VPS for OpenSim, Part 5: FTP, the third way..

In part two of this guide on how to run OSGrid on a VPS i mentioned the 4 different ways for communication between your desktop client and the server somewhere in the world. In that post I only described the first two but now it is time for the third one and that is FTP, File Transfer Protocol. The specification was written already in 1971 but it is still going strong even if it has been refined during the years. Read more about the background here:


As FTP is an open specification there is of course open source implementations of it. By now you also know that that is what I prefer as long as it is possible. One of the more famous open source implementations is called FileZilla but there are of course lots of other implementations in open source as well as more traditional commercial products.

You can compare FTP with the more well known HTTP protocol for web pages. When you look at a web page you use a client – a browser like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer to connect to a web server like then open source based Apache or IIS (Internet Information Server from Microsoft). FTP works the same way but is a bit more confusing as both the client and server parts are called FTP. To make it a bit clearer I will call them FTP server and FTP client in this text . In Ubuntu there is included a FTP server as well as a FTP client. But as the Ubuntu server normally is installed without the graphical layer the FTP-client is a bit hard to get a grip on. If you on the other hand run Ubuntu also on your desktop you can of course also run the graphical Filezilla as a FTP client there.

So our way of doing this is just to use the FTP server part on your VPS server and use Filezilla on your desktop computer to communicate with the server. On Windows and Mac OSX you have to download and install Filezilla from:


Start Filezilla and take a look at the screenshot below:

This is from my Mac and it is also a partly Swedish version, so if there is some labels you don’t understand, don’t worry it is just the strange language of the ancient Vikings….

1. Press the icon in the top left to reach the setup window.

2. Create a new Site shortcut by clicking on New site, and then give the shortcut a name

3. Put the IP-adress or domain-name to your VPS server in the host field

4. Select the protocol for the communication. Here are three different versions and depending on your server installation you might have to try them to find out the best. Normally you can use just plain FTP but like in the screenshot here you might have to use SSH-version.

5.  Put your admin user and password here (it might be root like in the screenshot). It is the same you use when you are connecting via the SSH terminal.

6. Click Ok to save the shortcut settings. Normally that also closes the window so you have to open it again and click Connect to connect to your VPS server.

Then the setup windows closes and something like this appears:

Lets have a quick look at the different parts in this screen. Just below the toolbar you have the action window and here you can see the commands the FTP-client sends to the FTP-server and the resulting replies.

Below are two file browsing windows. To the left is your desktop computer and to the right you will have the servers file system if the connection succeeds. You use these filesystem browsers to navigate to the right directories on your desktop and on the server. Lets say you want to upload a oar-file from your desktop to the server. First navigate in the left window to the directory where the oar-file is located on your desktop computer. Then use the right window to where you want the oar to end up on the server when the transfer is located.

Then just double-click in the left window on the file you want to transfer to the server. In the file transfer window at the bottom you can follow the progress of the file transfer.

In exactly the same way you can transfer a file from the server to your local desktop computer. Just find the file in the right window and double-click on it and it all transfer to the current directory in the left windows.

You can even start a few transfers at the same time and they will start up simultaneously or que up nice and well behaved depending on how many threads are available….


VPS for OpenSim, Part 4: Tips and tricks no.1

I have recieved some messeges from people that have been trying out my instructions in the real world! Amazing it seems to work… that makes me so happy to be of some use for someone. But to get the sim up end running is only a starting point and I will try continue to give you some hints on how to make things work a bit better and also in the long run.

If you have followed my instructions you have hopefully a working installation but with one major problem. Every time you shut down the terminal window on the server the sims stops working. No Good at all!

I think you have guessed that there might exist a simple solution for this. The name of that is screen.

1. Log in to your server with the ssh terminal.

2. sudo apt-get install screen (install screen. It may allready be installed)

3. screen (that starts something that looks like a terminal window)

4. sudo env LANG=C mono OpenSim.exe (start OpenSim and wait for the startup to finish)

6. ctrl-a d  (hold ctrl and type a release ctrl and press d)

The terminal window will close on the server but dont worry it is still running there in the background.

You can now log of the server and even close down your desktop client. Check with your OSGrid client that you still can log into your regions.

When you want to get in contact with the OpenSim server again you just do like this…

1. Log in to your server with the ssh terminal.

2. screen -r (r=reconnect) Voila… you are back were you left of.

Magic… huh?

