03. Remotely Connecting to a Standalone Sim

OK, so you have successfully installed the OpenSim standalone sim and you are wandering around in your own little world. Exciting times indeed, but after a while, with only yourself for company, you start to miss the social interaction of Second Life. So, what's the solution? Invite someone over!

I would recommend to access your sim remotely, before you start thinking of connecting your sim to a grid, in this way you can give the details to a friend or friends and invite them in to have a look at your brave new world, before you open up your sim to the wider metaverse. So, how do you do it?

Step 1: Ensure your PC has a static IP address
It is essential that the PC you have your sim on has a static IP address. To find out whether your PC has a static (permanent) IP address, or whether it is dynamically assigned (meaning it can change from day to day) by either a router or your Internet Service Provider (ISP), do this:- Go to Start, and select Run..., type 'cmd' into the Open box, and hit OK. When the DOS window opens, type the command ipconfig/all. If you see a value that says DHCP disabled, it means that your PC has a static IP address, and you can move to the next step. If it says DHCP enabled it means that the IP address is being supplied either by your router (if you have set up a home network, or LAN), or if you do not have a router, by your ISP. To change to a static IP if you have a router follow the procedure provided here. If you have no router and have a direct connection to the internet, then skip to Step 2.

Step 2: Ensure your Firewall can pass the required Ports
If you are connected directly to the Internet, either through a dial-up service or via ISDN or ADSL, then you will probably have a software firewall set up. You will need to read your firewall documentation to see how to allow the ports that OpenSim uses to pass through the firewall. If you use a router with an in-built hardware firewall, then you need to configure the router to pass the required ports (called port-forwarding). The ports that OpenSim needs to be open for inbound traffic are: TCP/8000-8005, TCP/8895, and UDP/TCP/9000 for a single sim, and UDP/TCP/9001 for a second sim, and so on. There are detailed instructions on how to setup port-forwarding on your router on the PortFowarding website. Select your router from the list, then you will be taken to a page that lists most on-line games that need port-forwarding. At present, neither OpenSim not OpenLife are listed (although a listing has been requested), so the next best one to choose is Well of Souls, which also uses port 8000, and you can follow the procedure there for setting this one up, then repeating for the other ports listed above.

Step 3: Setup a Dynamic DNS Service
Most ISPs provide their customers with a dynamic IP address for their connections (static IP addresses are mostly used by commercial customers). If you connect to the internet directly without using a router, then your PC will have its IP address allocated via DHCP by the ISP. If you have a home LAN behind a router then the ISP will provide the IP address via DHCP to the router instead. In either case we must establish a static IP address (or rather the appearance of a static IP address), and that is where Dynamic DNS comes in. A very good explanation of what DNS and Dynamic DNS are is provided here. Basically, instead of having an IP address for your PC or router, such as http://79.234.23.06/ (which may change daily), you have a domain name, such as http://garys-sim.servegame.org/ (which does not change). So, how does the domain name know which IP address to resolve to? Dynamic DNS hosts are kept up-to-date automatically with the IP address supplied by your ISP, using an update client. Update clients come in two types: software clients, which are installed on your PC, or hardware clients embedded in devices such as routers. Software clients are easier to set up than hardware clients, so I recommend the free client from the dynDNS.com website, called DYNDNS Updater. Obtaining a DNS host name is simple, and free, from this location

Step 4: Configure your OpenSim Software for an external Connection
The next step is to configure the OpenSim software. To do this go to the Bin/Regions/default.xml file. Right-click and Open with Notepad. The value to change is the external_host_name, which can be your DNS host name, so it will look like this: external_host_name="garys-sim.servegame.org"

Step 5: Configure the Viewer
The last step is to configure the viewer. Ensure that the Hippo viewer Loginuri: is set to the same URL as the external_host_name above (but qualified with http:// and the port number), i.e.
http://garys-sim.servegame.org:9000. If using the SL viewer ensure that the Target is pointing similarly, i.e. -loginuri http://garys-sim.servegame.org:9000

You are now ready to test. Start up the opensim server, and when it is ready, connect with your viewer.

Troubleshooting

Followed all the above steps and still cannot connect remotely? Try these faultfinding steps:

1. In case it is the hostname that is causing the problem try using the external (router) IP address instead. Open a browser and go to this URL: www.checkmyip.com this will tell you what your external IP address is (eg: 78.154.28.7). Put this address into the default.xml file, like so: external_host_name="78.154.28.7"

If that fixes it, then go to the DYNDNS website and check that the IP address currently assigned to your hostname matches what www.checkmyip.com tells you. If it doesn't then maybe the updater software is not working. Try reinstalling it.

