FLOSS community in Second Life

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Catharina Bethlehem wrote to tell me about her work on the Ubuntu community in Second Life. As you might expect, the free and open source meme is very much alive and well in SL. There is now a group looking to setup an island devoted to FLOSS that brings together members of the whole free software community – multiple distributions and upstreams – for virtual socialisation and collaboration. Sounds like cool stuff indeed!

Speaking of which, is anybody actively working on Ubuntu packages for the Second Life client? It would be great to see “sudo apt-get install second-life” DTRT.

Ubuntu in Second Life

51 Responses to “FLOSS community in Second Life”

  1. tamgo Says:

    Second Life and MMO’s in general have brought us a new, never before seen social experience. In a world where we are gradually becoming disconnected with one another… TV, Internet, Radio. We no longer feel the necessity of social interaction to perceive important information. Although this is still an artificial interaction, it does incite communication and collaboration non the less. It’s both well received and interesting to actually see telecommunication technology actually promote social interaction and not the other way around.

    If this can help the FLOSS community, then more power to it! I am very interested in seeing how this develops.

  2. Vincent Says:

    Well, at least GetDeb.net has packages for Second Life 😀

  3. Roel Says:

    Just as an addition to Vincent’s comment, the packages for second life are available for download here:

  4. sourcecode.de Says:

    Second Life OpenSource Community? WTH……

  5. Caroline Ford Says:

    The second life client updates every week or so and old versions cannot connect. I’m not sure having it in the repos is viable.

  6. “Free and Open” - la nostra isoletta su Second Life « pollycoke :) Says:

    […] [fonte: Mark “Mr Ubuntu” Shuttleworth] […]

  7. Mez Says:

    That’s not the case regarding the Clienbt – it doesnt have non-optional updates each week, however, updates do somethies say “you HAVE to install this to run”

    I’d loe to see a second Life Package… good Idea Mark, I’ll look into doing it

  8. Alejandro Says:

    As Caroline says, until SL has autoupdate like in Windows and OSX, it’s not viable. Maybe we should have a SL-downloader script?

  9. Jerome Says:

    The Linux client is still in alpha though but quite stable. I’ve got more success in OSX though, but that’s understandable since its supported. I’ve never been big on SL until my current job has some interest on it (more like a corporate hobby rather than business strategy) but I’ve managed to make some shirts with the Ubuntu logo on and links to the actual website. I’ll try to look for the source in my files or just look for me in SL :)

  10. Andrew Fenn Says:

    I read the island/region proposal and to be honest I do not see much point. I have been around the Ubuntu cube for a few weeks prior and there is never anyone there.

    I could understand if the cube was crowded but I have only seen 1 other person there at a time.

    Although saying that I would be cool to have an Ubuntu Land. I thought of a few cool things you could do such as:

    – plug launchpad into SL so that you would have a 3d realisation of Bug Update Notifications coming in like IRC has.
    – video presentations of Ubuntu running on walls.
    – floating 3d beryl/compiz cubes
    – A help section / FAQ bot

    Can’t these kind of thing be done without spending lots of money?

  11. Sx66gns Says:

    I’ve never tried 2nd life , I’ve played Wow for years now and have recently quit , this is motivating me to give to 2nd life a look over.

  12. useResa Says:

    Personally I think it is quite good that someone is trying to promote FLOSS and/or Ubuntu in a — albeit virtual — community of over 7 million residents.
    Being a little group (yes I am a member) means that you indeed can not be present 24/7 also taking time differences into consideration.
    We hope that the community will grow and that more people will help support so we can reach more people.
    Any support is highly appreciated.

  13. Gord Allott Says:

    perhaps if the people behind second life proposed their own repo which could easly be activated via synaptic (or whatever…), that would prolly take care of update woes.

  14. Sodki Says:

    The non evolution of packages is the only thing keeping my main machine on Gentoo instead of Ubuntu. The way I see it, in an operating system there should be a separation between the main system and applications. The main system, the core, should be stable and non evolutionary. The applications sitting on top of the main system, on the other hand, should be evolutionary, because everyone wants the opportunity to to run the latest & greatest.

    For example, my pet peeve: Thunderbird 2.0 should officially be available on Feisty, along with Thunderbird 1.5, even if it was in an unsupported way. People could then choose what version they want to install . Is this difficult to achieve? Not in Gentoo. So why should it be difficult to do in Debian or Ubuntu? What changes would be necessary to do so?

