Tech Talk

OpenSim on Yosemite - first impression

The server that runs the simulators has been upgraded to run OS X 10.10.1 and OS X Server 4.0. 

First impression is that the upgrade went well with one exception; OpenSim and specifically the http server in Robust now has significantly more open files during startup, so it crashed with too many open files messages. 

This can be fixed by logging out the user that runs the OpenSim server and from a privileged account issue the terminal command

sudo launchctl limit maxfiles 4096 65536

This will increase the allowed open files per process to 4096 with the higher number being the allowed open files per system. Alternatively one can do the same with ulimit -n command from a privileged account. 

After raising the limit and logging the user that runs OpenSim back in, both Robust and OpenSim started and runs without problems. Memory and CPU seems to be the same as before the upgrade. 

Kokua OpenSim viewer updated with GPU benchmarking

The OpenSim branch of the Kokua viewer has been incremented to version (wow!).

The biggest new feature is the adoption of the GPU benchmarking that Linden Lab introduced in the 3.7.20 version of the SecondLife viewer. This is a feature that does away with the GPU table, but rather runs a short test on your graphics performance before choosing the best settings. In many cases this will improve your framerate, but in other cases it will pick settings that does not necessarily wring out the best of your graphics card. Often you can increase the setting manually for a more pleasing result. 

Kokua is a viewer that is based on the SecondLife version 3 code base with the same user interface you will find in the current SecondLife viewer. It is less bloathed than the Firestorm viewer, while still have an extended feature set, and it is clearly our choice for a version 3 interface viewer. 

The latests builds of the Kokua viewer is known to have problems on some standalone opensim grids, so your milage may vary. It works fine on the xmir grid. 

Details and links to the download site can be found here.

OS X 10.10.1 released

Apple released OS X 10.10.1 (Yosemite) yesterday and it seems to have shaved off the most annoying quirks of the initial release where the Finder at time was close to glacial for some operations and the Magic mouse was often very unresponsive. 

I have not found any glitches in the viewers I have tested that can be attributed to the latest release, so both OpenSim and SecondLife users can safely upgrade. 

I found a problem with the SecondLife viewer after Yosemite was released where the installer from an auto-update would leave a ghosted mounted disk image on the desktop and the only way to clear it was to relaunch the Finder. Linden Lab has confirmed the issue and is working on a fix. This bug might be present in third party viewers that is based on the same code, but I don’t think any of them has auto-update so it may never surface. 

The grid has postgres gridstats

Going with PostgreSQL as the asset database has a couple disadvantages as virtually all php scripts written for opensim assume you connect to a MySQL database. So also with the gridstat script that summarize some of the login activity and registered users for display on a web page. 

Lacking the stats, I set out for converting it to connnect to the postgres database, and it was mostly trivial expect for some date arithmetic that was slightly convoluted. Since the stats now show on the front page, the problem was cracked and I will shortly post a sanitized version for anyone to use. I am debating with myself if perhaps a new githug repository would be a good place to post it. 

Speaking of gridstats, Maria posted the latest OpenSim stats over at Hypergrid Business.  There is a lot of activity going on, some consolidation and OS Grid is still MIA. 

How to fix poor viewer performance after upgrading to Yosemite

After upgrading to OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) I consistently had sluggish graphics performance for all applications, but this was particularly evident when running the Singularity, Replex and Cool VR viewer, and to a lesser extent the SecondLife viewer.  In reality having shadows turned on made using the viewer close to intolearable with frame rates typically in the 5 fps range. 

A good system reset seems to have cleared this issue for many, including me, where after the reset frame rates returned to the 25+ range with all shadows turned on. 

The reset basically is a 3 step procedure where the machine is first booted into safe mode and permissions on the disk are verified and fixed. Then the System Management Controller (SMC) is reset, and finally the Parameter RAM (PRAM) is reset. There procedure is described in this Guide: How to solve Yosemite memory leaks and CPU usage artice on Apple Support Communities.

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