P.S. By the way… another quickie. There are a huge number of other commands to the screen tool. If you want to read about them just type man screen and you will be able to read about them. Man = manual and is there for all other commands and tools in Linux as well. A built in documentation that is very useful if you have as short memory as I have..  D.S.

VPS for OpenSim on OSGrid, Part 3: Installation

Today we will use what we learned yesterday and use that knowledge till install the components that OpenSim needs to work. That is mainly two things, Mono and MySQL. As OpenSim is intended for the .NET framework and that is proprietary to Microsoft we need to install the OpenSource equivalent that the “free” world uses. That is called Mono and emulates the .NET framework and is in some cases even better that the “real thing”. MySQL is an open source database that can handle a lot more load than the default database for OpenSim called SQLite. 

Did you know My is the name of one of the Swedish creators daughter. If you are like me and want to know more, so here are some links:

Mono: http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_(software)

MySQL: http://www.mysql.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysql

Lets get to work. In the step-by-step-guide below you should copy and paste only the bold text from the lines to the terminal window and  then press <Enter>. Often there will be a lot of text flying by in the terminal window… sometime it will take seconds and sometimes minutes. Just be calm and wait until the text stops. I have tried to give some short explanations of what we are doing in parenthesis. In the beginning of each line there are line number to help you keep track but sometimes i have also shown the prompt the server shows you at certain places. For example the MySQL prompts when you work with setting up the database and the rights for using it. That is only for you help so just ignore that. You should only copy and paste the part in bold text.

So get a nice cup of italian coffee, sit comfortable and lets get started with some terminal work.

1. Start the SSH terminal and log in as root to the VPS server (see part 2 of this guide of you don’t remember how to do this)

2. sudo apt-get update (update the list of packages that your server should know about)

3. sudo apt-get install mono-complete  (download and install Mono. Answer yes to the question. Be patient as this will take some time. Ignore the messages…  ;o)

4. sudo apt-get install mysql-server (download and install MySQL. Answer Y to the question.)

5. The MySQL installation program will now start and it looks something like this:

Type in the password you would like for the MySQL root user and use the TAB-key to move to the OK sign at the bottom and press <Enter>. A second window pops up where you should repeat the password, TAB  and press <Enter>. Write down the password you just selected!

6. mysql -u root -p (login to the MySQL server)

You will now be asked for roots password, that is the same one you just defined for the MySQL root user.

Now the MySQL prompt appears and it looks like this:


Time to define the OpenSim database and give the proper rights to the user. Just copy and paste the bold text below including the trailing semicolon and press <Enter>

7. mysql> create database opensim;

8. mysql> use opensim;

Caution! Be careful with the next line! The XXXXXXXX below should be replaced with a password of your choice for the opensim user. Be sure to leave the ‘ ‘ around the password. Paste it but don’t press <Enter> yet! Use the arrow keys on keyboard to move to the right of the last X and use the backspace key to erase all X but just the X. Type the password of your choice and press <Enter>. Write down the password!

9. mysql> create user ‘opensim’@‘localhost’ identified by ‘XXXXXXXXX’;

Depending on MySQL versions it seems this syntax sometimes does not work and you have to do like this instead:

10. mysql> grant all on opensim.* to ‘opensim’@‘localhost’;

Depending on MySQL versions it seems this syntax sometimes does not work and you have to do like this instead:

11. mysql> quit

Now the MySQL prompt disappears and you return to the normal terminal window with the root prompt. Well done! Take a deep breath of air…

Time for commercials and to make a new cup of coffee!

Back at the desk… now lets get OpenSim up an working.

12. apt-get install nano (download and install an easy to use text editor)

13. mkdir opensim (create a sub directory for OpenSim)

14. cd opensim (change to opensim directory)

Caution! Next one is a bit tricky. The line is it stands here today (friday august 26), works for the current version of OpenSim for OSGrid. When a new version the OSGrid of OpenSim is released (that happens about every second week) this line has to be changed. I will try to keep this line updated for some time but I can not promis for how long. You can also fix this in a very easy way by your self. Just use your desktop computers web browser (like Firefox or Chrome Ineternet expolrer will not work… just joking) and go to http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/downloads and right-click on the download link shown below, and select copy link adress (or something like that depending on the browser). Then just paste that link instead of the link below after the wget command. It is simple as that!

