Kitley – cloud based OpenSimulators

March 29, 2011

… seem to catch up.


A little bit of history first:

The guy who started it in 2008 was Balaji Sowmyanarayan (known as labsji on twitter). He started Sim-OnDemand based on Amazons EC2 services.

Then came Pixelpark with the OpenSim-in-a-box which was partly funded by the KoPIWA research project (see Justin Clark-Caseys blog and our blog for some details), opening up OpenSimulator based worlds to the cloud and open source.

Now, according to New World Notes and HyperGridBusiness we have a tenant-capable cloud based solution with Facebook Connect: Kitely.

I didn’t have a chance to test it myself yet, but according to Maria Korolov it rocks. Big time.

Check out her articles

Kitely – all the best of luck to you!

OpenSim-In-A-Box, Diva Edition

April 26, 2010

One issue with the current version of the OpenSim-In-A-Box is that there is not much content in it – you basically stand all ‘ruthed’ in a small island as in every fresh OpenSimulator installation.

Another issue is that it is not mega-region enabled and, after all this time, it is not the latest stable version.

Some time ago I talked to Maria Korolov of Hypergrid Business fame who is a big fan of the famous ‘Diva Edition’ of the OpenSimulator – and now I know why.  Having played around with it the other day it solves the issues I mentioned before. This particular version is not only mega region enabled (and hypergrid enabled of course) but comes with freebie content.

Updating the OpenSim-In-A-Box is easy as pie just follow the instructions on Divas page.

Here is a screenshot of two freebie avatars standing in the environment by the OpenVCE project (for more environments check out OpensimWorlds).

And here all three with a screen from the KirstenLee viewer.

Quick summary of the OpenSim-In-A-Box

March 26, 2010

After some workload induced pause will try to gain momentum again.

Just to wrap up, the story so far:

Open-Sim-In-A-Box, pt 0 – voices in the amazon cloud
Open-Sim-In-A-Box, pt 1 – setting it up in the cloud
Open-Sim-In-A-Box, pt 2 – enabling hypergrid

Kudos for this goes to the KoPIWA project, which also starred part-time Justin Clark-Casey, OpenSimulator Developer supreme.

Dirk Krause and Justin Clark-Casey

Dirk Krause and Justin Clark-Casey on the KoPIWA Symposium

Turns out it was ‘project of the month’ on the DLR website as of February 2010 (via). The results are available (german) and a paper (english) will be published soon.

There is also an extremely interesting follow-up project on the UDE (Universität Duisburg-Essen) which is described in greater detail on the KoPIWA Serious Games in 3D Blog (german, english).  This project will be finalized this month, so there should be interesting results coming up.

Quick Links

December 9, 2009

SL Talk: Arbeitskreis “E-Learning in virtuellen Welten” legt ersten Arbeitsbericht vor

Justin Clark-Casey: Talking about OpenSim at the Kopiwa Open Innovation Symposium

Stefan Andersson: OpenSim unfinished symphony

Next OpenSim-In-A-Box version will include Megaregions

September 11, 2009

…yes, you heard right.

With the latest buzz on Adam Frisby’s success in adding Megaregions to the OpenSimulator (see the original posting here and more info there on Adam’s Blog) we decided to make a giant leap (sic!) by switching to an even newer version then we intended that will feature this great acchievement.

For obvious reasons we will wait a bit until it is more stable and documented but this whole development is very exciting … and Megaregions add up so nicely to Hypergrids :-).

‘OpenSim-in-a-box’ pt2: enabling Hypergrid

June 24, 2009

OpenSimulator introduces a very cool concept called Hypergrid which is explained in more detail here.  In general it means that you can link regions from different grids together. The benefit is that you can teleport to regions from completely different grids, wearing your assets and inventory.

To make it easy for OpenSim-in-a-box users it is hypergrid-enabled by default, so since it is turned on at start up you only need to link the regions together:

  • start up the region
  • start up your viewer and log into your grid
  • ‘set home to here’ in the ‘world’ (this is important! or you can’t come back easily)
  • now on the OpenSim console enter
    link-region 1002 1002 9003
    to set the UCIgrid region to position 1002, 1002
  • if you open the map now, you see a new region north-east
  • teleport there by clicking on it (again: make sure you set your home position first)
  • now you are on the UCI Hypergrid!
  • to come back you need to teleport home

The regions ‘see each other’ only on the map, not inworld.  So you can’t simply fly over there, you need to teleport.

