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WHY OPENSIM Tags: opensim why opensim



Note:  the following applies to the majority of public Opensim grids.  Opensim can be widely configured.  Individual grids may offer different features.


Opensim is an open-source program that supports a community of privately-owned virtual worlds, grids, and regions that operate just like Second Life.

Although many people are unaware of it, Opensim has more regions than Second Life.  Changes made in 2018 brought it up to technical standards and speeds that meet and excel those of SL. 

Opensim consists of thousands of GRIDS.  Think of Grids as if they are "planets", each self-contained, such as our planet Earth.  Each GRID has a name:  OSgrid, Kitely, Alternate Metaverse, DigiWorldz, ZetaWorldz and so on. There are literally thousands of Opensim grids. Within each grid there are lands known as REGIONS  that are somewhat like a city.  These REGIONS can be divided into smaller areas known as PARCELS (plots of virtual land).  Many grids employ a universe-wide teleport system called the HYPERGRID... a "grid super-highway" that allows you to teleport between grids. 

In short:  Opensim is large, powerful, inexpensive, popular, and offers...

* Very low prices.  On Opensim a standard price for a 2x2 VAR (512m x 512m or four "standard regions") is about $20 a month, depending on configuration-- and no setup fee. (Compare to SL $250 a month for one region... plus a significant setup fee.)

* Extra prims.   It is common for Opensim regions to allow 45,000 prims or more. 

* No upload fees.  That's right, uploads are free.

* VARs.  A "Variable Region" is a single region expanded to a much larger size.  The result:  you can have the equivalent of 64 regions (8x8) with no sim crossing lines.  2x2 (4 regions) and 4x4 (16 regions) VARs are very popular.  Imagine sailing a 20-passenger yacht or flying a large plane on a 2048m x 2048m region... with no sim lines!  (SL region limit: 256m... and only four avatars can cross a sim line on a vehicle.)

* NO LINK LIMITS.  You can link as many prims as  you like, for as far a distance as you like.  As an example, I built a spaceship that is 105m long, contains 1,000 prims of zero-lag detail, is fully linked as one object... and flies like a charm.

* LARGER PRIM SIZES.   Opensim allows prim sizes of 128m, 256m and larger, depending on the grid configuration.  This is great for building "sim boxes", domes, globes, walls, floors or large buildings.

* RUN YOUR OWN WORLD.  Many people run their own Opensim server using a spare computer (even a laptop) out of their own homes.  This gives you 100% control over your lands, along with the ability to back up all of your lands and contents, and to back up your entire inventory.  If you don't want to use your computer, some grids provide a server package for a fee, allowing you to be  your "own company" with total control over everything.

* YOU OWN YOUR STUFF.  You have 100% rights over things you create.  The open-source, low-cost nature of Opensim discourages policies that are against the welfare of the customer... because such policies would drive the customer to another grid.  And there are plenty of grids to choose from... or even create your own!

* THE HYPERGRID.  Hypergrid membership is optional for a grid, but hundreds of grids support it.  You can travel freely from one grid to another-- with the ability to explore like never before-- as easily as TPing from one region to another.

* FREEBIES.  Opensim is so inexpensive that many creators offer their items freely.  You will find freebies all over Opensim grids. 

Opensim grants all IP rights to the creator.  And at the very low cost of Opensim land, creators don't have to sell things to pay for extremely high land costs.  As a result, you'll find copyable freebies all over Opensim lands.  But for those who love to shop, there are stores aplenty.

* LESS STRESSFUL, MORE CREATIVE.  Without excessive land fees to pay, residents are less stressed.  And because lands are larger and allow more prims, have no link limits and allow larger prim sizes... residents have the ability to create like never before.

But what about SL friends and communities?

Many people own land and create things on Opensim, then log in to SL for community and Events.  You're not locked in to any one grid.  And there are communities and friends all over Opensim as well.  People host events and even large multi-grid gatherings such as OS Fest, where people from all over get together on a large collection of regions to show off their creations and lands, and to enjoy dozens of live performances and dances.  People also conduct Hypergrid tours, showing off interesting grids and lands.

Many creators build things on Opensim because of the free uploads... then port them in to Second Life.  Opensim offers the best of both worlds. 

That's why Opensim. 


Let's Discuss Copybotting.  Some people claim that Opensim is a "copybot" system, but let's be honest and realistic:  there are copybotted / stolen items all over Second Life, and "freebies" are openly sold on SL Marketplace by people who did not create them-- with Linden Lab's full knowledge of such.  In truth, the SL TOS declares that all creations on the grid are company property. Realistically, one can't "swipe" more creations than everything

Copybotting is no more prevalent on Opensim than it is on Second Life itself... and there are many very talented creators on Opensim that design orginal products every day.   Most professional grids actively guard against copybotting, but we all know the reality:  It's nearly impossible to stop copybotting entirely-- even on Second Life.  it's just a reality of virtual worlds.  Pointing the finger at Opensim is a biased and unfair accusation. It is propaganda, drama and witch-hunting.  Opensim is a powerful system of virtual communities just like Second Life... but far less expensive.   This makes some people envious, so they point the "copybot" finger at Opensim.  But the truth is Opensim has no bigger problem with copybotting than Second Life itself-- a Grid that declared all user creations to be Linden Lab property.

Do copybotted items exist on Opensim?  Of course; they exist everywhere (including Second Life).  So while accusations of copybotting aren't untrue... they're not exactly fair and balanced either. There are uncounted thousands and thousands of original creations on Opensim... many of those creations exceeding what can be built on Second life (because of Opensim's advanced building tools).



Opensim is a series of thousands of grids that work like Second Life but are owned by separate companies or individuals.  A great deal of Opensim is connected by the HyperGrid, which allows members to travel freely between one grid and another by using HOP or GRID addresses.

To join Opensim, pick any grid of your choice and register with that grid.  From there you can travel to any other HyperGrid-connected grid.   Here is a list of prominent grids where you can get started.  Note these are only a few of many such grids.


Alternate Metaverse

ZetaWorlds  European-based: uses Euros


You can log into Opensim grids using the FIRESTORM Viewer.  (The Second Life Viewer is specific to SL and does not work on Opensim.)




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