OpenSim land area hits new high

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this month, a total of 6,405 new registered users and 33 new active users.

Region counts on the 40 largest public OpenSim grids.

Region counts on the 40 largest public OpenSim grids.

Virtual Worlds Grid and OSgrid gained more than 200 regions each, Kitely gained 163 regions, and Metropolis gained 122.

Meanwhile, of the 279 currently active public OpenSim grids, 219 reported their statistics this month, and their land area adds up to a total of 30,988 regions — 4,327 more than on Second Life.

This count does not include private grids, such as grids run behind school firewalls, or grids set up to run large corporate simulations, or the nearly 7,000 regions running on personal New World Studio installations.

OpenSim has an edge over Second Life when it comes to land because individuals can set up regions for free, or rent regions from a number of vendors competing on both price and service at about a tenth the price of similar Second Life regions.

However, as can be seen from the active user numbers, OpenSim still isn’t a match for Second Life in terms of the absolute size of community. As a result, people coming to OpenSim either bring their own communities with them — such as schools and role playing groups — or don’t need communities, such as independent builders and creators.


For company and school grids, relative popularity is not an issue — the grids are set up for a specific purpose, and if they meet that purpose, then they are successful. The same is true for grids run by niche communities or that serve a special purpose not found elsewhere.

But when it comes to general-purpose social grids, the rule of thumb is: the bigger and busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

With that in mind, here are the 10 most popular grids this month:

Kitely and AviWorlds both moved up in the rankings, with AviWorlds gaining 124 new active users over the past month, and Kitely gaining 109. All other grids gained less than 50 new active users each, or lost active users. Of the losers, Avination lost the most — 151 fewer actives than at this time last month. OSgrid had 94 fewer actives.

News from around the grids

There was a lot of Halloween and Octoberfest-related activity on the OpenSim grids this month, as listed in the activity report at the beginning of the month.

Please mark your calendars and send announcements to [email protected] near the end of October for the next grid news roundup. Announcements can include upcoming events, new merchants, new malls, major new builds and attractions, discounts and sales, new hires, help wanted announcements — anything that can be summarized in a paragraph or two. Please include snapshots and photos!

Kitely adds marketplace functionality with gifts and wishlists, eliminates listing fees

Kitely, the largest commercial OpenSim grid by land area, continued to attract new land owners and users by eliminating the listing fees on its marketplace. The company also promised merchants the ability to export all their listed items, along with descriptions and other marketplace-related metadata, allowing them to easily move their entire stores to other grids. Those other grids would need to enable import functionality, however.

Then, yesterday, Kitely continued its rapid pace of marketplace improvements with the roll-out of gifts and wishlists.

Kitely has become a popular destination with merchants due to the earning potential of selling to education and business users of the platform, as well as to the general population which previously did not have access to much of a commercial product selection in OpenSim. Some merchants are reporting hundreds of dollars in earnings, even though the market only opened recently.

The number of products available has increased from around 700 when the marketplace first launched to over 1,050 today,  in almost 1,700 different variations. In Kitely, the various versions of a product are all contained in a single listing — a merchant can sell the same item in different colors or styles, or with different permissions for different prices, all from the same product page.

Ilan Tochner

Ilan Tochner

Kitely also offers free tools to help merchants find and fix problems in their listings, free uploads, a free unlimited-access sandbox, and an entire free region of up to 100,000 prims and two hours of access a month — six hours, the first month.

“This means that content creators don’t have to spend any money out of pocket to use our offer and will only need to pay us a sales commission if they make money in Kitely Market,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

“Our initiative is being well received by content creators and we’re being approached by various merchants who’ve previously not had a presence outside of Second Life.”

Virtual Highway celebrates Halloween

Virtual Highway, a mid-sized commercial grid, saw a 26 percent jump in active users over the past month, some of whom may have been attracted by the grid’s Halloween-related activities.

Gene Call

Gene Call

“We have an amazing Halloween Sim that offers all the ‘spookiness’ of this fun holiday,” grid owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business. There are also two Halloween-themed building contests, a horror movie quiz trivia contest with cash prizes in the Virtual Highway currency.