2. Firewalls and antivirus software can stop a connection from being made. If you have a router then it will already have a hardware firewall built in, so it is usually quite safe to switch off your other firewalls, such as Windows Firewall, ZoneAlarm, or any of your security suites that may have a firewall bundled. So just try switching them all off and then see if a connection can be made.

3. Try to ping your external IP address. Go to Start, and in the Run box type cmd to get the DOS-like cmd console up. In here type (using the example above): ping 78.154.28.7

If you get a response fine, but if the three attempts all time out then either your router is setup to ignore pings, or your ISP is blocking them. If your router manual provides no info on blocking pings, then try asking your ISP support if they block them.

4. The most common reason I have found for not connecting has been that the router was not configured correctly to pass the required ports. Please double-check that you have gone through Step 2 100% correctly.

If you had a problem connecting, and eventually got it resolved, please post your solution here, it may help others.

45 comments:

  1. No matter how I try, I can't get opensim to work with any variation of the external_host_name format you give in this step of the tutorial. It only works with the actual IP address as seen by the world.

    So in the region file, I use 216.xxx.xxx.xxx and in Hippoviewer from home I use xxx.kicks-ass.org:9000. THAT works.

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  2. remove http:// and the trailing /, external_host_name is the fully qualified domain name. you cannot nslookup http://www.example.com/ but you can nslookup www.example.com.

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  3. I'm the same as LVWolfman, I've tried everything and cannot connect even removing the the http and // at either end set up port forwarding with PortForwarding.com although the example is totally different to router but model number is the same, setup and account with DynDNS that don't work, tried all different combinations.... and set my static IP as with portforwarding.com
    I use the D-Link DSL-2640B - Firmware Version: EU_3.07 Hardware Version: B2 with 2 computers.
    I use Windows Vista 64 bit and I recently setup an OpenSim standalone grid ( connection with the Hippo Viewer is http://127.0.0.1:9000 - which doesn't go on the web ), so now i want to allow others now to access it via the internet, first of all my IP is DHCP dynamic, so i setup a DHCP static IP for both of the computer in the router setup, both with an internal IP start of 192.168.1.XX, and also in network settings i entered this instead of obtaining an IP and i still get on the internet fine !!
    I need to forward port 9000 TCP/UDP in the router from my external IP to my internal IP, but when i do this i still can't connect with the Hippo Viewer, i've tried entering the external IP address into the hippo viewer with :9000 and nothing, no-one else can connect to my computer via the internet. I 've followed various tutorials, ie;

    http://metaversebuilders.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/opensim_installation_part_three/

    and still nothing :-(...............
    I have also made an account with DynDNS so this gives me a static IP for my external IP.
    Can you help and is there something i'm not doing? hope you understand :-)
    Regards
    Gary

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  4. did you turn off your windows firewall? Do you have any other internet security software like Norton that would block the connection?

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  5. So far no luck for me either but thanks for posting this. Its definitely a big help over where I was. Tinsel Silvera

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  6. Tinsel are you connecting to a local machine?

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  7. I have the software located on one pc and trying to connect with another. Also tried both within the same pc. Neither way works. I have followed all these steps + dns + port forwarding, etc. So far cannot get past "waiting for region handshake."

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  8. Hi, It is not possible to follow your instructions on obtaining a static ip adddress. The entry for default gateway, which on your page is a nice neat number, appears on mine as a long 5 block group of letters and % signs. So I cannot fill in the right boxes, any ideas anyone ? Thanks.

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  9. Had the same problem accessing grid with the hostname and as LVWolfman it only worked with IP address in Hippoviewer. However, removed the http:// and trailing / as Vis= suggested and wow teleported in. Many thanks Vis=.

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  10. So far it has all worked perfectly. Thanks!

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  11. Doesn't work, keeps saying that an error occurred despite their (my) best efforts.

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  12. Didn't work for me. I managed to connect it from my own computer but my friend couldn't connect it from his computer, It says only that it is "Unable to connect...something has gone wrong...check status" etc.

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  13. removed the http:// and trailing / as Vis= suggested and wow teleported in. Many thanks Vis=.
    ..okay guys..please spell it out for me..whats trailing????

    the error I'm getting is "an error occurred while resolving host..no such host is known.

    soooo, I"ve double checked my port forwarding..it looks right and set up a dynamic dns..??

