Musings about technology and other neat stuff

BrT random header image

OpenSim on OSX… or: your own secondlife grid in 8 easy steps

January 31st, 2008 · 35 Comments

Following DrScofield’s instructions for setting up OpenSim , I thought I’d give it a try on my OSX laptop. The process is not quite as straightforward, but it works. Here’s what I did:

  1. Download and install the Mono package for OSX from the Mono downloads page.
  2. If you don’t have subversion, install it. I personally like the packages from
  3. Make sure you have Xcode installed (for the make command below)
  4. Fix nant, as documented here. Essentially, edit /usr/bin/nant and add the line in bold:
    export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/lib/pkgconfig
    exec /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/1.2.6/bin/mono /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/1.2.6/lib/NAnt/NAnt.exe "$@"
  5. Check out and build opensim:
    % svn co opensim
    % cd opensim
    % ./
    % nant
  6. Compile libopenjpeg-libsl- from source (this is mentioned in the OpenSim wiki) and copy it into the opensim/bin directory:
    % svn co svn:// libsecondlife
    % cd libsecondlife/openjpeg-libsl/
    % make -f Makefile.osx
    % cp libopenjpeg-libsl- ../../opensim/bin
  7. Run opensim:
    % cd ../../opensim/bin
    % mono ./OpenSim.exe
  8. And finally, run the SL client with the appropriate option:
    % /Applications/Second\\ Life -loginuri

    And… it works!
    Picture 2.png
    The first time I connected my avatar appeared all black, but on subsequent connections it appeared properly clothed and colored.

Tags: · · · ·

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1  Scott Norman // Feb 9, 2008 at 9:29 am

    What version of OS X did you do this on? Do you have an Intel or PowerPC Mac? I’ve been trying to get to work on PowerBook G4 on 10.5.1 and 10.4.11 and can’t get the view to login.

  • 2  Hitchhiker // Feb 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Scott: I’m using a MacBook Pro with 10.5.1. I have never tried on a PowerPC machine…

  • 3  Scott Norman // Feb 9, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been wondering if it might be PowerPC related.

  • 4  Scott Norman // Feb 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Curious if you’ve tried running up the other servers (asset, grid, etc.) that are a part of OpenSim?

  • 5  Hitchhiker // Feb 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Scott: no, I haven’t had time yet to explore in more detail.

  • 6  Christopher Su // May 27, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Do you think that this will work on 10.4.11 with Xcode 2? I’ll try it and get back to you on it.

  • 7  Christopher Su // May 28, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I got it running the the physics engine is really sad, you can walk through objects.

  • 8  Rexx Magnus // Jul 21, 2008 at 10:31 am

    You need to set the physics engine in the opensim.ini to:
    physics = OpenDynamicsEngine

    Or it won’t stop you from walking through objects.

  • 9  Link // Aug 6, 2008 at 4:25 am

    Hi, can this be done on a PC ? Please email me with any info thanks.

  • 10  Christopher Su // Aug 6, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Windows users have it easy :) OpenSim has a Windows binary setup!

  • 11  Link // Aug 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I did set up the physics engin as told by rex and yet i still kepp moving throuprims. ! What am i doing wrong.

  • 12  fun fun fun // Aug 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    argh. installing on a macbook pro with 10.4.11 – installed all the goodies but i did modify the directory for the mono.framework to 1.9.1. everything seems fine until i run nant where it tells me:

    /usr/bin/nant: line 6: /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/1.9.1/lib/NAnt/NAnt.exe: No such file or directory

    I have been running it all under sudo. should i login as root? i really want it to work :)

  • 13  fun fun fun // Aug 18, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    oh and it is correct, ha ha, the file isn’t there. shouldn’t it be there when the software is installed?

  • 14  fun fun fun // Aug 19, 2008 at 8:17 am

    My problem was a newer version of nant didn’t have nant in the right directory. i downloaded the old one and now i’m getting a different error. has any one tried this with the most recent opensim? i noticed some of the links above have the outdated info. thanks.

