Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OpenSim DIY or not?

Have you ever considered running your own OpenSim region? Well I did!
It runs, it works, but it was not easy. What were the steps I had to make? Let me tell you...

After years of building and scripting in SL and on the OpenSim grid at virtyou GmbH, I wanted to experience this installing and running an OpenSimulator server myself. I must say, it looked easy to do..... One of the members of the Dutch Edusim group (Johan Taal) wrote a great DIY on this at eduwiki.opensim.nl, which is in Dutch.
I used one of my old computers and deleted Windows, installed Ubuntu on it. That all went smoothly, even the fixed IP address was easy (I thought). Then I downloaded the latest OpenSim version, compiled it and set it up as a standalone version. It worked. But that is just the start, I wanted to have this sim working on Hypergrid, so more installing had to be done: mysql database system, Robust, ini files had to be worked on, etc.

Torrid Luna (virtyou) visited me via Hypergrid
Finally it worked. It spent many hours to have the basic OpenSim grid running, connected to Hypergrid. But none of the additional modules are working yet, no friends list, no groups, etc. But Vivox voice runs fine, after sending a short email they gave me a free account which was very easy to install. Thanks Vivox.

OpenSim DIY?
OpenSim DIY or not? Well we are still testing, not all steps have been made yet so it is too early to draw any conclusion now, but it looks promising.
Sure, I want a stable environment for my schools and it will take much more editing and time before it all works fine on my personal grid, but it is interesting to find out how things work and how OpenSim has to be set up. I still don't know how to backup this, I have no account creating portal, but that will come, patience is the word in this.
So if you like programming and fiddling with ini files and modules, you should really try this, it works. Having your own grid is the ultimate form of getting yourself started creatively.
Any Dutch users can ask for a free account at edugrid@opensim.nl to have a look around the Edugrid and see what a 3D world offers.

OpenSim rental?
You can also let someone else do all this backups, upgrades and problem solving, saving all the hours you spent on installing and tweeking. For only 40 euro's a month (educational pricing) any educator can have his own region running at virtyou. And it's fast, stable and allways there. Building and scripting Chatterdale - the first virtual language village on OpenSim - was fun to do and now that several schools in Europe are using it I can see that I made the right choice with this grid. Want to have a look on the virtyou grid? Go to http://virtyou.com/en/ and create an account there.

Until now it has been a great experience to install OpenSim for myself (thanks to Edugrid), I am proud that I have a grid running in my own house. It will take some time to tweek all the littile errors out but I will get there. My Linux (Ubuntu) machine is running fast and I can build on my own land. That's Ok for now, but I do want more.

The Virtyou grid can be found at: http://virtyou.com/en/
For all the Dutch users, you should check out http://eduwiki.opensim.nl/ and http://edugrid.opensim.nl/


  1. Nick --

    Sounds just like the experience I had first installing and running OpenSim! I used the IRC chat channels to get help.

    The general OpenSim one is here:

    The OSGrid one is here (well worth checking both):

    If you're running the Diva Distro -- and, if you tried to install Wifi, you probably are -- there's an upgrade utility built in. So that works pretty well.

    For backups, you can export an OAR file (for the regions) and an IAR file (for the avatar inventories). You can probably also make a copy of the MySQL database, but I've never done this, and don't know where it lives!

    If you're just going to be using your standalone for building, and don't need hypergrid, it goes a lot faster. I would recommend setting up single regions for that (not Diva's megaregions) because it makes it easier to do OAR exports and imports.

    Another super low-cost option for building is Kitely, which is still free, and lets you download OARs with a press of a button. Their interface is right now hands-down the easiest one out there, and you can have your region up and running in a couple of minutes. Upload an OAR file from LindaKellie.com, or start with a blank region, create whatever you want, download it, and upload the finished OAR to Virtyou or whatever grid you use for your live deployments.

  2. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for the extra info, really helpfull.
    I had some great help from Johan Taal of Edusim.nl he helped me through all of this.

    One thing, Kitely just tweeted: Billing coming soon! We will stop giving free KC in a few days, and reset everyone to 50 KC. Last chance to use your existing credits...
    So that is not free anymore.

  3. You can found some help in francogrid also - is association and host severals education projets for free - try to contact us inworld - is also hypergrid enable - see you

    1. http://francogrid.org/contact this is contact email - this is board contact - http://francogrid.org/documentation/129 - this is live irc - http://francogrid.org/irc