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  14. Aghhh this is so ckinguf frustrating ... but having squared up to my pc for the last 3 days im making some headway ... i have read all your comments and suffered them all at different stages.. but there is light i think at the end of the tunnel... first - for anyone that thinks they have a port forwarding problem dl a copy of PFPortChecker .. its very simple and will verify that your ports are open ... i spent a whole day going round in circles only to finde i had set my ports correctly the first time round .. so this should be the first thing to get right ... i was also unclear about the dyndns setup... i made no sense of the isp ??... anyhow .. the dyndns address will reach your router .. or at least it does mine .. this i believe is its job ... when i put in my hoste name ... http://blah.blah.com it acces my router (which i have now changed the default password on) ... so now i nead only to work out how to get past the 'despite our best efforts' nonsense when trying to remote log into my sim ??... any clues wd be much appreciated .. but it does resolve the name .. i believe this is so .. because if i take away the http:// from the client grid url it says "cant resolve the hoste name" .. so i believe im nearing my target ... im guessing that there is something here in the opensim setup .. either the .ini or one of the .xml setups.. so im gonna investigate .. i will report back if as and when i resolve this .. with or without anyones help ... oh .. by the by .. im using the osgrid setup as it initialy was simplicity itself for the standalone setup .. segam (sky) router 20... whatever it is .. and windows xp sp3 la dee da... hope someone with intellect is still monitoring this thread and can offer further input.

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  15. I was struggling with this too, but I had this running earlier. This is my current LAN setup which works:

    1. WinXP acting as server on 192.168.1.66, fixed ip
    2. Modem/router configured as in step 2 above
    3. In regions.ini, I set the internal address to 0.0.0.0 and the external_address to 192.168.1.66

    I can now access it from my laptop, through the modem/router.

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  16. Doesnt work for me.
    Ping works fine/All firewalls off / Dynamic dns thing set up and pointing to my ip.
    Tried different combinations of ExternalHostName in the regions folder and in hippo. But all I get is: an error occurred despite their (my) best efforts.
    It works with internal address 127.0.0.1 but nothing else.

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  17. I had all the above problems and 3 sleepless nights then i solved it. I have an ntl cable router and behind that a LAN router that joins 2 home computers to the ntl router. It appears that the LAN router was set up for voip on port 9000 and was blocking it. After taking the cable out of the LAN and putting it directly into the ntl router it worked fine! Yes!!
    Make sure your port is not blocked like mine was. Hope this helps. Have fun.

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  18. works man helps to brige mondom with router

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  19. setup 2 pcs on a lan. one a server the other the viewer.
    internal address=0.0.0.0
    external address = my dyndns domain name

    I tried all all the above & was able to get to seeing my avater but she was unresponsive; I could pan around but not move her All the ports redirected & open. In the end tried weakening the fire wall in the 3-com router - I have 3 options - high medium & low level, I normally use high level ( SPI feature - packet inspection). This was the problem - the log showed lots of packets were being rejected as an attack so my viewer was not able to talk to the server. SO inspite of all the ports being redirected the router firewall was still filtering an attack. So i suggest ppl have a look at their router log to see if some thing similar happening

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  20. absolutely the best tutorial on this ive found thanks a mill id never have managed this otherwise

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  21. When I open my bin/region directory.. I have a file in there that says regions. I dont have a default.xml.. If i open the regions file up and change the external hostname from SYSTEMIP to my external ip, my entire sim like freaks out. All the terrain will go away, then it will put all of my avatars outside of the sim, and I will fall until I am disconnected. Any times after that, I will be stuck at handshaking.. However, if put my IP back to SYSTEMIP, everything works fine again...

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  22. Some people might be having problems if they only configured their open ports for the Well of Souls described on portforward.com
    Opensim requires ports TCP 8000, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8004, 8005, 8895 and TCP/UDP 9000 to be open on your router. Well of Souls is only 8000, 8001 and 8888.

    I recommend checking that the ports are open with the PFPortChecker softward provided on Portforward.com

    That's why changing the firewall setting on low for a router would work as a fix, it won't block any port requests.

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  23. I thought that opensim only requires the 8xxx ports if you are running in grid mode. I run a diva distro standalone megaregion. It it set up accessible from outside. The only odd thing is that I can hypergrid from to it with, say, an osgrid avatar (it is not attached to a grid) but I can hypergrid with its own avatar to osgrid without getting auth violations. Could this have something to do with these other ports?

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  24. I also notice that my no-IP dyndns on some home machines have different hypergrid characteristics from the identical grid I put in Amazon cloud with more "real" elastic IP. On that one I can hypergrid from osgrid and back to osgrid *with an osgrid avatar* but not with one from my grid to osgrid. On the no-IP grid I can hypergrid the osgrid avie to my grid but can't hypergrid back. It claims either destination no longer present or some auth issue or that dest is not accepting teleports. I would give a lot to resolve that one.

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  25. hmm. Either I hallucinated on the hypergrid is much better today as to part of what I wrote. I can now hypergrid my local machine avatar (no-IP) as well as amazon cloud avatar to/from osgrid. YAY.

