OpenSimulator is an open-source server platform for hosting virtual worlds.
It’s compatible with the client for Second Life and can host alternative worlds
with differing feature sets with multiple protocols.
OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server.
It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols. It also has an optional facility (the Hypergrid) to allow users to visit other OpenSimulator installations across the web (aka Metaverse) from their ‘home’ OpenSimulator installation.
OpenSimulator allows virtual world developers to customize their worlds using the technologies they feel work best - we’ve designed the framework to be easily extensible. OpenSimulator is written in C#, running both on Windows over the .NET Framework and on Unix-like machines over the Mono framework. The source code is released under a BSD License, a commercially friendly license to embed OpenSimulator in products. If you want to know about our development history.
Out of the box, OpenSimulator can be used to simulate virtual environments similar to Second Life, given that it supports the core of SL’s messaging protocol. As such, these virtual worlds can be accessed with the regular SL viewers. However, OpenSimulator does not aim to become a clone of the Second Life server platform. Rather, the project pursues innovative feature development with an aspiration towards becoming the bare bones, but extensible, server of the 3D Web.
- Supports online, multi-user 3D environments as small as 1 simulator or as large as thousands of simulators.
- Supports 3D virtual spaces of variable size within one single instance.
- Supports multiple clients and protocols - access the same world at the same time via multiple protocols.
- Supports realtime Physics Simulation, with multiple engine options including ODE.
- Supports clients that create 3D content in real time.
- Supports inworld scripting using a number of different languages, including LSL/OSSL, C# and VB.NET
- Provides unlimited ability to customize virtual world applications through the use of scene plugin modules.
For a more extensive list, see the Feature Matrix.
Running an OpenSim-based world
- Downloading OpenSimulator
- Required Dependencies
- Building OpenSimulator
- Configuring and Running OpenSimulator
- Server Commands
- Frequently Asked Questions
Participating in the OpenSim community
OpenSimulator is an open source project, and is powered by the community members that devote time and energy to the effort. There are many ways to participate and contribute to the community:
- Participate via IRC. There are channels for users and developers.
- Participate via the Mailing Lists. There are mailing lists for OpenSimulator use and development, as well as broader topics such as education and the Hypergrid.
- Contribute to this wiki, making the OpenSimulator documentation even better. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes - they can be easily corrected.
- Report bugs or submit patches via our mantis bug tracker. If you’re submitting code, please read through the Contributions Policy before starting.
- Create an OpenSimulator related project hosted on the Forge or elsewhere on the web. In the Forge there are over a dozen registered projects, and it’s a great way to further extend the OpenSimulator community.
- Participate to open content creation for OpenSimulator.
More details at Artist Home.
- Participate in the weekly Office Hours for OpenSimulator development.
- A Practical Guide to Using Second Life in Higher Education by Maggi Savin-Baden, Open University Press, ISBN: 978-0335242146
- Creating Your World: The Official Guide to Advanced Content Creation for Second Life by Aimee Weber, et al., ISBN: 978-0470171141
- Cutting-Edge Social Media Approaches to Business Education by Charles Wankel, Information Age, ISBN: 978-1617351167
- Empowering Students with Technology by Alan November, Corwin Press, ISBN: 978-1412974257
- Higher Education in Virtual Worlds by Charles Wankel, Emerald Group Publishing, ISBN: 978-1849506090
- How to Make Real Money in Second Life: Boost Your Business, Market Your Services, and Sell Your Products in the World’s Hottest Virtual Community by Robert Freedman, McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 978-0071508254
- Introduction to Linden Scripting Language for Second Life, ISBN: 978-1604390049
- Introduction to Textures, Animation Audio and Sculpting in Second Life, ISBN: 978-1604390025
- Learning and Teaching in the Virtual World of Second Life (edited) by Judith Molka-Danielsen, Tapir Academic Press, ISBN: 978-82-519-2353-8
- Learning in 3D by Karl Kapp, Pfeiffer Publishing, ISBN: 9780470504734
- Learning Online with Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds by Clark Aldrich, Jossey-Bass, ISBN: 978-0-470-43834-3
- Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model by Jane J. Echevarria, et al., Allyn & Bacon, ISBN: 978-0205518869
- Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology by Allan Collins, Teachers College Press, ISBN: 978-0807750025
- Scripting Recipes for Second Life, ISBN: 978-1604390001
- Scripting Your World: The Official Guide to Second Life Scripting by Dana Moore, ISBN: 978-0470339831
- Second Life: The Official Guide by Michael Rymaszewski, et al., ISBN: 978-0470227756
- Shengri La Spirit: A Designer’s Perspective of the Making of OpenSimby Shenlei Winkler, Fashion Research Foundation, ISBN: 978-0984117116
- The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games by Clark Aldrich, Pfeiffer Publishing, ISBN: 978-0470462737
- The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life: Making Money in the Metaverse by Daniel Terdiman, Wiley Press, ISBN: 978-0470179147
- The Second Life Grid: The Official Guide to Communication, Collaboration and Community Engagement by Kimberly Rufer-Bach, Wiley Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-470-41291-6
- The Unschooling Unmanual by Nanda Van Gestal, et al., The Natural Child Project, ISBN: 978-0968575451
- The Virtual Worlds Handbook: How to Use Second Life and Other 3D Virtual Environments by Elizabeth Hodge, Jones and Bartlett Publishers,ISBN: 978-0763777470
- The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education by Curtis J. Bonk, Jossey-Bass, ISBN: 978-0470461303
- Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds by Alex Heiphetz, McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 978-0071628020
- Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education by Clark Aldrich, Greenleaf Book Group, ISBN: 978-1608321162
- Hypergrid Business ezine has already been mentioned as a good way to keep track of what’s happening with OpenSimulator.
- Mary Miner’s wiki has lots of useful information, including lesson plans.
- OpenSim Users Digest is great, but it’s for the truly geeky.
- OpenSimulator: School Quick Start Guide
- RezEd is a good hub for communicating about 3D virtual worlds.