Skip to content

JVM Options

Memory Limit

By default, the image declares an initial and maximum Java memory-heap limit of 1 GB. There are several ways to adjust the memory settings:

  • MEMORY: "1G" by default, can be used to adjust both initial (Xms) and max (Xmx) memory heap settings of the JVM
  • INIT_MEMORY: independently sets the initial heap size
  • MAX_MEMORY: independently sets the max heap size

The values of all three are passed directly to the JVM and support format/units as <size>[g|G|m|M|k|K].

Using docker run

    -e MEMORY=2G

or to use init and max memory:


Using compose file

      MEMORY: 2G

or to use init and max memory:

      MAX_MEMORY: 4G

To let the JVM calculate the heap size from the container declared memory limit, unset MEMORY with an empty value, such as -e MEMORY="". By default, the JVM will use 25% of the container memory limit as the heap limit; however, as an example the following would tell the JVM to use 75% of the container limit of 4GB of memory:

MaxRAMPercentage using compose file

      MEMORY: ""
      JVM_XX_OPTS: "-XX:MaxRAMPercentage=75"
        memory: 4G  


The settings above only set the Java heap limits. Memory resource requests and limits on the overall container should also account for non-heap memory usage. An extra 25% is a general best practice.

Extra JVM Options

General JVM options can be passed to the Minecraft Server invocation by passing a JVM_OPTS environment variable. The JVM requires -XX options to precede -X options, so those can be declared in JVM_XX_OPTS. Both variables are space-delimited, raw JVM arguments.

docker run ... -e JVM_OPTS="-someJVMOption someJVMOptionValue" ...

NOTE When declaring JVM_OPTS in a compose file's environment section with list syntax, do not include the quotes:

      - EULA=true
      - JVM_OPTS=-someJVMOption someJVMOptionValue 

Using object syntax is recommended and more intuitive:

      EULA: "true"
      JVM_OPTS: "-someJVMOption someJVMOptionValue"
# or
#     JVM_OPTS: -someJVMOption someJVMOptionValue

As a shorthand for passing several system properties as -D arguments, you can instead pass a comma separated list of name=value or name:value pairs with JVM_DD_OPTS. (The colon syntax is provided for management platforms like Plesk that don't allow = inside a value.)

For example, instead of passing

  JVM_OPTS: -Dfml.queryResult=confirm -Dname=value

you can use

  JVM_DD_OPTS: fml.queryResult=confirm,name=value

Enable Remote JMX for Profiling

To enable remote JMX, such as for profiling with VisualVM or JMC, set the environment variable ENABLE_JMX to "true", set JMX_HOST to the IP/host running the Docker container, and add a port forwarding of TCP port 7091, such as:


With docker run

-e ENABLE_JMX=true -e JMX_HOST=$HOSTNAME -p 7091:7091

If needing to map to a different port, then also set the environment variable JMX_PORT to the desired host port.


With a compose file:

  ENABLE_JMX: true
  JMX_PORT: "7092"
  - "7092:7092"

Enable Aikar's Flags

Aikar has done some research into finding the optimal JVM flags for GC tuning, which becomes more important as more users are connected concurrently. PaperMC also has an explanation of what the JVM flags are doing.

The set of flags documented there can be added using


When MEMORY is greater than or equal to 12G, then the Aikar flags will be adjusted according to the article.