15. wget http://osgrid.googlecode.com/files/osgrid.opensim-08132011.v0.7.2.b80dfb6.zip (downloads the OSGrid prepared version of OpenSim)
15a. wget http://osgrid.googlecode.com/files/osgrid.opensim-08312011.v0.7.2.616e672.zip (updated september 1 2011)

16. unzip osgrid*  (unpacks the download. Be sure to have that star * after osgrid as that keeps us from having to type the whole long file name)

17. nano bin/config-include/GridCommon.ini (change the from the default database to use MySQL instead). Look at the screenshot below and change where the yellow markings are that screenshot is from another editor but dont let that distract you). Put semicolon in front of the lines to comment out SQLite and remove semicolon at the two lower lines to enable MySQL. In nano you move the cursor with the arrow keys, use the backspace-key to erase.

Please note that you have to change the username and password to what you have for your database. In Ubuntu the default user here is root and the password…. well you know that by now, don’t you? When you are done you save the file with ctrl-o (hold the control key and type the letter o) and you exit from nano with ctrx-x.

If you have run a Sim at home you know how to start it up here and if not I advuce you to read the two eralier blog articles i wrote on how to set up a sim at home. Becuse the next step are identical to those i described earlier. Please read these:


https://usvemo.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/setting-up-an-opensim-server-part-3/ (Jump to point number 4 in this post as we have already done the earlier ones)

Please let me know how this worked out for you.

VPS for OpenSim, Part 2: Houston, we have contact!

I hope you had a good nights sleep since reading part 1 of this serie of blog posts. I also hope you had the time to look at some of the offers out there. Maybe you even decided to try this out for your self and did make an order for your own VPS. If so you should have received a letter looking like this one below:

Please note that i have done some editing of the facts in the letter and also removed some irrelevant information. I really don’t want to invite the nasty people out there to play any of their dirty tricks… they can play with themselves ;o)

So now you are sitting in front of your screen and keyboard and knows that through the Internet your are connected to a VPS provider somewhere on the planet. Mine are in Paris and in Seattle. How do we get in contact with that server and how do we “persuade” to behave the way we want. As always there are different methods but I have chosen a mix that is relatively easy and that only uses the already built in tools in the Ubuntu Linux server already installed on my VPS. There are 4 methods of communicating with the server.

1. SSH Terminal. SSH = Secure Shell, is a text only safe protocol that let you pretend you are sitting in front of the VPS terminal window. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell

2. VPS control panel. This is the web tool from the VPS provider that gives you the possibility to restart your VPS, view statistics, change settings and even reinstall the operation system of your choice.

3. FTP. FTP =  File Transfer Protocol, is a protocol for handling transfer of files and directories between your desktop and the VPS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTP

4. Viewer. When everything is setup correctly you will of course be able to connect to your OpenSIM with Imprudence, Singularity or any other viewer of your choice… but not yet…lol

The tools needed for these 4 methods of communication with the server are all available as open source tools. In some operating systems they are included (like Mac OSX och Linux) and in Windows you have to download them that i will provide links to.

Lets start with the most easy way to connect. Look at the letter above and spot the link to the VPS Control Panel (CP). Just click on that and use the login name and password provided. Depending on what brand of CP (mine is a low cost version based on SolusVM http://www.solusvm.com/) you might get something like this:

Just click on the hostname in the middle or use the drop down menu to the left and select your server and you should get something like this:

Don’t do anything here yet! We will examine this CP later and use it to some extent but for now just look at what the possibilities are and log out again. Maybe you will observe that there is no tools here for installing anything else but the operating system. That is where the next tool comes handy!

That is the SSH terminal. On Windows there is a simple and free tool is called Putty and you download it from http://the.earth.li/~sgtatham/putty/latest/x86/putty.exe. if you are on a Linux desktop you will get it in the terminal by: sudo apt-get install putty

My desktops is either Linux or OSX and I only run Windows as a virtual machine on them, but that way I can at least show you what Putty looks like on Windows XP. Later on I will only use snapshots from OSX, but then you will know the difference. When you start Putty on windows it looks like this:

Right, totally boring, just a form to fill in with a lot of confusing stuff. Now look at the letter you got from your VPS provider and search for the SSH specification. Did you find the IP- address? Well this is the only thing you need to fill in this form at the marked field and press <Enter>.

Bang! Up jumps a scary warning sign. Remember I told you SSH = Secure Shell and it will not let you connect to any unsecured source. So for every host you try to connect to you will get this warning sign that you have to approve. If you say it is safe to connect SSH will create a fingerprint of that and remember your decision until the next time. So if you trust me… just click Yes.