    Mark, in your aKademy talk you spoke about packaging systems. I think it’s important to make a distinction between packaging systems, building systems and packages. I believe every packaging system has it’s own merits and every distro having it’s own packaging system is not a bad thing per se. The problem lies in building systems and packages. The duplication of work lies mainly in building dependency trees and building scripts. After that, all can be automatized. We could imagine a collaborative effort between some popular distributions to standardize dependencies and package names, from which all the building scripts could then be built upon. For example, a Gentoo Portage like system could easily build rpm and deb packages in an automated way. And adding a newer version of an application in Portage is sometimes as easy as just copying a single file.

    I’m sorry about the off topic, but it’s not really an off topic. This could be a solution to the Second Life upgrading problem presented by Caroline Ford.

  15. Rob Lanphier (Rob Linden) Says:

    Mark: yes, there’s a repository that’s being kept up to date for Dapper, Edgy, and Feisty:

    @Caroline: The 1.18 release will be a major milestone in protocol stability, as we will no longer be making incompatible changes to our message template. So, while there still may be required viewer updates, we’re going to be in a much better architectural position to avoid it. See http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/06/25/dia-de-la-liberacion/ for more information about this.

  16. Rebecca Sterling (in Second Life) Says:

    Hello everyone, I’m a happy Ubuntu 7.04 home user and a Second Life resident. I’m glad to see some light given to SL and its growing number of FLOSS communities therein.

    As far as Caroline Ford’s valid concern regarding the high frequency of SL client updates, Zero Linden of LindenLabs wrote:

    “The day of liberation is almost upon us. In the next release, 1.18, we’ll be shipping a project called “Message Liberation”. This project lets us make almost all viewer updates be optional, so you can download them if and when you want.”
    Source: http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/06/25/dia-de-la-liberacion/

    Best wishes to all, thank you for Ubuntu, and feel free to try the Linux Client of Second Life at: http://secondlife.com/community/linux-alpha.php

    Or better yet, if you’re up to it, contribute code to the client. Here’s a starting point for you: http://secondlife.com/developers/opensource/

    As a side-note, for those of you using multi-core processors, the Second Life Client isn’t multi-threaded, and some of us residents have noticed core-hopping and/or other processor-load anomalies (the linux client is still officially in Alpha phase).

    I’d suggest using taskset to force the client to run on one core.

    You can obtain taskset by installing the “schedutils” package available in the (universe) repository.

    taskset can be automated by creating a launcher and amending the command to the secondlife script as shown in the following example:

    taskset 0x00000001 /FOLDER/FOLDER/SecondLife_i686_VERSION#/secondlife

    (or taskset 0x00000002 for core 2)

    Pardon the lengthy post, and best wishes.

  17. Suzan Says:

    The funny thing:
    you blog-article about SL and the FLOSS-community was enough that a few people (including me) getting courious and join SL yesterday
    It was fun to sit on a virtal Ubuntu couch and meet a few linux-user (mostly ubuntu-user) in SL!

    We amount a meeting in SL next sunday at 21:00 UTC. :-)

  18. Catharina Says:

    Andrew, you state that there was never more than one person around the pyramid. That is one of the reasons I think we should group together; I noticed that you are in Thailand, so we are on complete different time schedules; most people involved now, are from Europe and in daytime they all have their jobs and at night they sleep, I hope… So it depends a lot on the time you visit, how busy it is.

    Also there is more than the location of the pyramid; I’ve set up a group for Ubuntu that today will probably register it’s 300th member; a month ago I’ve created a group for the free and open island too, that has now about 150 members. Around the pyramid several people now started building their own locations, all with a focus on free software, free culture, open content etc.

    The thing is that on Second Life you should not so much expect to be entertained, but more to create your own world. When we would succeed in grouping together and working together by people all over the World it must be possible to realize an active community where people are active 24 hours a day.

    And indeed, on Sunday there will be a first meeting and we will try also to organize some fun around it, like an open day an/or a party. Ideas and volunteers are very welcome! My SL name is Catharina Jacobus and you can contact me through IM or see me when I am there, which is mostly during the European evening times..

  19. Sivan Green Says:

    I have been experiencing a bit with the SL client for Linux on feisty, the client is still very much in alpha stages and crashes alot, doesn’t connect frequently etc. We should thought start thinking ways of delivering it to our users when it becomes more stable and usable,

  20. David Mills Says:

    Would this generate a need for a SL Loco team? Curious minds want to know 😛

    (sorry couldn’t resist)

  21. Linux: die Nachrichten der Woche 9.7.2007 Says:

    […] macht sich der Ubuntu-Gründer und Mega-Sponsor in seinem Blog Gedanken darüber. Über Second Life. Und das Leben. Und die “FLOSS”-Insel dort, die […]

  22. meneame.net Says:

    Ubuntu llega a Second Life…

    Como no podía ser de otra manera dentro de su ‘plan para dominar el mundo‘, los chicos de Ubuntu también están presentes en Second Life. Al parecer, algunos usuarios están montando una isla dedicada al Software Libre, todo un sueño para cualqu…

  23. FLOSS community in Second Life @ bloglsia Says:

    […] Ubuntu llega a Second Life; ya cuentan con una isla dedicada exclusivamente a la comunidad Ubuntu. […]

  24. please Says:

    found on the development list

    hey if you set up a Kubuntu spot I’d help out.

