It's more prone to mistakes. Watch some videos on how to use SSH first, and you'll be more comfortable using the tool. Using SSH can actually help increase workflow if your tasks as an admin is to use the FTP a lot, just be careful.
  • I would suggest to try to edit files in the FTP, because nothing beats a good editor, but for a quick edit in small files, you can use vim fileName, which is a command line editor. Using i to start typing, hit ESC then [I]:w [/I]then :q to exit.
  • Servers are in a screen which is also managed by our control panel. However, if you're lazy like me, and you're comfortable in SSH, you can bypass using the control panel and use the server screens . Think of a screen like a window on your desktop.
    • screen -ls Lists all of the screens, where you'll see the servers screens, as well as some other unrelated screens.
    • screen -r screenName attach to a screen that's listed in the command above.
    • CTRL+A+D: Detach from the screen.
    • More screen commands: Screen Commands
  • When you're in the screen, you can view the chat and enter plugin commands, or stop/start the server, or enter panel commands, such as /start or /quit. Our Discord's console chat, which is visible to only admins accomplishes the same thing but with a delay, if you're just trying to enter plugin commands.
  • Unzip a tar file, tar -xvzf logs.tar.gz, unzip a zip file, unzip
  • Most plugin configuration files are in .yml, which has a super sensitive format. It doesn't like tabs (when you tab to space). Go to your editor's options and make sure to check convert all tabs to spaces.
  • When a .yml file seems to be broken, use a YML checker to make sure the format is correct. Online YAML Parser
  • Knowing shortcuts can make you work a lot faster. CTRL+S to save, CTRL+z to undo, CTRL+ Y, to redo. If you're using Windows, check out a list of keyboard shortcuts. Text editing keyboard shortcuts
  • In the tools section, I mentioned that Sublime Text is a personal favorite, and that's because it can open big files fast, and has some pretty cool shortcuts to make working with files more efficient, such as CTRL+L to highlight and entire line, and holding ctrl+arrow down to select multiple rows. Check out Sublime Text 3 Cheat Sheet for more.

:mc_76-0: Rules & Guidelines
Yes, admins have rules.

  • Act professional. If you're on the server, in messages, on the Discord, if you have the admin tag, you'll need to be as professional as you can be. You are an icon in the community of what almost every player wants to be, show them that you've earned your role.
  • Do not break any of CraftBlock's rules. It looks pretty bad on us when we have another admin cursing and spamming (Unless appropriate, like link sharing spamming or kidding around) in chat or starting arguments between other players in staff and in main chat. If an argument must happen, please take it to a discord DM.
  • Each admin can have their own specific prefix, as long as the brackets and name are red or grey. (&4 & &6). If your role is to engage with players on the server, it's better to keep your prefix in some shape or form 'Admin', so the player knows you are apart of staff. Also no matrix prefixes!

:mc_116-0: Plugins
This section should help plugin admins get started, as well as introduce the most common plugins our admin team works with.

Everything a player can do on the server is based on what permissions they have. Our permissions plugin of choice is called LuckPerms. A complex, but amazing plugin that let's us do some pretty cool stuff.
  • Plugin WIki: Command Usage · lucko/LuckPerms Wiki
  • While complex, it's usage is pretty simple. You'll most likely will be able to edit everything you need in it's built-in web editor.
    • Editing a Group: /lp user <user> editor & Editing a User: /lp group <group> editor
    • A Url will generate, click on it. You'll be taking to the web editor.
    • Modify the user/group, and then press save which is on the top of the editor.
    • A new URL will generate. Click on this to copy, go back to chat and paste. The settings will now be applied.
  • There is no file in the FTP to edit, so you must use commands or the built-in web editor.
  • When adding permissions from a new plugin, make sure you've read the permissions nodes carefully. Don't just give it the super node (plugin.*). If it has a plugin.use, use that instead. Let's hope for your sake, it has a parent node and you don't have to paste in 10 nodes for one group.
Custom Commands
We use MyCommands, which allows us to create custom commands on the fly.

  • Plugin Wiki: MyCommand
  • Custom MyCommands can be created in the MyCommands/commands/command.yml file. If you're going to create a new set of MyCommands that are related to a specific task, create a new file in the commands folder for separation and organization. The plugin will register that new file as a new commands file.
  • MyCommands has a dozen ways you can create custom commands. Take a look at the wiki on what type of command types you can use.
  • We use custom commands to make access to our forums, threads, wikis, much easier to access. For example, /discord links to our Discord, and /getstarted gives you an introduction to the server. If you feel like you can improve these or create new commands that can improve how players access and use the server, please do so!
  • When creating TEXT commands, you'll most likely use a lot of apostrophe's. You'll have to escape any apostrophe's you're entering with another apostrophe after, so for example, instead of How's it going?, you'll do How''s it going?.

Updating Plugins
  • Once a plugin is added to our server, and it works, we don't usually update it until we do an entire server update. Unless, of course, the plugin is broken or has new features that would be nice to have.
  • A server update usually happens once a month, every 2-3 months. Updating plugins can break a lot of things and cause issues on the server, so we try not to update frequently.
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