Now your VPS will respond and ask who you are. Login as root and with the password you find in the email from your VPS provider. Root is a kind of super user with top rights on a Linux computer, and must be used for some of the tasks we will do tomorrow.

Well nothing dramatic really happens, but please don’t be disappointed… you are just presented with the prompt from your VPS. It just says “root: At your service, please give me your commands:”  But this is the first important step! We have started Putty at our desktop computer and connected to the VPS server somewhere else in the world and logged in there. If you just want to see that the VPS is alive you can type this command:

ps -lax <enter>  and you will be presented with a list of what is going on in your  VPS at just this moment. I know… it looks like gibberish…  ;o)  Never mind, your server is there and it obeys you…

Now just type logout <Enter> and you will return back safely to your desktop computer.

On Mac OSX it is of course a lot easier as a SSH-enabled terminal is already installed on every computer. Just open the terminal and type:

ssh -l root xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx   (where the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx should be replaced with the IP number you have in the email). Log in the same way as from Putty on Windows and don’t forget to logout as well.

So to sum this up! Today we have looked at two of the ways to connect to the VPS but still have not done anything useful. Well don’t be impatient, these preparations will come handy when things are exploding tomorrow!

VPS for OpenSim on OSGrid, Part 1: Background

I had decided to stop writing this blog because of some bad things happening but yesterday I was reading a blog post from Linda Kellie (http://lindakellie.blogspot.com/) It was really a personal and very brave post and it suddenly made me change my mind. So I decided to continue with the writing here but to change the settings of the comments so they need my approval before they show up here….. I think you can guess why…

In previous posts I have written about how to set up OSGrid on a computer at home. At the most I had 9 sims running and it was working really great. When I did quit InWorldz I decided to give away some of my creations for free to the people in OSGrid as there didn’t exists things like my free moving animated animals and some other things I have built. Even though I didn’t advertise about it suddenly people began to come to my regions to have a look and maybe grab a freebie. And when we were more than just 2-3 I started to notice the problem of running the sim from home width a limited bandwidth. I just have ADSL with 8 MB downstream and 2 MB up. And it is the upstream that is the limiting factor as the sim has to send all the information to the visitors client. I am myself on the internal net and will not experience their problem when the bandwidth is just not enough.

What to do then? Get better bandwidth? Unfortunately that is not possible at the moment where I live in the remote “jungles” of Scandinavia. Rent a sim from some supplier on OSGrid? No fun at all as that would be like going back to InWorldz or SL with no control over it. BUT there do actually exist a third alternative… and that is… TADA:

VPS = Virtual Private Server. It is possible to rent a server (well a part of a server that behaves like a separate physical server to me) with a really good connection to the internet. On that server I can do whatever I like as long as it is legal and don’t break the limits in the deal with the supplier. And the world is full of companies wanting to sell this VPS deals so it is possible to find a really attractive deal.

At the site http://www.webhostingtalk.com there is a special section where people discuss their experiences with different companies and where you also can find attractive deals sometimes. This is a link to that section: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=103. But be a bit careful as it sometimes can be hard to distinguish who it is writing…. a customer or a seller?

There are lots of discussions on what virtualization layer that is the best, Xen or Openvz or something else. It is like the never ending discussions about Mac, Pc or Linux or about Intel or AMD for the processors. As far as I know that will not affect your sim in any significant way so i think you can ignore that. It is more important to pick the right operating system for your VPS. Some claim that Windows runs OpenSim better than Linux but as Linux VPS often are cheaper and also requires less memory I do prefer that. If you decide to run Windows anyhow you might have to choose a more expensive layer for the virtalization as well, so sometimes the prices will be the double. But as I am an open source fan I like the idea of running OpenSim on open source virtualization and open source operating system. It just appeals to me!

My choice of Linux is Ubuntu 11.04 as I am rather familiar with running that and I know that the things OpenSims requires like MySQL and Mono is very simple to get up and running with Ubuntu. I also sympathize strongly with the humanistic philosophy behind Ubuntu of supporting the third world. As my selected provider only offered Ubuntu 10.04 as the latest version that was my pick. If you plan to follow my posts on this subject and intend to set up your own VPS I think it is easiest if you also pick Ubuntu as your operating system. Often you also have a choice of the control panel with an extra monthly fee for Cpanel. It can be as high as 15 $/month and I don’t think you need that to run OpenSim you better spend your money on more memory and processor cores instead.

