Framework for easy Opensim installation and maintenance
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OpenSim Debian Distribution

This is an framework to facilitate installation and use of OpenSim with Debian.

Main motivation

In a software application, particularly a complicate one like OpenSim, some thing should never be stored at the same place. Essentially, there is a place for static files (executables, libraries), a place for preferences, and a place for data created by the application (permanent or temporary).

This way, you can

  • easily update the software without touching preferences and date
  • backup the data without duplicating everytime the software
  • avoid duplicating the application if you need to run several instances...

So, we reorganised the files and folders, matching the general Linux standards.

  • The whole thing is stored in /opt/opensim-debian (could become /usr/share/opensim if we make a package), refferred as OSDDIR below
  • Scripts and utilities are in /OSDDIR/bin/
  • The main code (latest stable OpenSim release) is located in /OSDDIR/lib/opensim (yes, in lib, not in bin, because they are not directly executable on all OSes, and they rely on lot of other files around them)
  • Preferences are read from /OSDDIR/etc/ /etc/ and ~/etc/, each one overriding the precedent
  • Cache is stored in /OSDDIR/cache
  • Logs in /OSDDIR/logs
  • Databases (if using sqlite) should be store in var/db (but we don't use sqlite, so this could be fixed later)
  • If using other stable release(s) that the one included, they should be stored in share/ to avoid them being overriding by updates
  • Git clone and other works in progress should go in dev/

It was important to achieve this without altering the main OpenSim code. So we created some scripts which:

  • read the preferences in etc/
  • looks for instances to start in etc/simulator-enabled
  • tells OpenSim where to save data, cache and logs

We have developed and used this setup for 5 years in Speculoos Grid and wanted to share. Although this was working for us, we don't push the whole thing as is, as we want to make sure the methods are as globals as they can.


git clone --recursive
# use --recursive to download git submodules
# if you don't use recursive, they will be downloaded during installation
sudo mv opensim-debian /opt/
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/opensim-debian/bin
cd /opt/opensim-debian

Configuration should be working as is, but you will probably want to adjust

  • ./etc/opensim/opensim.conf (main database configuration)
  • ./etc/opensim/opensim.d/*.ini (Robust and simulators ini files)

Legacy folders, deprecated but still recognised::

  • /etc/opensim/robust-available/Robust.ini
  • /etc/opensim/simulator-available/*.ini
opensim start