Step 1: Installing and Setting up the Server
The OpenSim server software can be downloaded from the OSGrid website. While on the OSGrid download page, I recommend that you also download the new Hippo viewer, especially designed for grid use, and with a very nifty new Grid button. It supports 45,000 prims and allows building up to a height of 10,000 m. Megaprims of up to 256x256x256 m come as standard, and it has several other exciting features. You can, of course, use the SL viewer, and this tutorial will guide you through using both the Hippo viewer and the SL viewer.
Once you have downloaded the OpenSim server software, unzip it, and get the Bin folder out. This folder contains all the files needed for the OpenSim server. This folder can reside anywhere you like on your hard-drive. The steps required to get the server ready for use are as follows:
- Create a shortcut on the desktop to the OpenSim.exe file in the Bin folder.
- Rename the opensim.ini.example file to OpenSim.ini, and made sure that you are in standalone mode by going to the [Startup] section, and setting gridmode=false (if you intend to connect your region to a grid, such as OSGrid, you will need to set this to true, but for now, practice with a single standalone region). (Note: Vista users should ensure that they are in Admin mode, before completing the next steps)
- Double-click the OpenSim desktop shortcut and a DOS-like server control window will open, and various status messages will scroll by. Once it has stopped it will ask for the basic 9 settings it will use to create your first region, with the default settings in square brackets. To accept a default setting, just hit the Enter key:
Region Name [openSim Test] name your region here, anything you like *
Grid Location (X-Axis)  do not change
Grid Location (Y-Axis)  do not change
Internal IP address [0.0.0.0] do not change
Internal IP Port  do not change
External Host Name [127.0.0.1] keep, for now *
First Name of Master Avatar [Test] change to whatever you like *
Last Name of Master Avatar [User] change to whatever you like *
Password for Master Avatar [test] keep or change to whatever you like *
All the parameters marked * you should make a note of, as you will need them later when setting up your viewer.
After entering the last parameter the Server creates the default.xml file in the Bin\Regions folder, and when you see the line,
Region (root) # :
you know the server is ready.
Step 2: Installing and Setting up the Hippo Client (Viewer)
One of the nice things about the new Hippo viewer is that you do not need to mess about with changing the Target in the shortcut's Properties. Instead, launch the Hippo viewer, and you will notice a new Grids button, next to the Connect button. In here you can choose which grid to connect to, add new grid details, etc. Let me walk you through setting this up for your own region you just created.
- Click on the Grids button, you will see in the 'Select a Grid' drop-down box that connection details to 3rd Rock, openlife, osgrid and secondlife have already been set up. So, to create your own, click on the Add button. Set the details as follows:
Loginuri: http://127.0.0.1:9000 (this is the External Host Name parameter and Port)
Grid Nickname: same as the Region Name in the server setup above
Grid Name: same as the Grid Nickname
- Click on Apply. If you want your region to be the default region that Hippo connects to when it starts up (rather than the current default grid of osgrid, just choose your region from the Select a Grid drop-down box, and click the Default button.
Ok, you are now good to connect to your sim. Enter the Master Avatar details you provided earlier to the server, and click on the Connect button. You should now be standing in your very own standalone sim!
Step 3: Setting up the SL Client (Viewer)
If you already have SL installed on your PC, and have a shortcut icon to launch it on your desktop, then configuring it to connect to your standalone sim is straightforward.
Right-click the shortcut and choose Copy. Right-click on the desktop and choose Paste. Rename the new shortcut to Opensim or the name of your first region.
Right-click the new shortcut and choose Properties. On the General Tab you will see a text box labelled Target. Go to the end of the text in this box, insert a space, then type the following:
Click on Apply, then OK.
You can now log in with the Master Avatar details you provided earlier to the server, and click on the Connect button. You should now be standing in your very own standalone sim!