I started my search just 4 days ago and saw a huge price span for seemingly the same products so I advice you to look around and ask for people opinions about their offers. This is what a typical offer page look like:

I found a spectacular offer 2 days ago on http://www.webhostingtalk.com/ and I decided to try it to examine what the extreme low end price will give me. I will still run my old sim from home so I do not take any big risk really, just those 15 dollars. And to make this a bit more objective I also found a second provider from Paris in France that I also will try for a short period to be able to compare their offerings and quality of service.

These are the specifications for what i decided for:

3 core Intel processor at 3 * 1.8 GHz
Disk Space 120GB
Monthly Bandwidth 3 TB
Dedicated Memory 4GB/5GB Burst
Solusvm Features
1 fixed IP Address
No setup cost and just 14.99 dollars/month! Less than 15 dollars/month and with a fat connection from the provider in Seattle to the Internet and 100 Mb guaranteed from my VPS. That is enough power to run at least 5-10 regions with very good performance!

The price is ridiculously low so I almost didn’t believe it. Of course this is an unmonitored VPS even if the hardware is monitored. That mean that you have to fix problems by yourself and that there might be some failures now and then. But hardware uptime is guaranteed and will probably be much better than running it from home. (i need to turn my server down when there are thunderstorms in the area for example). I hope I will show you there are methods and tricks to keep it running as good as possible with the current quality of the OpenSim code.

When you have decided what you want you have to fill in the order form and this is what it might look like:

Less than 15 dollars is of course worth a try and 30 min after my decision the VPS was up and running and less than 1 hour later i had my sim running there at great speed. That was confirmed by my first visitors who could compare with the sims running from my home as I had put them side by side on the OSGrid.

Just a little clarification. I am rather experienced in using a terminal as connection to a server and I have been doing a lot of programming in C with just VI as my editor and text based Curses as the hottest graphics library around….lol. I hope however that my step-by-step instructions in the coming posts here will be of help for you even if you don’t have that background I have. I am confident  that it is possible for almost anybody interested that is willing to invest a few hours to do this as well. If you should fail… whatever is 15-20 dollars?

So the starting point is to search for VPS offers, in those webpages above or with Google. You can of course start with a lighter specification if they state that it is possible with seamless upgrading to a bigger VPS when you want more regions or more traffic.

This is what my control panel for the VPS looked at the start.

When you have decided what you want and paid for the first period you will receive an email with all the important tiny little details you need to get your sim up and running.

I also decided that I would want to have a domainname of my own so I did registerer one name for each of my test VPS servers. One xxxxxx.com that cost me something like 9 € = 13 $ and one  xxxxx.eu (eu domain) that costs less than 7€ = 9 $. That is not necessary as you can perfectly fine run your sim on the fixed IP you will get with your VPS. But pretentious side of my thinks its looks professional with my own domain… and for that price it is no issue really… ;o)

See you tomorrow for part 2: Connecting to the VPS

Fine tuning OpenSim server in OSGrid and migration to a new server

I have run a couple of regions on an old MacBook for a few months now. It has been running really well and it has been so much fun meeting new people and learning all these new things. But one thing has been a bit annoying…  lol, and that is the sound from the fan from the MacBook. It is not really intended or built for that kind of server work and had to spin real hard to keep things going. So I decided it was time to take the next step.

I got my hands on a new Mac mini (no that’s not my hands… ;o)  It comes in two versions and even if there is no big difference one of them is intended for server use. It really is an incredible competent little machine and it is dead silent so I can keep it in my music studio. My mini is equipped with 4 GB RAM and has a 2,66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-processor, 3MB shared L2-cache on the processor module, and a 1066 MHz system buss. So even if it looks like a toy it is a rather capable machine that even got a FireWire 800 port.

It is possible to run OpenSim on Mac OSX but as very few does that yet and as the development of OpenSim is on Linux I decided to stick to Ubuntu this time too, but i went  for the latest version called 11.04 that was released in april in 2011. Installation of the operating system and the last version of OpenSim went perfectly smooth and you can read about that process in one of my earlier posts. Then i would like to move all my regions and all the scripts and objects on them to the new server. There are different ways to do this but I followed these steps.

