Second Life Login Failure Update

We currently have an inventory problem that prevents logging into Second Life. The currenlty frequent cause of the problem has been tracked down to having Flat Inventory.

Let the Magic Unfold

Let the Magic Unfold by Carthalis Rossini, on Flickr

A flat inventory is an inventory where thousands of items are in a single folder. Mostly the term denotes an unorganized inventory where stuff is mostly in the root or objects folders rather than being organized in folders and subfolders. As the viewer is downloading inventory folder by folder a folder with thousands of items can take too long to download and cause a time out. This jams up the login process and you get a failure message. 

But, how do you fix the problem if you cannot log into Second Life? It depends. If it is a marginal issue, meaning you almost make it before the process times out, you may be able to attempt a log into a deserted region that gives you a slightly faster download. You might also try using a friends Internet connection that may be faster or trying during a time where Internet use is low and likely faster. You might make it in by cleaning up you disk drive or in a more technical fix move all the cache and inventory files to a faster drive.

But, it you just added a billion items in your last working login, you are doomed. The time out may be so massive a margin there is no chance of reducing the download time enough to beat the login timeout. So, there is likely no user side fix in such a case. Call support.


A fix is being created for SL Support peeps to use. They will soon have a tool that lets them repair a flat inventory that is blocking login. When the tool is used it will move items in a folder with too many items into subfolders based on the date the items were added to inventory.

So… what is too many items? It depends on your computer, connection, and likely the region you are attempting to log into. But, for a number the Lab can work with they have decided on 5,000 items per folder. Oz Linden was a bit fuzzy on that number. But, I’ll say that is the number until I hear something more defintive.

So, when the tool is used to repair inventory it will be moving things into subfolders to reduce the count per folder to 5,000 items. I find that number staggering. My inventory of 34,000+ items has no folder with more than about 250+/- items in any one folder.

If you can’t get logged in to fix the problem, you’ll have to call SL Support and get them to fix your inventory.


AISv3 removes the problem where only 10,000 items per folder will display in inventory. The items in excess of 10,000 are not lost. The viewer just does not show them in the inventory panel. With AISv3 operational all the items display.

There is no limit on how many items can be in a single folder. The viewer will let you kill yourself. I think this is mostly because there is no easy to define hard limit. Some systems withfast disks and good connections can handle way more items per folder than a system with a slow connection and hard drive. The Lab is avoiding the abusive practive of making all suffer for the sake of the few.

There is some discussion about adding a warning when the number of items in a folder exceeds some number, probably 5,000. Put the 5,001st item in a folder and some popup will tell you this isn’t a good idea. You’ll still be able to add it, but you will have to put up with the nag.

Inventory size does NOT affect TP’ing to other regions. So, if someone is giving you a recommendation to reduce inventory size to help with TP ptoblems, mark down that person’s name so you’ll know not to listen to them in the future and stop listening to them.

As mentioned elsewhere the current biggest cause of TP failure is how many running scripts are attached. Resizers, HUD’s, anything attached that has a script adds to the problem. Your inventory size doesn’t add to the problem.

4 thoughts on “Second Life Login Failure Update

  1. I’m probably missing something, I don’t understand the problem. The way non-amateur devs do it is they load inventory by amounts of items. It’s called data pagination. (e.g.: (fictitious) http://inventory_url/?start_item=0&amount=5000; then… http://inventory_url/?start_item=5000&amount=5000… and so on)

    This avoids timeouts and there is absolutely nothing complicated about that. I must be missing something, I don’t get what it takes to LL to implement that rather than adding subfolder hacks and such.

    On the client side not all items need to be shown at once. Many web apps implement incremental display where more data is displayed when scrolled at bottom. This is 2015, there is no reason not to do it in SL too.

    • Your point is well taken. To understand what is happening one needs to dig into the login process and realize it happens in one set of servers. Inventory comes from another set of servers. Both of those processes need to complete before they can connect to a region and start rendering. Those processes could be written to avoid the timeout problem. The problem is they weren’t. SL is to a large extent legacy software.

      I take it the problem is rare enough, affects so few people, that rewriting the sections of server and viewer code that need to change is so much larger an effort than is warrented by the problem size, they are going with a rather easy work-around. That means they can spend that time on new shiny stuff.

  2. I just wanted to make a suggestion. I have been playing Sl for a little over two years now and I never can seem to get my inventory count down lol. Anyways, I read the above information pertaining to a flat inventory and what happens with log in issues. I thought why doesn’t SL have something that automatically organizes someone’s inventory. That would be a great feature and I know I would appreciate it. It would assist with those logging issues for sure. Kalalea ♥

    • The Lab might be willing to build such a tool if you can come up with a definition of what an ‘organized’ inventory is that everyone agrees on. Also, most things in SL can be categorized different ways. Is it a short dress or a sexy dress or do I need a single category for short, split, and sexy? I don’t want the Lab imposing their idea or some consensus idea of an organized inventory on me. The basic system folders are enough organization for me.

      Try searching on: Second Life inventory organization.

      Some things are better done by the individual.

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