  25. please Says:

    oh hey Andrew that’s a good point.. leaving the general merits of using 3d vs text aside for a moment, i’d like to offer an idea in passing: it wouldn’t be too difficult to plug in an irc client into the viewer with a license compatible library (like libircclient iirc) or even IM… then with a sort of fusion between the communications media, it may be easier to help people make 3d more ubiquitous.. and eventually get more people generally hangin around like that maybe..?

  26. Linux Platense » Blog Archive » Ubuntu en Second Life Says:

    […] Artículo completo en Mark Shuttleworth Blog. […]

  27. Ubuntu en Second Life « [ Balrof ] Says:

    […] completo en Mark Shuttleworth Blog. Publicado […]

  28. Limulus Says:

    Vincent wrote: “Well, at least GetDeb.net has packages for Second Life :D”
    Caroline Ford wrote: “The second life client updates every week or so and old versions cannot connect. I’m not sure having it in the repos is viable.”
    Alejandro wrote: “As Caroline says, until SL has autoupdate like in Windows and OSX, it’s not viable. Maybe we should have a SL-downloader script?”

    As per http://www.getdeb.net/category.php?id=3

    ” secondlife-install (152.3 Kb) Note:This package does not contain the game, it will download from SecondLife’s site and install.”

    So rather like flashplugin-nonfree I take it.

  29. Martin Albisetti » Blog Archive » Advertising Open Source in Second Life Says:

    […] Mark’s post about the Ubuntu community starting to grow in Second life, I got a request to try and get the ubuntustats feeds into Second […]

  30. TuxJournal.net 2.0 » Archivio » Ubuntu su Second Life Says:

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  31. Dotpod — Free and Open Island: Una comunidad pro Linux y Ubuntu en Second Life Says:

    […] del proyecto es Catharina Bethlehem y quién escribe sobre esto es el filántropo sudafricano Mark Shuttleworth, creador de la Fundación Ubuntu junto a la empresa Canonical […]

  32. Ben Francis Says:

    Firstly, this is a fantastic idea! I think it would be a great place for the Open Source community to “meet” and collaborate. I’ve just come back from LugRadio Live and the community spirit was amazing. A meeting place like this which exists all year round in the metaverse would be great!

    I do just want to make a comment about choosing to use Second Life though. While I accept that from a pragmatic point of view, using a commercial, proprietary, walled-garden Virtual World like Second life is the only realistic option at the moment, it’s worth bearing in mind that Second Life is a proprietary product of Linden Labs. I know that the client software is Open Source but the server is not and there is only one company who can run Second Life servers.

    I personally see Second Life as an AOL of the 3D web and as advocates of open technology I think we should be thinking about a future where anyone can run a 3D web server (1). Perhaps a Second Life island is a good short term solution, but we should think about supporting the Web3D Consortium (2) by using open standards like X3D in the future.

    Just a thought.

    1. http://tola.me.uk/concepts/2007/3d_web
    2. http://www.web3d.org/

  33. useResa Says:

    Just read the suggestion by David Mills “Would this generate a need for a SL Loco team? Curious minds want to know 😛
    (sorry couldn’t resist)” although obviously meant as a joke, but …. why not?

    The idea — IMHO — is not so bad at all. If we could get sufficient members together willing to investigate time and effort in this … it might work and we could have a more continuous presence at the pyramid.

    Additionally Sivan Green states “I have been experiencing a bit with the SL client for Linux on feisty, the client is still very much in alpha stages and crashes alot, doesn’t connect frequently etc. We should thought start thinking ways of delivering it to our users when it becomes more stable and usable”.
    I also use SL on Feisty and hardly ever crash and it connects all the time (except when SL is down ;)).

  34. Eerste bijeenkomst Vrij en Open eiland op Second Life | Kletskous Says:

    […] De ontwikkelingen daar komen steeds meer in een stroomversnelling, niet in de laatste plaats door dit bericht op het weblog van Mark Shuttleworth, de "grote man" achter […]

  35. itank Says:

    Second life in Linux

  36. Ubuntu en Second Life Says:

    […] Artículo completo en Mark Shuttleworth Blog. […]

  37. 幽谷部落 Says:

    Second Life…

    真的要存錢買3D card了,不然好玩的3D桌面特效及遊戲都不能玩,實在有些可惜。


    Second Life程式資訊(vi…..