The old OpenSim server should be up and running and you go to the terminal window on the server:

1. Type change region Alinja  (where alinja is the name of one of your regions)
2. The prompt changes into Region (Alinja):
3. Type save oar ../Alinja.oar

This saves all things on the region to a special file with the extension .oar and the file will be placed in the directory above the directory you are in (normally the user directory)

4. Then repeat these steps for all the regions you have

5. Copy all oar-files and the bin/Regions/Regions.ini file to the new server. I used a simple USB-memory stick for this as the files are not that big

6. Place the Regions.ini in the bin/Regions directory and prepare to start up the server… but hey wait a bit!

On Linux OpenSim runs under a system called mono that is the open and free worlds replacement for .net development environment from Microsoft. The mono environment might need some fine tuning if you run more than one region. It is however very easy to do so I recommend that you do this in any case.

Just go to the user directory on the server (/home/<user>) and open the .bashrc file with an editor. If you do this from a terminal window you just type: gedit .bashrc 

If you prefer to use the file management tool you have to change show hidden files in the preferences to be able to see files that starts with a dot like .bashrc. They are normally hidden from view in the file management tool.

So now we have have the file in the editor, then just ad the the line below and save the file.


This will make it possible for the mono system to run more parallel threads on each processor and your OpenSim system will be much more smooth and responsive and maybe you get rid of some of the problems you have experienced in the past.

So that was the first fine tuning… now lets do the other one I had on my mind!

If you are in a non english speaking country chances are that you have set up your server to reflect that. Then you might be a victim for a strange bug in OpenSim that will break your TP:s. However it is easy to fix this by just changing the startup line for your server to this:

sudo env LANG=C mono OpenSim.exe

So just type that in the terminal window instead of the previous startup command in my earlier blog post. Then the environment that OpenSims runs in will use the standard locale settings and your TP:s from your sims will work.

Now the OpenSim server is running and all the regions are in place, but still totally empty. Just follow the steps below the get all your stuff in place once more.

1. Type change region Alinja
2. Type load oar ../Alinja.oar
3. Wait… and wait. Please be patient here if you have a lot of things on your regions.      This can take up to 15 minutes if you have 1000 objects and scripts.

Then just repeat the steps 1 – 3 for the rest of your regions… and Voila! Deja Vu!

(Remember the world map wont get updated until you restart your simulator.)

Hypergrid: how to enable and use…

One of the coolest thing with OpenSim is the possibillity of using the Hypergrid. Now what in the world is that? Well, think of the grid you are using as a webserver, even though it probably are using lots of servers. The same way the webservers around the world are conected with link you can connect the differnt grids to a worldwide hypergrid where it is possible to make teleports between differnt grids. You can either do this with the aid of certain tools (as i will show later in this post) or by using chat comands. It is however really simple to enable the Hypergrid on your own server and I hope this post will show that.

Even if that is fantastic it doesnt end there! You just have to be registred at the grid where you start your journey and then all your name and your inventory will follow your around without having to registrer on any of the grids you visit. So you will not rezz as Ruth the first time you apear in a new grid, you will look the way you have selected for your avatar and you will have all the tools and things you are used too.

Even though this is a great part of the OpenSim server not all of the grids built on opensim software have choosen to implement it. For example Avinatiion, InWorldz and ofcourse Second Life are not possible to reach. The official reson is often security or the prevention of content theft. Those are good and valid reasons but there are also often other reasons in the background. We users are used to the behaviour of Microsoft and Apple and know their urge to lock their customers up. I am old enough to remember that Microsoft even tried to launch a properitatry alternative to the Internet (and I still have the marketing T-shirt that I sometimes use when Microsoft exectutives are around. It is great fun to see their reaction…   ;o)

So lets get started…

First some facts for my installation:
– I run the operating system Ubuntu 10.10 on an old MacBook
– I use MySQL (and not the default SQLite)
– I have 6 regions
– My installation is in the bin directory in my home directory

First we need to enable the Hypergrid mode on the OpenSim server. I did like this: 

1. Shutdown your OpenSim server by typing shutdown in the terminal window

2. Backup your bin/OpenSim.ini file

3. Edit bin/OpenSim.ini with your favorite editor

4. Search for the word Architecture, then you will find the section in the image below:

5. The semicolons to the left of the lines indicate what line that are active or commented out. Put semicolons in front of the line that are active now and remove it from the line marked with yellow in the image above. Save your file.

6. Restart your OpenSim server. On Linux you just have to type on the up or down arrow keys to recall previous commands.

So no big bang or any noticeable difference… so lets check if it is working. Lets do it the quick and nerd way… ;o)

(Remember that you have to be on a sim with Hypergrid enabled, like the one we just enabled above.)

