11:07AM: I start downloading opensim, 11:45AM: I have a working Multiuser Educational Virtual Space

Stellar Date  86415.25, “30 Minutes Virtual EDUKIT” 😉

Installing opensim must not be a complex thing such as sending a rocket to the Moon or driving a SpaceShip

Today I tried to delve into an issue I really wanted to share after having published around 1 month ago how to install Opensim in 2 minutes [http://virtualworldsmagazine.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/costruirsi-4-sim-opensim-in-due-minuti-sul-proprio-pc-gratis/]. The goal is to show that a simple person, even missing particular computer knowledge and without designing a Moon rocket, she can make up a Multiuser Cooperative Virtual Environment (or whatever you want to call it) using less time than she can ask information to official companies (like Linden Lab, IBM or others) and spending much less, i.e. ZERO $!!!!

When you are finished with these instructions you will find yourselves in a sim just ready to allow people in your school, classroom or office to register an avatar and to enter in a world where it is possible to organize virtual events. Due to the simplicity of this cheat-sheet there are some usage limitation it is worth to stress:

  • The environment doesn’t allow for a huge concurrent logged in avatars, so you should think to use it with 10 and probably up to 20 users. It depends much on the actual memory available to your server, CPU speed and network performance. A similar experiment made two years ago in an Italian school with obsolete hardware couldn’t let in more than 3-4 users.
  • Avatar appearance is that of female Ruth so people will need to work a bit to better their look (creating their shape, skin etc).
  • Advanced functionalities such as Group Handling or Offline IM are not available. For those you must wait next post.
  • Voice is not working (but yet the chat usage is much notable)
  • It is still an “alpha” OpenSim, so please don’t expect it to be exactly the same as SL, be prepared to relaunch it from now and then 🙂
  • It is not a full grid so don’t expect to build on it 40 connected sims. For that you need a real effective grid (see my further posts)
  • Even if this installation is designed to connect with other grids and to use Hypergrid teleports, the related knowhow is not covered by this post and will need some further learning.
  • What you are currently installing is a “standalone” sim not to be confused with other types of installations which are to be covered in future posts that can be connected to bigger grids like OsGrid or Craft.

This represents to me the finishing touch to a big dream I had some years ago: to provide a “(Knowledge) Kit” to teachers or anybody willing to build in their school, office, association, a 3D cooperative environment,  without being dependent on an external service provider or “Computer Experts”. Another big advantage of such solution is that being built to work in a Local Network it is separated from internet and so usable in those contexts such as Educational K12 where minors are involved and where teachers have a specific juridical responsibilities. Keep in mind that these instructions work on a small LAN with Windows computers  (XP SP3, Vista or Windows 7). You can do the same with Linux or Mac but you need to change something.

I’m calling this system Virtual “Edukit”: you just need to download TWO files from Internet (simOnAStick package and VCE oar) and with just a minimal simple manual modifications of a couple of files, you will be able to take off your SpaceShip !!!!!

Here is the log of my experience:

  1. 11:07AM I start downloading famous simonastick (135M)

    You can download it from here: http://simonastick.com/download/simonastick_1sim.zip (It’s also possible to download the 4-sim version),
  2. 11:10AM Unzip the file in a known folder  mysim
  3. 11:13AM I test it. Firstly launch  mysimmowes.exe,
  4. Then from the subfolder mysimdiva-r13981bin launch OpenSim.exe or OpenSim.32BitLaunch.exe (windows 7 or 64 bit)
  5. At last launch from the subfolder  mysimImprudence connecting to  loginuri  http://127.0.0.1:9000 with user usb me and password 123 (These operations have been already described in my first article). Now, I go to the console (that black one from the 2nd command)  and write  shutdown to close up the virtual world.
  6. 11:20AM To enable access from another machine I must modify following two files mysimdiva-r13981binRegionsRegionConfig.ini

    and mysimdiva-r13981binconfig-includeMyWorld.ini
  7. In both cases I need to find out using an editor the string  127.0.0.1 and replace it with the known IP of the machine where I’m installing  (do not touch any other character!). To get the machine  IP the simplest way is to use a DOS window and to write in it the  ipconfig command. For instance in my local network in VMWARE the correct IP address would be  192.168.201.130
  8. 11:27AM. Relaunch OpenSim.exe. Now the sim should be accessible from the LAN where your PC is connected. (Note: it is possible that you need to configure firewall to let pass through packets on the port 9000 or alternatively switch off your firewall).
  9. 11:28AM. Now I go to another machine in the local network where a SecondlIfe client is installed (or you can use the same USB stick described before with the Imprudence folder) and can try to connect using the user  usb me pwd 123 to the  loginuri of original  IP, i.e. http://192.168.201.130:9000. If everything goes well you should succeed 🙂 Otherwise you either have firewall problems, or the IP is wrong, or the configuration files had been wrongly edited in previous steps.
  10. 11:30AM. If now I launched the account manager on a browser http://192.168.201.130:9000/wifi I can configure additional accounts like “foo bar” (it should be quite intuitive) and can try to connect from a third machine.
  11. 11:36AM. Since this world is a bit boring I’m trying to liven it downloading a premade “oar” built for meetings and educators. I chose to download this freely available sim: http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/opensim-openvce.oar
    I got this from a catalog of prebuilt sims you might find useful: http://opensimworlds.com/index.php?part=worlds just put the file in the initial server machine under the folder mysim/diva-r13981bin and type from the console following command: load oar opensim-openvce.oar
  12. Now you should have the full sim ready!!!!!!
  13. Other places where you can find prebuilt oars:
    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2009/11/four-sources-for-pre-made-virtual-worlds/
    http://myopensim.com/index.php?page=Assets&action=Category&categoryid=8&catname=OAR%20Files
    http://www.rexxed.com/tag/oar/
    http://opensimworlds.com/index.php?part=worlds

Disclaimer:

It can be possible that even following this guide you will not succeed in setting up a working  OpenSim in a lan in exactly half an hour, maybe it can take you various hours, or some problems connected with your computer, graphic card, firewall might make it useless on your in your environment. Before committing yourself and promising success to others, it is advisable to scout the environment and to verify it can work  (you just need a limited time insite). However to be optimistic, if you have modern computers, up-to-date graphic cards everything should work smoothly. Remember that even very “powerful” laptop are not really powerful when it comes to “server” tasks like OpenSim needs.

To know more you can contact me using the email salahzar [at] gmail [dot] com, or contact International opensim community like osgrid.org which should be very keen on helping educators and noprofit communities willing to use these tools.

Salahzar Stenvaag

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This entry was posted in Education and Learning, English, OpenSim2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 11:07AM: I start downloading opensim, 11:45AM: I have a working Multiuser Educational Virtual Space

  1. Ener Hax says:

    yay! nicely written up and thank you for using my photo, i love making photos like that

    good luck with your new virtual world! =)

  2. Pingback: OpenSimulator Scripting Language (OOSL) and Linden Scripting Language (LSL) « The Educational Technologist

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