These notes will describe how to set up a “Standalone” OpenSimulator (OpenSim) server on Windows from scratch… using the latest stable version or even the very latest “Dev master” experimental version. They are intended to quickly get you going with the latest version of OpenSim and set up key features to link it to the Hypergrid and provide a basis for further customization. Welcome to the Metaverse.
Use SQLite or MySQL
OpenSim can run with a number of different SQL compatible data base systems (SQLite, MySQL, MSSQL, PostgresSQL/PGSQL). A very simple SQLite version can be used for simple Standalone setups, and MySQL is popular and allows more features.
Advance Planning – Deciding on Key Names
Before you start, decide on a few things that you will be asked to type in on the first run of OpenSim…
- gridname which may contain spaces
- gridnick is a short nickname, try to keep it all lower case and no spaces
- welcome will be a web page URL that will show as a splash screen in viewers. If you don’t give this a rather ugly pink page and error message will show in viewers. If you cannot think of a suitable URL, just try using http://opensimulator.org as a stop gap
- Region Name for your initial (or only) region
- Estate Name for an initial “Estate” to which a group of regions can be attached to manage some properties all together. You can use the same name as your Grid name if you wish.
- Avatar First and Last Names for an avatar to act as the primary initial Estate, Region owner and administrator for the OpenSim setup.
- Password for the first avatar.
- E-mail address for the first avatar.
Obtain the Latest Stable OpenSim Pre-compiled Distribution
The latest version of OpenSim that is considered stable is always available in a pre-compiled form via http://opensimulator.org/. Download this, and unzip it’s contents into a directory such as D:\VW. It may be convenient to allow for future version changes to amend the directory name that is created from “opensim-a.b.c.d” to just “opensim”.
You may wish to create a short cut to D:\VW\opensim\bin\OpenSim.exe on your desktop to launch OpenSim when its ready. Set the (advanced) properties of this shortcut to always run as administrator.
Create Necessary .ini files
You then need to set up a number of “.ini” initialisation files before OpenSim can be run. OpenSim will indicate you have not created them if they are missing when it runs.
- Copy a template for bin\OpenSim.ini from bin\OpenSim.ini.example. This must then be changed for your environment before OpenSim can be successfully run. The minimal changes are:
- In the [Const] section change the BaseURL to your hots domain name or IP address. For a Standalone setup, change the PublicPort to 9000 (by convention). The PrivatePort is not used on a Standalone.
- In the [Architecture] section you must select one of the options. For our aim here, uncomment the one for Standalone including Hypergrid, i.e., config-include\StandaloneHypergrid.ini
- Any more absolutely required before first run?
- Copy bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini from
bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini.example. The minimal changes are:
- In the [GridInfoService] section change the gridname, gridnick and provide a suitable “welcome” URL.
- Any more absolutely required before first run?
- Copy bin\config-include\FlotsamCache.ini from
[This step is not essential, but will save one warning on the OpenSim.exe console.]
Keep the amended files in a handy location for future updates.
The chosen “PublicPort” (by convention port 9000 for a standalone) must be open for access from outside your firewall.
Run bin\OpenSim.exe as administrator… perhaps using the shortcut it was suggested you create earlier… and answer the questions as the prompts appear…
- Create First Region (makes a file named bin\Regions\Region.ini which can subsequently be edited or added to).
- Create First Estate.
- Specify initial Avatar first and last names to own the initial Estate and Region created.
Now restart your standalone by running OpenSim.exe again. Use an OpenSim-compatible viewer such as Firestorm, Singularity or Alchemy and ensure you do choose the variant that supports OpenSim (as well as Second Life). Add your grid/standalone URL (http://host:9000/) to the Grid List for the viewer via the “Preferences” -> “OpenSim/Grids” tab or via the viewer “Grid Manager”. Log in with the chosen main avatar and set a home position for that avatar. Click on the address bar and select “About Land” to change the name of the default “Your Parcel” to a suitable name for the arrival region.
You are now all set and avatars from other grids should be able to visit you via Hypergrid to your http://host:9000/ “Grid URL”/login URL.
Save Your Work and test
Copy all d:\VW\bin\*.db files and keep them as a backup in a convenient location. You can use these to restore the setup if you have subsequent errors or problems with changes you make.
You can backup your region contents and terrain and your avatar inventory contents using..
change region save oar -.oar save iar / -firstname-lastname>.iar [The oar and iar files will be placed in the OpenSim bin folder by default]
Adding Useful and Commonly Required Features
After you have a basic working setup, you can add other facilities that are commonly available on OpenSim sites. The are not enabled by default, but are available with facilities built into the core OpenSim distribution by amending the .ini files. Some require that you are using a data base other than the simple inbuilt SQLite one.
- In bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini alter the line for defining the properties of an arrival region by amending “Region_Welcome_Area” to “<Region_your_region_name> = “DefaultRegion, FallbackRegion”
- Further [GridInfoService] settings can be specified.. e.g. to point to a single simple web page URL with information on your OpenSim setup.
welcome = about = register = help = password =
Note that the “economy” “helper uri” (different to “help” above) needs more active database link support often using a OHP script and cannot be a simple link to a web page.
The Following OpenSim features do not work if the simple inbuilt SQLite data base is used. Use MySQL or an alternative to be able to add these.
- User Profiles cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, User Profiles can be enabled by setting config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini [UserProfilesService] enabled=true and uncommenting the OpenSim.ini [UserProfiles] ProfileServiceURL line.
- Groups cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, Groups can be enabled by setting the OpenSim.ini [Groups] section as follows:
[Groups] Enabled = true LevelGroupCreate = 0 Module = "Groups Module V2" ServicesConnectorModule = "Groups HG Service Connector" LocalService = local MessagingEnabled = true MessagingModule = "Groups Messaging Module V2" NoticesEnabled = true MessageOnlineUsersOnly = true
- Offline Instant Messaging (IM) cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, Offline IM can be enabled by setting the OpenSim.ini [Messaging] section as follows:
[Messaging] OfflineMessageModule = "Offline Message Module V2" MessageTransferModule = HGMessageTransferModule MuteListModule = MuteListModule LureModule = HGLureModule ForwardOfflineGroupMessages = true
- [Note – does not seem to work at 26-Aug-2015 for Standalones] Provide a suitable destination guide link. Hyperica.com provides a suitably formatted sample that can also act as a default. Specify this by adding a line in the config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini [GridInfoService] section…
[GridInfoService] DestinationGuide = "http://www.hyperica.com/destination-guide/"
Creating Your Own Binaries for the Latest Dev Master version
An alternative to using the latest stable version of OpenSim, for the adventurous, is to use the very latest bleeding-edge development version.
Obtain Latest OpenSim Version
- Unzip it to a directory such as, for example, D:\Temp
- Run a Windows Shell such as Command Prompt
- Select the disk your unzip directory is on, for example with D:\
- cd Temp\opensim…
- Move the bin directory in the content that is created in created in D:\cd Temp\opensim… to D:\VW
- The rest of D:\Temp\opensim… can be discarded
Prior Requirements .NET Framework
The OpenSim compile and build tools require the Microsoft .NET 4 framework. One way to get that is to install the free Microsoft Visual Studio Community Edition.
- No need to launch it, or sign in if you do. Install is only needed for necessary .NET components and compiler.
- Is there a smaller footprint package or custom selection of features that does the job minimally?
While covering .NET requirements… when first run OpenSim may also require .NET 3.5 if its not already on your system. This may be needed from some precompiled libraries which OpenSim uses. If its needed, Windows usually pops up an offer to load that for you. Allow that to download and install. Then run OpenSim again.
Getting Help with OpenSim