1. Copy the text below:


2. Paste it in local chat in your client (I use Imprudence Experimental 1.4) and press enter

3. Click on the link that shows up in the chat window

4. Soon a normal teleport map window shows up (be patient on busy regions)

5. Click on the teleport button

Oups… away we go.. hold your hats…. and hopefully we will arrive in another grid. Look at the name tag above your ava and the label when you chat. After a while you might feel lost and want to get back home. Calm down, it is easy.

1. Open the World Map (ctrl-M)

2. Top right in that window you find the button “Go Home”

3. Fantastic… right?

Before we hyperjump further, please take a look at that link and notice it looks a little bit different than a normal teleport link.

The normal URL used to teleport in the same grid looks: secondlife://regionname/X/Y/Z

while a Hypergrid teleport ‘URL’ looks like this:       secondlife://hostaddress:port:regionname/X/Y/Z

Not that big difference really but still important to know if you want to understand all this.

Now I guess you want to start exploration of the Hypergrid.

Well, first I have to bring some bad news and explain that there are different versions of Hypergrid and guess what… they are not compatible.. ;o(  So you must know what version you are on to know where it is possible to hyperjump. The good thing is that most of the big grids like OSGrid are on the same version that is called Hypergrid 1.5 Bellona (based on OpenSim 0.7.1)

There are some registers of places open on the Hypergrid and there are even arranged tours that you can participate in. Look at these places for hypergrid links. If there is a button or a link for a hyperjumps, just right-click and select “copy link”. Then you can paste it to the local chat in same way as I showed earlier.


In my next post I will show how you can set upp automatic hyperjumps between different grids and how you can use the fantastic automatic Hypergates to ease up all this. I will also post some of my favourite places in the Hypergrid.

How to upgrade an OpenSim server connected to MySQL

In a previous post i described how to upgrade the OpenSim server software if you are using SQLite. It is important to make this as easy and simple as possible  as new versions seems to be released rather frequently. My server have only been running for a short period, but judging by that it seems to be about 2 weeks between new releases.

Since that previous post about how to upgrade I have migrated from SQLite to MySQL (se a separate blog post about how to do that) so this post will focus on the differences. I have been looking for good instructions on how to perform an upgrade but have not found any decent one, so decided to put a simple step – by – step instruction for how i did it. It is really  a very simple task…

First some facts for my installation:

– I run the operating system Ubuntu 10.10 on an old MacBook
– I use SQLite and not MySQL (SQLite is the default installation)
– I have 6 regions
– My installation is in the bin directory in my home directory

I did like this:

1. Shutdown your OpenSim server by typing shutdown in the terminal window
2. Backup some files….

Create a backup directory in the home directory (not in the bin directory) and copy the following files

  • bin/OpenSim.ini – the main configuration file
  • bin/Regions/Regions.ini – the configuration of my 4 regions
  • bin/config-include/GridCommon.ini – the database configuration file

3. Then change the name of the OSGrid directories from bin and optional to bin.old and optional.old. That way you can always revert back to the old installation if all goes completely wrong
4. Download and unpack the new package from osgrid.com: http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/downloads
5. It is not recommended to just copy back the old ini-files as the structure in them and the default settings changes rather frequently. It is a really demanding task to compare to files and find the sometimes very tiny changes. But don’t despair….  there are tools to help you with this. If you are using Windows you can use for example Examdiff, Winmerge, WinDiff or some of the other free tools available. As I use Ubuntu Linux i use a tool called Meld (that also works on Mac) and that is in the Ubuntu repository. You just open the old and the new ini-files in Meld and the differences will be shown very clearly and you can easily copy and  past the needed changes between them. In the snapshots below you can see what it looks like in Meld.

Below you can see an overview with the old file to the right and the new one to the left. The green area shows a new block and the arrow where it is inserted in the old file

In the lower part of this screenshot you also can see a tiny difference between the two files that is so easy to miss, but Meld shows very clearly what to do.

Now are the new configuration files updated with the relevant information from the old files and all is set.
6. Start up your server again….   Voila! That didn’t take more than 5 minutes actually so please keep your Sims updated!

Upgrade OpenSim database from SQLite to MySQL

When you install OpenSim server for the OSGrid the default database is SQLite. That is a good choice because i makes you up and running with fewer possible errors. After running my regions for about a month and putting a few objects in place I could easily notice a degradation in performance and after reading a bit on the web and in forums the conclusion is obvious.

