Second Life Tutorial: RLV, Mesh, and Folders – How it works, How to Use

The Viewers

For you to take advantage of RLV you need an RLV capable viewer. So, the leading RLV viewers are:

  • Black Dragon – V4 Alternate User Interface – RLVa – NiranV Dean
  • Catznip Viewer* – V4 User Interface Enhanced – RLVa – Kitty Barnett
  • Cool VL Viewer*V1 – User Interface Enhanced – RLV – Henri Beauchamp
  • Firestorm Viewer – V4 User Interface Enhanced – RLVa – Firestorm Team
  • Kokua Viewer – V4 – User Interface Enhanced – RLV – Nicky Perian
  • RLV Viewer – V4 User Interface Enhanced – RLV – Marine Kelley
  • Singularity ViewerV1 – User Interface Enhanced – RLVa – Siana Gearz
  • UKanDo Viewer – V4 User Interface Enhanced – RLV – Connor Monaron

UPDATE 6/28/2016: Thanks to Lord for filling out the list, adding 5 viewers – See comments. The Alchemy Viewer does not support RLV/RLVa as of 6/2016. *Denotes a viewer not in the Lab’s Third Party Viewers List. While not in the list, these viewers do have a significant user base and the developers are well known in the SL viewer community. I’ve used all of these viewers.

V4 stands for the version 4 user interface (UI) used by Linden Lab in their viewers. Once Project Bento completes viewer versions will bump up to V5. I don’t expect the UI to change much from V4 to V5. I’ve labeled viewers V4 if they are significantly similar to the Linden made viewer.

Catznip Viewer Logo

Catznip Viewer Logo

If you have been using the Linden viewer you’ll have little problem changing to any other viewer using a V4 UI. The controls used in the Linden UI are mostly used as is in other V4 UI viewers. There are more controls and tools in these third party viewers, additions. Thus my saying enhanced.

I suspect most people interested in RLV are using Firestorm, but I have no actual numbers specifically related to RLV use and Firestorm. I am currently using Catznip for RLV play more than Firestorm. I do use Firestorm but, I have been having problems with Firestorm, especially if I get into a crowd.

Firestorm Logo

Firestorm Logo

I like the RLV viewer but the install and setup are awkward for most SL users. It needs a better install program. As it is the user has to make their own shortcut and copy some files from the Second Life viewer into the RLViewer install folder to have it fully operational. Not all that complicated but, a problem from non-tech computer users. The web sites gives the step by step.

‘Fully’ in this case is about whether you use voice or not. If you are interested in the RLViewer see: RLV versions. The RLV viewer has some interesting features. It’s a nice viewer.

RLViewer Logo

RLViewer Logo

Another point to consider with the viewers is whether you will use RLV or RLVa. There is a difference but, for lite use it probably won’t make a difference to you. I suspect more people use RLVa than RLV. That is a guess based on Firestorm Viewer using RLVa and being the most popular viewer in SL at this time (6/2016).

See Trinity Dejavu’s, a Catznip team member, page on RLVa/RLV Differences. They are mostly technical differences that only those writing programs need to consider. You probably won’t need to know which you are using. Only worry about it if something you are buying says you have to have one or the other or something doesn’t work.


Once you use the viewer to login, if using FS or Catz, you will need to enable the RLV feature as those viewers have it disabled as the default state. In Firestorm open Preferences and type RLV in the search window. In Catznip open Preferences and navigate to: Catznip (tab) and enable RestrainedLove API support. You will need to restart either viewer after enabling RLV.

The RLViewer assumes you got the viewer to use RLV capabilities and has the feature enabled by default. The RLV capability can be disabled in the RLV viewer. 
More pages… page links below.

4 thoughts on “Second Life Tutorial: RLV, Mesh, and Folders – How it works, How to Use

  1. Cool VL Viewer, UKanDo Viewer, and Kokua Viewer all use RLV as well, and then Singularity, Black Dragon, and Alchemy Viewers use RLVa (with Singularity adding some home brewed updates to it).
    Cool VL Viewer:
    UKanDo Viewer:
    Kokua Viewer:
    Singularity Viewer:
    Black Dragon Viewer:
    Alchemy Viewer:

  2. Pingback: Open Collar – Blue's Fantasy

  3. Since this is pretty high up on google when searching for BARE I thought I’d make an update:

    The best practice since 2015 for BARE is to use the JasX HUD for outfits. It has the benefits of working with all JasX games, being open source, moddable and usable by other non-jasx products for stripping and gender detection.

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