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What is OpenSimulator?

Image of the Moment:
Opensimulator Community Conference 2013
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Other downloads may be found at either the Download page, or the OpenSim Release Repository

This Week in OpenSim Development:
These 4 weeks in OpenSim Dev ? weeks ending 19th July 2014 (Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:38:48 +0000)

These 8 weeks in OpenSim Dev ? weeks ending 21st June 2014 (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:55:54 +0000)
These 8 weeks in OpenSim Dev ? weeks ending 26th April 2014 (Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:05:14 +0000)
These 12 weeks in OpenSim Dev ? weeks ending 1st March 2014 (Thu, 06 Mar 2014 02:16:51 +0000)
These 4 weeks in OpenSim Dev ? weeks ending 7th December 2013 (Wed, 11 Dec 2013 01:25:39 +0000)

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 from their 'home' OpenSimulator installation. In this way, it is the basis of a nascent distributed Metaverse.

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, see 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 aims to enable innovative feature development for virtual environments and the Metaverse at large.

OpenSimulator is getting more stable over time but is still a high complex software system that can suffer various bugs and quirks; handle with care!

Features

  • 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 Bullet and ODE.
  • Supports clients that create 3D content in real time.
  • Supports inworld scripting using including LSL/OSSL and C#.
  • 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 OpenSimulator-Based World

Participating in the OpenSimulator 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.

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