  38. brodiepearce Says:

    I cannot get the client to run properly on Feisty Fawn. It looks up as soon as I run it, and I can only end it by killing ‘do-not-directly-run-secondlife-bin’.

    Anyone else having issues getting the latest alpha to run correctly?

  39. useResa Says:

    Please note that the link to the island has been altered. The correct link now is: http://www.madcarters.org/mediawiki/index.php

  40. Alexis Bellido Says:

    Great to know Ubuntu users are in SL, I’ll start looking for them.

    By the way, I´m using Feisty with Beryl in my laptop, a System 76 Pangolin, and when I run Second Life my screen keeps blinking and it’s nearly impossible to move. I have another computer with Feisty but without Beryl which runs Second Life with no problem at all. Does anybody else have noticed this?

  41. useResa Says:

    The wiki is now at his FINAL location, check it out at http://www.freeandopenisland.org
    Sorry for any confusion caused.

  42. Davide Montersino Says:

    Alexis, i noticed the same problem. This is not a SL problem, tough. It is a problem with almost every 3d software.
    For example, google earth has the same problem.
    I still haven’t found a solution.
    If you find one, will you tell me? :)

  43. dandellion Kimban Says:

    OSS island might be a nice idea, but it is not essential. Most of the good things in SL are going on in groups, not on sims. As was said in comments, that ubuntu pyramid is nice place but you will never see the crowd there. And why should you? But, Linux Users group and Linux Client Users group are the gold of the metaverse.

    About packages…. I would appreeciate if somebody explain me what would we get with them. This way, you just download, unpack into folder you already use for Sl and click the louncher. Seems much better that usual installation torture win users are obliged to live with. Or am I wrong?

  44. edetano Says:

    About Ubuntu packages, since SL for linux is still in alfa and the update is mandatory when a new version is avalaible, it make not much sense make 3rd part packages by now.

  45. Alanagh Recreant Says:

    I was absolutely delighted to (partly) follow the conversation about Linux and SecondLife … I am no technical expert, but have been using the SL platform for a few months now, and am VERY keen to see how it dovetails with Ubuntu. We met with Philip Rosedale two weeks ago about our plans and constraints – being the first African-based NGO with a strong presence and strategy and it would be great to meet with some Ubuntu evangelists inworld. We were also grateful to hear Linden Lab’s comment at the recent SL Community Conference that it ‘should stop being a Lab and be more of an operating system’. There is some potential when they start thinking about opening up servers… Hopefully!

    Please feel free to join our group: Second Life Africa or IM me…

    We are in the process of developing VIRTUAL AFRICA as a orientation gateway, and it may add value to the broader Linux community visiting Ubuntu and other related virtual spaces. We will follow the development and uptake of Open Source in Africa with great interest as our clients are all from urban and rural communities that cannot afford solutions that are currently widely available.

  46. reekje Says:

    Wow, I want see that linux eilaznd, but i wate til the software is no longer in beta.
    It is a good manner to promote Ubuntu, and other Linux distribution’s.
    More and more people go in SL,
    ( I am not so good in EN)

    reekje (NL)

  47. Kopilo Says:

    Second life repacked for ubuntu (gusty but others are avaliable from the main page)

    personally I prefer… aptitude to apt-get :)

  48. Second Life dentro Ubuntu? e FLOSS su un isola? | BUZZES EU - E-commerce, Social Web, Web 2.0 Says:

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  49. mantrax3_14 Says:

    Hey Mark!

    I have a few complaints about Ubuntu. Sorry for my english.

    Firefox ask me about flash plugin. It installs but not load any flash file and ask for download again.

    Grdesktop is not at the Gusty Gibbon Repository and I download the tarball but I can’t create executable. Why? I don’t know and I think I shouldn’t know I just should only install and run.

    Web pages fonts on firefox in ubuntu looks horrendous. In windows it looks better. (you can watch the difference with yahoo.com)

    When I use compiz the top bar of the windows dissappear.

    How can I tell to my friends “this is an OS for human beings” when I have to type commands and commands in console trying and trying to run things that’s on windows can be done easily with few clics (i.e. Install an application, install drivers)

    I was trying to get in love with ubuntu version over version (from 5.x ), but it never happens. Always has troubles with drivers, windows usability and unestability.

    My impression for today is Linux (also ubuntu) it’s ver very good but can be easy to use only on servers but hard to use for personal use (too muchs typing for my taste). And it’s sad because Windows Vista makes computers slow performance.

    So. What’s the choice for a ultimate generation user friendly and nice performance SO? Leopard may be?

  50. Second Life e l’isola del FLOSS « Melchiorre’s Weblog Says:

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