  • 15  fun fun fun // Aug 19, 2008 at 8:47 am

    omg how did you guys get this installed? everytime i try to build it it never creates libsecondlife/openjpeg-libsl

    it creates libsecondlife ok, but not this one directory. i feel like the happy tree free who is smashing his head on the desk

  • 16  Christopher Su // Aug 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Fun fun fun, this website should help you with your OpenSim installation:
    hubpages (dot) com/_client/hub/Install-OpenSim-on-Mac

  • 17  fun fun fun // Aug 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    thanks, unfortunately it still didn’t create the


    directory :(

  • 18  fun fun fun // Aug 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    okay i followed the directions here and i think the difference is the version of simlife that is downloaded. now i’m getting an error logging in, but the server seems to be running now. now it’s the grid. bla

  • 19  Alan Levine // Aug 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    @fun fun fun- for step 6 it should be

    % cd libsecondlife/openjpeg-dotnet/

    Waiting for download of XCode so I can make, but so far so good ( as far as rivers of unix stuff flies by)

  • 20  fun fun fun // Aug 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks. I had tried dotnet but it didn’t work so I went and downloaded the older version. That worked but now I can’t open my own grid. ha ha. I wish I could copy items from Sim Life though.

  • 21  Alan Levine // Aug 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    args- opensim/bin is created but it is not a directory? cannot cd into it WTF??

  • 22  Christopher Su // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    @Alan Levine
    If you downloaded the binary version of opensim instead of “cd opensim/bin” you can simply use “cd opensim”

  • 23  Christopher Su // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    On step number 6 it is no longer
    “% cp libopenjpeg-libsl- ../../opensim/bin”
    It’s now:
    “% cp libopenjpeg-dotnet- ../../opensim/bin”

  • 24  Capstone Waffle // Oct 8, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Is there a website where we can import objects into OpenSimulator? I know is used for SecondLife, but does anyone know where I can get objects into OpenSimulator? Is it possible to use objects from SecondLife in OpenSimulator?

  • 25  kijn // Nov 1, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Bonjour !! Ravie de voir la comunauté apples sur le coup. Malheureusement je peche sur vos explications l’un de vous veux bien m’aider ..
    j’utilise une version 10.5.5 G4

  • 26  RC Paderborn // Dec 6, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Capstone – There is a Windows program called Second Inventory that will do what you want. htpp:// for 29 Euros. It was originally designed for builders to do folder backups from SL inventory to your local hard drive and to be able to restore to SL item by item. It now sort of supports opensim and other alternative grids. Be sure to read the instructions carefully as there are some gotchas and things not working completely yet (much like opensim.) I've used it to transfer items between SL, OpenGridLife, 3rd Rock Grid and my own opensim and OpenGrid servers. (I run it under VMWare Fusion running Windows XP.)

    The transfer is done by backing up from one grid, then connecting to the other grid and doing a restore.

    Another note: It will only back up items which are EITHER full permissions or which your avatar is listed as the creator. This keeps us from buying something in Second Life, transferring it to our personal server, changing it to us as the creator and then uploading it back to Second Life for sale.

  • 27  Magnuz // Dec 15, 2008 at 9:01 am

    By following a combination of these instructions and those on the OpenSim website ( corrected for some path flaws), I managed to get the OpenSim server running and connect to it, first in standalone mode (without the other servers), then in local grid mode using MySQL 5, on an iMac G5 (64b PPC) with OS 10.4.11. However, it didn't work until I downgraded Mono to version 1.2.5 ( Mono 1.2.6, 1.9.1 or 2.0.1 would work. I still have some tweaking to do with the physics (walking through objects now) it seems though.

  • 28  Magnuz // Dec 15, 2008 at 9:13 am

    The local grid mode is including the 5 other servers (user, grid, asset, inventory and messaging).
    The Mono 1.2.5 link got malformed above and should be as on the OpenSim website:

  • 29  Magnuz // Dec 15, 2008 at 9:23 am

    If using the recommended 0.5 build for PPC, step number 6 is still:
    "% cp libopenjpeg-libsl- ../../opensim/bin"
    but for step number 1 use the link:

  • 30  Quad // Dec 29, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Hello can someone tell me how to use my grid so others can access it thanks

  • 31  chechoech // Jun 13, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    My OSX needs this adding to PATH before nant will work:

    I found this here:

  • 32  July // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Can someone please post the instructions on step-by-step-for-dummies?

    I would love to have my own grid, but I can't understand a word you say :p


  • 33  Kitsune // Jul 13, 2009 at 10:05 pm


    Try this:


  • 34 links for 2009-07-21 | edu tim // Jul 21, 2009 at 9:31 am

    [...] OpenSim on OSX… or: your own secondlife grid in 8 easy steps Very techy bookmark! Has the fix for getting nant to work on OSX. (tags: opensim nant) [...]

  • 35 Daily Post 07/22/2009 // Jul 22, 2009 at 1:35 am

    [...] OpenSim on OSX… or: your own secondlife grid in 8 easy steps [...]

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post will be closed on 13 July 2010.