Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
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OpenSim 01 Megalomania

Megalomania is a rough thing to have. Only one person in the world is going to rule it, and you've got some tough competition. So, why not cheat and make your own world, and keep everyone out until you're ready? Mwahaha!

Enter OpenSimulator (not to be confused with OpenSim which is a medical simulator). OpenSimulator is server software for creating single or multiple regions, entire grids, and being able to connect your region(s) either to become part of someone else's grid or link to the hypergrid. All that needs a bit of explaining, so here goes. If it gets too mumbo-jumboish for you, just jump to the next section.

A single region is, generally, a piece of virtual land 256m by 256m (it can be larger, but let's not go there). A single standalone server can host multiple regions. How many? That depends on what you've got in your little world, how many people (avatars) are in there at the same time, and how good your computer is. If it's just you, then host as many regions as you like (or until your computer runs out of memory). Sixteen regions is quite feasible.

You can go one step further and create a grid, which is where you have one or more servers hosting regions, and all the services (login service, asset service etc.) are hosted on another server (necessary if you have more than one region server). In this kind of setup, you can add as many region servers as you like, allowing your world to grow to enormous proportions.

In both these scenarios you can become part of someone else's grid, but they then take over the role of providing the services, including the assets (clothes, trees, houses etc.). If you wish to retain control over your grid, you can link to other grids via the hypergrid network. This allows you to travel to those other grids, whilst retaining your avatar's inventory, and anything you purchase from another grid you can bring back home.

The HyperGrid is, effectively, the 3D-environment equivalent of the internet, where all the grids that are part of the HyperGrid can be accessed from any other part of it. This is the metaverse that Zuckerberg talks about but apparently doesn't know exists because he thinks he's inventing it - duh.

My Grid

For my grid, I have two region servers and a services server, plus a database server. The database is running on a Raspberry Pi model 4B with the operating system shunted onto a 250Gb SSD. The OS is dietpi, and the database is MariaDB. If it ever looks like the Pi can't hack it, I'll upgrade to a mini-pc, but at the moment it looks good, fetching thousands of assets as fast as you like.

The two region servers are running on mini-pc's and so are the services. All three of these are running Linux Mint 21.3 and the Cinnamon desktop.

That said, I'm only actually using one of the region servers at the moment - no point in having lots of regions running when I can only build on one at a time. At the moment I'm building a sort of welcome area across four regions. Three of them have shopping malls on them, with all manner of freebie items that I'm sure almost every grid has, plus a few items of my own they definitely don't.

Then there are the islands. These vary in size from one to four regions. Some of them will have damage enabled, and will be strewn with hazards. And maybe a few Easter eggs to make the danger worthwhile.

At the time I'm writing this (Jan 14th 2024), nobody can access my world except me. Stay tuned.

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blog/opensim/megalomania.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/17 15:08 by Phil Ide

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