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  26. Serious Starsider20 April 2010 at 15:23

    I really want to install openSIM on my Debian box at home but so far it's proved to be a total nightmare. I simply cannot get beyond the handshake as others have mentioned. I have all the ports forwarded, can connect on the local machine as well as on the LAN with two avatars. That was a bit tricky at first but I managed to get it done. However once outside the network trying to connect to the standalone I am stuck at the handshake.

    Here's the real kicker though. I have installed it on Win Vista and it works flawlessly, so I know there are no port's blocked, I know my Regions.ini and OpenSim.ini files are proper so I can only guess it's on my Debian box.

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  27. attempted this tutorial, portforwarded, edited files, etc, stuck at something has gone wrong. nothing is blocked according to port checking programs. but i cannot log into my sim using the dyndns.

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  28. Totally stuck...I used Dyndns to create my static IP, Port check, opened ports at my P660HW-D1 router, at the windows firewall, changed the pertinent files at Opensim.ini and Regions...tried ping my dyndns dominion, it does work...still can't get into my own Open sim, nor can my friends..

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  29. Ditto. ;) Nothing seems to be resolving the problem, sadly.

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  30. Ahoj,

    trying to use opensim, but there are comming different messages:

    . host not found, Error 6
    . login method not found

    OpenSim.exe is running. Imprudence also. To login i use the 9000 port and it should work, thought.

    Maby somone can help me. Thanks Andy

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  31. well, i am using the old version of Opensim that was new when this tutorial was written. Neither of my hostnames work for the region, only my dynamic (sighs) IP. i have tried all 3 for login url on Phoenix, and i get "despite our best efforts, something unexpected has gone wrong." i do have a slow connection, and have checked that my ports are running, with a port checker and all ports required for Opensim are open. Can anyone help me? my email address is arklelinuke@gmail.com, if you would prefer to use it. thanks! P.S. i can run it on the same computer with no problems under the grid "local" but when i try to log in under the other one,whose login url is http://mi6.XXXXX.com:9000 i cant login. is it impossible, or is that grid just for computers not on my LAN?

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. I see most of these posts are old, hopefully the topic is still in use.
    My server IP is static from router, which is dynamic but resolved with name via no-ip and updater application.
    Router ports (UDP + TCP) 9000-9100 forwarded to static server IP/ports (My OpenSIM is configured to use this range). (Ports tested as open and router responds to pings)
    Internal viewers access without issue, External viewers complete login process up to Regional Handshake then fail.
    That suggests the issue is in the Regions settings even though the port is correct, internal is 0.0.0.0 and external set to the No-IP named address. I've tried that address with quotes, without quotes, with http:// and without to no avail.
    All ports are currently set to 9000 with single region on the Diva OpenSIM.
    Can everything be on the same port or does login and such have to be separate ports?
    Perhaps there is an INI or something I'm missing that would cause the region to refuse connection from outside?
    If I change the region port to, say, 9010, is there somewhere else I would need to set to 9010?

    Really at a loss,
    AJ (knightsong@hotmail.com)

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  34. Thanks for informing about tutorials, that's very helpful post.
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  35. Ok I guess I am at the point of giving up ... I have been trying to install opensim for the past week .. it works fine on the PC its installed on via the viewer of the same PC ... but when i try to connect LAN or WAN from another PC .. i get nowhere .. i tried everything i could think of .. i see alot of older posts on here and maybe somebody can help .. my router does not have nat .. so i have a account through No-Ip and it works fine i can connect to my server remote desktop , FTP, HTTP . and have been for years .. but once i try getting to opensim .. it shits the bed .i even went as far as trying my laptop off of my network totally by connecting it to my iphone tethered . all ports (9000to9010 , 8000to8005 , 8095 etc.. ) are open on my router .. i even disabled all the firewalls on my network just to see and added the PC to the DMZ and still nothing .. in the regions ini file i have tried all settings ..

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  36. ok .. being that i do not have NAT .. i figured i would try the old fashion way of connecting .. DIRECT using a crossover cable .. and i still get no where ....

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  42. hi all first of all I want to say this article has been very helpful in setting up my opensim. I have everything up and running I can log in from the computer the opensim is hosted on and then log in from my laptop. yay!!!
    I do want to add that like a few others have posted here, I was falling into infinity when I first started working on this, I could not find out why.I had 16 regions and one region was way off to itself I landed on the region that was off to itself and I did not fall through the ground so I split my regions up so they weren't touching each other, problem solved.
    Now I have the problem that no one else can connect to my grid, I have a static IP address and my ports are open. Do I need the DNS server for others to connect to my grid?

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