SQLite is only recommended for the setup face or for regions that are almost empty. So today I had a few hours to dig into how to do the upgrade from SQLite to MySQL and try it out for my self. To get this going as smoothly as possible i had to combine instructions from different sources as I could not find any good instructions for the current version and as the organization of ini-files recently changed most of the ones I found was even misleading…  ;o)

So this instruction is for the OpenSim version distributed for OSGrid at January 17 2011 namned 0.7.1 (Dev 9f7b37b).

Just as SQLite are MySQL Open Source so there is no cost for you. Just download, install and get going…. well not exactly. There are some pit holes.

Hopefully the step-by-step instruction below can help you a bit…

First some facts for my installation:

  • I run the operating system Ubuntu 10.10 on an old MacBook
  • I use SQLite and not MySQL (SQLite is the default installation)
  • I have 4 regions
  • My installation is in the bin directory in my home directory

1. First main step is to download and install MySQL.
I know many people are using windows… and i found a good a good instructions for how to download and install it on windows: http://opensimuser.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/updated-mysql-installation-guide/

On Ubuntu Linux it is even easier as MySQL is in the Ubuntu repository. Just open Ubuntu Software Center, search for MySQL and select Install. The lines below are for installing on Ubuntu.

2. You will be asked for a password for the database user. If you just answers that it will be the root that is the user.

3. Open a terminal window and start the MySQL command application

mysql -u root -p

4. Answer with the password you used selected

5. Then you get the mysql> prompt

6. Give the following command to create a database for OpenSim (don’t miss the ending semicolon)

create database opensim;

7. Done. Now quit the command application with the following command

quit; (don’t miss the ending semicolon)

Congratulations! Now we have our database!

If you have done anything at all to your region you need to backup the data from SQLite to a flat file that we later can import into MySQL.

Go to the OpenSim console terminal window:

8. Change to the region you want to save the data from. Mine is called Alinja. Give this command:

change region Alinja

9. Save the information about that region to a flat file with the same name. I select to place it in the directory above bin. GivE the command:

save oar ..\Alinja.oar

Do this for all your regions that you have valuable information in, like terrain, plants, buildings, scriots and so on.

10. Stop the OpenSim server by the command shutdown in the OpenSin window.

11. Now we need to tell the OpenSim server to use our new MySQL data base instead of the old SQLite database.
Go to the the directory bin/config-include/ and edit the file GridCommon.ini

Look at the screenshot below and change where the yellow markings are. Put semicolon in front of the lines to comment out SQLite and remove semicolon at the two lower lines to enable MySQL.

Please note that you have to change the username and password to what you have for your database. In Ubuntu the default user here is root and the password…. well you know that by now, don’t you?

12. Time to start up the server again. On Ubuntu it is:
sudo mono OpenSim.exe
Now we will get the same questions as when we started the sim.

13. Now we will load all the saved information back into MySQL. Change to the first region and upload the oar file with:

  • change region Alinja
  • load oar c:\Alinja.oar

Now do the same for the other regions.

14. Restart your OpenSim server….

Good job! Now we just have to fill all those Sims with something nice… and dont forget to send me a LM when you have done that.

How to upgrade your OpenSim server for the OSGrid

New releases of the OpenSim server software seems to be released rather frequently. My server have only been running for a short period, but judging by that it seems to be about 2 weeks between new releases.

The current release is dated January 17 2011 and the previus one was from January 5.

I have been looking for good instructions on how to perform an upgrade but have not found any decent one, so decided to put a simple step – by – step instruction for how i did it. It is really  a very simple task…

First some facts for my installation:

– I run the operating system Ubuntu 10.10 on an old MacBook
– I use SQLite and not MySQL (SQLite is the default installation)
– I have 4 regions
– My installation is in the bin directory in my home directory

I did like this:

1. Shutdown your OpenSim server by typing shutdown in the terminal window
2. Backup some files….

Create a backup directory in the home directory (not in the bin directory) and copy the following files

  • bin/OpenSim.db – the SQLite database
  • bin/OpenSim.ini – the main configuration file
  • bin/Regions/Regions.ini – the configuration of my 4 regions

If  you use MySQL instead of SQLite you can ignore the first line and instead take a copy of bin/config-include/GridCommon.ini as that includes the database connections.

    3. Then change the name of the OSGrid directories from bin and optional to bin.old and optional.old. That way you can always revert back to the old installation if all goes completely wrong
    4. Download and unpack the new package from osgrid.com: http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/downloads
    5. Copy back your backup files to their original places in the bin and bin/Regions directories.
    6. Start up your server again….   Voila!