Second Life: Crashing Viewer

Word is getting around that there is a pre-release version of the viewer for those having a problem getting past the VFS step of viewer launch. It seems it is mostly those using Intel HD graphics chips for their video processor that have the problem.

There is a recommended fix: Viewer 3.7.??-296857. This is a version some lindens and others have mentioned at various times.

The latest possible fix is this viewer: 3.7.??-29????.  This version may be better or worse. The link leads to work-in-progress builds that have yet to be passed through QA. Most of the code has been through QA, but not 100%. But, it will be the latest build in this channel. As I write this, the version is: 297042. As new builds are made this link will automatically update.

I suspect most new users are not familiar with these versions. A couple of years age it was common for SL users to be following these pre-release builds. They have been mostly replaced by Release Candidate (RC) Viewers. In other places the pre-release versions would probably be called the nightly builds. They can solve a specific problem. But, they may also have other issues that make them better or worse than the main viewer.

If you are having a problem this version fixes, there is no reason not to try it. But, don’t expect perfection.


Second Life News 2014-48


Tuesday saw a roll out of a main channel update. This update is the tweaks to the way servers work with the Content Delivery Network. Simon says they didn’t change anything with this update. They just added the ability to make changes more easily. I assume that means they added settings controls to the simulator console.

Server-Scripting UG 2014-48

Server-Scripting UG 2014-48

Next week a new RC package will roll out.

This Thursday 11/27 there will not be a Beta Server User Group meeting. This is due to the US holiday, Thanksgiving.  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-47 TPD

This past Friday was the Third Party Developers meeting. Chakat NorthSpring has a video of the meeting: Second Life: Third Party Viewer meeting (21 November 2014). These meetings are consistently getting shorter. This one is down 30± minutes or so.

Blood Letters #21

Blood Letters #21

A couple of extra Linens were in attendance Friday; Brooke, Xiola and Bazz.


Oz Linden did his usual recap of viewer devlopment. He says they have lots of stuff in progress. Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-47

Group Chat

Simon Linden Tells us:

Yes some of the chat servers have been having troubles in the last few days.   I’ve been looking into that … the code running there isn’t super new, and the outages might be timed with some of those [hardware update] restarts.

In any case, there is an update soon for the chat servers, and already another in the pipeline.


Photo Shoot w/Mr. S

Photo Shoot w/Mr. S

This week there are no rolls for either the main channel or RC channels. Next week is a no change week. So, I expect no roll outs that week either.

We can expect tweaking to the CDN system. This week whatever they are doing that requires multiple restarts is ongoing.

The main reason for no updates is the hardware updating requiring the restarts scheduled for this week. Estimating time for any individual update or the group is difficult as Simon says, “We also have to actually open up the server box and look inside to see if it needs an update, so it’s random how long each one takes.

This shouldn’t do anything grid-wide, aside from extra region restarts.”  Continue reading

Second Life Performance: Render Muting

We have and are hearing lots of complaints about how some number of avatars lag our Second Life™ experience. If you open up the Viewer Stats (Ctrl-Shift-1) and look at server performance (Simulator: Time Dilation, Sim FPS, Physics FPS, and others), you often find the region server performing well; TD=0.999, Sim FPS=44-45, Physics=44=45. Even with lots of avatars in a region. So, it isn’t region/simulator lag that is the problem. Over the last year large steps in reducing simulator lag have been taken with CDN being the most recent. The lag is now in our viewer.

Render Auto Muting

Render Auto Muting

There is a value the viewer displays labeled Avatar Render Cost (ARC). In November 2011 I wrote about ARC and how to use it, as it had recently changed. (See: #SL ARC Replaced) Things have changed since then. We now find the value displayed in two different ways. Try: Top Menu->Advanced (press Ctrl-Alt-D if you do not have that menu item)->Performance Tools->Show Draw Weight for Avatars. This will display a colored text above avatars showing their ‘render cost’. This does clutter the screen, but makes it easy to see which avatar has what ARC.  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-46

Group Chat

I think most people have noticed it is better. So far, I have been able to comment in groups such as Firestorm Support without a problem, a group I seldom could connect to. I could listen, but not post comments, about half or more of the time.

Blood Letters - Mad Pea 2014

Blood Letters – Mad Pea 2014

Posting to any large group was a problem. That has now mostly been resolved.

We are losing the open post of any chat that starts after I login. In some cases it is not noticeable. In others it is apparent. The Lindens are aware of it.

Today grid status reported the internal utilities servers would be getting updates. In the Server Scripting meeting we learned that additional changes to group chat were being rolled out. So, this is likely that change going into place. The Lindens say not to expect visible improvements. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, just that they are not likely to be as noticeable as previous changes.  Continue reading

Second Life Main Viewer Failing

There are a number of people reporting (11/11/2014) that the update to the now default/main viewer Second Life Viewer 3.7.20 (296071) Oct 29 2014 10:40:27 (Second Life Project Snowstorm) has created problems. The viewer will not run. In most cases it crashes at VFS (Virtual File System) initialization.

Blood Letters - Letter 10 - Not these. The hint says 'canvas'

Blood Letters – Letter 10 – Not these. The hint says ‘canvas’

I am running Second Life 3.7.20 (296355) Nov  3. It does not have the problem. It runs. But, we do not yet know if version 3.7.20 (296071) crashes on all computers or just some. Judging by the size of the response in the forum, a dozen or so, I would say just a few.

It is possible to run other versions of the viewer. The basic trick to being able to install a different version of the viewer is to enable automatic update and  ‘Willing to update to release candidate.’  If not enabled, the viewer will attempt to download and install the main viewer ASAP. The setting is in Preferences->Setup. The setting is also the default setting.

The active thread about this error is: Second_Life_3_7_20_296094_i686_Setup, is anyone else having an issue with this like me? The related JIRA is BUG-7776.

A Clean Install does not fix the problem. Dump version 3.7.20 (296071). Install a different version. You can find the Second Life RC (Release Candidate) Viewers and Project Viewers here.  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-45 #3

This past Friday was the Third Party Developers’ meeting. This is usually the best source for information about developments in the pipeline at the Lab. This week there is not a lot of news.


Benchmark RC Viewer – I been talking about this one. It is the one that ends the use of a GPU table to figure out the default video settings for a new viewer install.

Maintenance RC Viewer – This one is a collection of fixes and feature improvements.

Meauxle Bureaux 2014 - Frost Mole

Meauxle Bureaux 2014 – Frost Mole

AISv3 Fixes aka Attachments RC Viewer – This is a viewer version created to fix problems with AISv3 that were holding up Firestorm Viewer development. The problems were Linden Lab problems and we could see them in the SL Viewers. But, the bugs were a reason the FS Team was not merging the code into their viewer. More on this later. The AIS fixes were moved into this RC Viewer and the code changed to solve issues and make for easier merging into third party viewers.

Oz says this set of code changes are relatively easy to merge and this is the RC Viewer now seen as most likely to promote soon. Continue reading