Saturday, June 23, 2007

OpenSim fun =)


I've been telling to the folks about the OpenSim (quietly), however, reading yesterday on their page that "OpenSim is not illegal", I think it is worth shooting a small article about it.
(The OpenSim is a part of a bigger project OpenMetaverse)

So, what is it ? Basically - it's what it is - it's your own sim! (for which you do not need to pay - just launch it on your machine).

Now before you jump and start clapping your hands, a word of caution: this is a very very very early stage of the development!

You can login (although at this time not with the latest client, it seems - I am able to connect from linux 1.16 windlight firstlook and from windows 1.17, but not from the 1.18 beta client),
and you can walk and build.

Looks like at this moment in time the uploading of the textures in the latest version does not work either.

But hey! It is FREE!

There is an initial support for two (!) physics engines - however the "more stable" one I could not test since it runs on windows-only. The linux one is still a bit too green to be used.

I've started an opensim in sandbox mode (meaning: it is only one sim, and it is also its own login server), in case you are curious to try :-)

So, the instructions:

  1. Add yourself an account. For this, go to - the password will be "Admin", click the "Accounts" button at the bottom, and add yourself an account. WARNING: do NOT use the same password as for "real" SL. I can NOT guarantee anything about the data on this sim, so use something silly and easy to remember for the password.
  2. Create a new shortcut for the SecondLife (nb: Do keep the current shortcut!!), and add "-loginuri" to the list of the parameters for the secondlife client.
    (this step details it for windows users, I assume the mac and linux addicts will be able to figure it out =)
  3. Click the shortcut and login to my opensim! :)

You will note that by default you do not have any skin, etc, etc.
Unfortunately the appearance is "locked" at the moment - not sure why. So the only variations we can do is skin/clothes - create new, and wear them.

The "default" shape does not really look like Ruth. I did not find whether there is a name already for it :-)

Now, what is this useful for ?

Well, so far just for mere fun, and for realising the "real" SL is not that bad =)

But I think that overtime it might become quite a useful beast, if we all make an effort - a number of uses for a 3D environment like this is uncountable, IMHO.

P.S. the OpenSim can work as a part of the open grid, I am just a bit lazy now to get it into it, maybe later on. And I write about the grid in some subsequent post.

UPD: Do not try ever to send the IMs - this borks the whole thing, apparently :)

Also - the server on which this is running is abysmally tiny and slow - 128M of RAM, so it looks like the beast will need to be regularly restarted.

UPD2: looks like it did not survive for very long time, so for now I have stopped it.. you can try building your own though, if you have a linux pc nearby. (and I think windows would also work, I just did not try it out so far).

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