Tuesday, August 10, 2010

36 of 52 - OpenSimulator Diva Release - Offline vacation post 2

Riding a Hippo in my local world - part of the Diva fun

Having a private sim on your own PC can be very nice sometimes when you just need a place to break havoc of everything. OpenSimulator gives you just that possibility. I have done several OpenSim installations in the past, and though I always got them working it used to be a pain editing configuration files and getting all the components to work together.

Now, Diva Canto has put together a nearly complete release called Diva. The only manual steps you need to take to get it running is installing MySQL and using the console to create a database and a user. All the opensim config files are written by a simple config utility.

When it's all up and running, you log into a world with 4 regions configured in a single mega region; that means no region crossings when you fly around! (Megaregions is something sorely lacking in SL; it will allow much more seamless car and boat races for instance.).

Four of these islands makes up your starter world.

I loaded an .oar file exported from ReactionGrid; in less than 15 seconds my landscape and builds appeared.

Not much here yet; too many projects going on....

Even more impressive, the oar also contained a large skybox building ground:

Prototyping heaven...

When you run OS locally on your PC, you have full access to the console, and can make oar exports whenever you want. Low-end OS hosting providors often does not give you that possibility. Its a great way to Undo large changes to landscape and builds that where less than successful (and believe me, that happens all the time:-).

I feel that the 0.6.9 release of OpenSimulator is a kind of a breakpoint for this software. For the first time things seems to work seamlessly. OK, there may be more server crashes than in SL, but when it's running it's working as smooth as one can wish. Even with the region server running locally on the laptop, performance is great.

In addition to the server, Diva also distributes a large library of useful stuff, like nice trees (not to mention the Hippos:-) ). Yes, I can finally have a real forest sim!

When you build something on your PC, you may want to let other people walk around in your creations. There are (at least) two possibilities: Either get a sim in an OpenSim based grid and export your OAR to that sim, or use a tool like Stored Inventory to backup builds and restore them to any other grids (including SL!). If you buy the single avatar version, just remember to name your avatar exactly the same in every world (as if you did not do that already...). I have uses Stored Inventory a lot, and it's simple to use and works perfectly.

Have fun building!