  • To unlink the region you enter
    unlink-region <regionname>
    on the OpenSim console (in this particular example unlink-region “Gateway 3000” )

Of course you can also start up two (or more) OpenSim-in-a-boxes then you always have the chance to link back so that all regions are linked to each other. The coordinates should be consistent, though.

Regarding available Hypergrids: You can find a list of HyperGrid Nodes here but I am not sure which ones are active. We checked and it was working.

‘OpenSim-in-a-box’ pt1: setting it up in the cloud

June 22, 2009

So, how do you install the OpenSim-in-a-box into the cloud?

  • goto the AWS console
  • open the ‘Launch Instance’ dialog, select the public images tab ‘Community AMIs’
  • search for OpenSim-in-a-box, and select the latest version

  • run 1 small instance with your keypair and the default security group

  • optional: get elastic IP
  • optional: get a dyndns (or similar) entry that point so the elastic IP

Then you switch to your favourite ssh client and

Important: open the right ports for freeswitch and OpenSim

Yes, these are quite few (mostly freeswitch) but you need to do this only the first time. You do this in the security group section of the AWS console.

tcp: 22 for SSH
tcp and udp: 9000-9005
[Provisioning for 6 regions on 9000 – 9005]#


22 (for ssh)

16384 – 32768



(or 9000 to 9000+N with N= number of regions, provided you entered these ports while creating the regions)

[EDITED missing ports]

‘OpenSim-in-a-box’ pt 0: voices in the Amazon cloud

June 16, 2009

“Voice enabled Virtual Worlds for 10 cents an hour, ladies and gentlemen!”

For all of you who know how to handle Amazons EC2 – you only need this:


go and get it!

For everyone else I’ll explain what this is all about. In short: a ready-to-run voice enabled OpenSim without (too much) configuration hassle.

As I announced previously we today publish the ‘OpenSim-in-a-box’. The first version of this project is the idea to have a virtual world launch ready including voice support. You can use it to simply try out the OpenSimulator experience or to have a virtual meeting, conference, even concerts for more experienced users. After you are done you simply pull the plug on the instance and it is gone. Next time you need you start with a fresh instance and everything is exactly as it was from the start. It is not connected to a grid and non-persistent on purpose. However, it can be connected to a HyperGrid.

In this version OpenSimulator including voice chat without having to worry about source code, versioning or compilation.

It does however require a couple of things:

  • you will need an Amazon Web Services account (which is simple to do if you ever bought something – a book comes to mind – at Amazon)
  • you should be able to handle basic OpenSimulator server commands
  • you should know how to handle either the Second Life Viewer 1.21 or the Hippo Viewer 0.5 or higher.

Note that you don’t need an SL account – probably everyone who can handle the viewer will have one, but you don’t need the account credentials for OpenSimulator.

It whole idea is based on the fact that setting up an OpenSimulator (a virtual world application server) with Freeswitch (a telephony plattform) can be somewhat tricky, although it’s documented very well (there is a german version, too). Especially thanks to both communities and developers writing the Freeswitch bridge (Rob Smart et al.)  we have a working albeit simple voice chat solution.

Some things you should know:

  • for some reason the Linux ‘screen’ takes it’s time to start up
  • in the OpenSim Region start-up sequence you need to enter the numerical IP adress of the Amazon instance as the external IP address (or even better: get an elastic IP and a dynamic DNS service like DynDNS)
  • Amazon will charge you 10 cents per hour (in the U.S., and 11 in Europe)
  • voice support here is very different from voice support in Second Life; everyone in the region hears you can vice versa. The different avatars are practically in one telephone conference.

For future versions we plan to have some more features (not necessarily in that order):

  • some initial content for the region
  • most hopefully the possibility to be able to phone into the OpenSim (yes, from a real phone)
  • web interface

In future postings I’ll explain how to set up Amazon in detail, how hypergrid works and how to have external chat enabled.

So, please try ‘OpenSim-in-a-box’ and give me some feedback on how it works for you! If there are problems, I’d be glad to help.