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General Setup

Setting up your own server can be a bit of a daunting task. It seems very complex and technical, and in a sense it can be. However, you don't have to be a computer expert to set up your own server, and if you follow this quickstart guide, you will have your server up and running within minutes, and you will be ready to build in your own sim.

What You Need To Know

First of all

It is very important to remember that OpenSim is not a finished product. It is always being worked on, and new features are coming out all the time, and bugs are being fixed. Because of this, things can change radically, or even break from one version to another.

OpenSimulator is alpha software, so it's not even beta yet.So expect the software to break from time to time.

Another thing to remember is although it looks, and for the most part, works like SecondLife, it is not SecondLife. There are some very important differences, and there are even things that are intentionally left out. And there are things that can only be done in OpenSim, and not in SecondLife.


Simply put, OpenSimulator (Opensim for short) can run in two modes. Grid mode, and standalone mode.

Standalone mode means that it is simply running on your own PC, and it is not part of a grid. It is advised that this is how you start, because this is easiest way to run a server.

Grid mode means that it is part of a grid. If you want your server to be part of a grid (see the grid list), then it will take some additional configuration which we can not cover here, because it is different for each grid.

There are additional modes, but you can look into them at a later time.


OpenSim depends heavily on its database. Without it, OpenSim can not run. By default, OpenSim comes with SQLite and will use that , but if you want, you can choose another database engine like MySQL or MSSQL.

What You Need To Have

Before you start, you will need to have a few things ready. These things are:

  • A copy of the latest OpenSim, which you can download from here (get the one under "Current Release").
    OpenSim is platform independent. This means that it is written so that it will work on Windows, MacOSX, and Linux, so you won't have to worry about getting the one that's right for your system.
  • A program to unpack compressed files with, 7Zip works well, and is available for most operating systems.
  • Windows users: Make sure you have at least .NET 3.5 installed. You can get the latest version from here.
  • Non-Windows users: All other operating systems will need to have Mono installed. Make sure it's the FULL mono package, and not just part of it. See this page for info on what's needed on your system.

First Steps

First, it's best to make a folder somewhere on your system. For now, i would suggest putting the folder on your desktop, so that you can easily find it. We will call the folder "OpenSim".

If you haven't downloaded the latest version of OpenSim yet, then this is a good time to do it.

Once you have downloaded it, you will need to unpack it. Some unpackers unpack to the place where the compressed file is, which would make your folder a terrible mess, so the best idea is to first move it into the new Opensim folder, and then unpack it.

Now We Really Get Started

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