The grid has also lowered its land prices, from $75 to $60 for a full region capable of holding up to 40,000 prims. Mainland regions of 15,000 prims are now $50, 5,000-prim homestead regions are $35 a month, and 1,000-prim water regions are $10 a month. Discounts are available for those who purchase multiple regions, as well as for educators and non-profits.

In addition, free 4,096 square foot parcels are available for residential use, capable of holding up to 312 prims.

In other grid news, RNP Animations has opened a full store on Virtual Highway, with a grand opening discount of 50 percent on all merchandise.


We’re listing 30 grids as suspended this month because we haven’t been able to get to their grid info pages or websites this month.

Meanwhile, we’ve added several new grids to our database, including W3DC-WorldConfederatioVRealmFine GridThoMaxGridDune, and the University of Augsburg’s 3DGrid.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.

The stats page for the Diva Distro, a user-friendly distribution of OpenSim, reported 2,152 downloads this month, for a grand total of over 26,000 downloads since the distribution was first released in May of 2011.

Sim-on-a-Stick, a packaged version of the Diva Distro, was downloaded 486 times this month, for over 23,000 downloads total since the distribution was first released in May 2011.

Both the Diva Distro and Sim-on-a-Stick were recently updated to OpenSim version 0.7.6, which offers increased performance, out-of-the-box support for groups and offline messages, better teleports, a few new scripting commands, and support for a new export permission.

The New World Studio, which allows people to set up private grids in just a few clicks with a fully automated installer, recently began publishing its usage statistics. As of today, it reports 6,985 regions on 1,530 different active grids running on this distribution of OpenSim.

Meanwhile, according to data from The Hypergates, the number of hypergate jumps on their network this month decreased by 201, to 2,833. The system now has 712 registered hypergates, up by 6 from last month, on 74 different grids.

This data is very limited, however. For example, not all hypergates are part of The Hypergates network — anyone can create their own hypergate by dropping a script on any object, such as our touch or walk-through single-destination hypergate script. In addition, many people do hypergrid jumps without using any gate at all, simply by typing a hypergrid address into Map-Search, or by using a hypergrid landmark created during a previous jump. There is currently no way of tracking that traffic.

Meanwhile, Second Life continued to lose land, according to data from GridSurvey, with 131 fewer regions today than the same time last month. The Second Life grid now has 26,661  regions total, down 1,977 regions from this time last year, and 5,224 fewer regions than its peak in June of 2010. According to GridSurvey, the last time the grid was this small was in May of 2009.

October Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 718 different publicly-accessible grids, 279 of which were active this month, and 219 of which published their statistics. There were a total of 30,988 regions, 338,424 registered users, and 21,189 active users on those 219 grids.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is hereA list of all active grids is here.

Related Posts'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

21 Responses

  1.' Ener Hax says:

    “OpenSim still isn’t a match for Second Life in terms of community”

    i beg to strongly differ!!!

    when it comes to quality of community, rather than quantity, there is no match for OpenSim

    as a total, and undeniable proof of this, i spend many hours alone on Sim-on-a-Stick and absolutely love its community – me! =D

  2.' Ener Hax says:

    lol =)

    btw, thank you for tracking and analysing all of this

  3.' Joe Builder says:

    Maria is there a way to list the Closed Grids, Or walled ones many call them? be nice to see a list of the ones who don’t use Hypergate vs the ones who do.

    • If you look at the list of all the currently active grids — — you will see that some of them have hypergrid addresses.

      The rest either are closed, or I don’t know whether they’re hypergrid enabled or not.

      As a general rule, the large social commercial grids tend to be closed, while non-profit, group, and smaller grids are open. A small grid sees a net benefit from being open — people can teleport in easily from other grids to check it out, attend events, shop at stores — and local residents can teleport out to have access to a wider array of products and people than they would on just the small grid. If a small grid decided to stay closed, it would have a hard time attracting content creators because there aren’t enough people there to sell stuff to, and local residents would start to get antsy because there wasn’t much stuff to do and nobody to do it with.

      A large grid, however, has motivation to stay closed — many merchants prefer to sell their goods on closed grids believing (erroneously) that their content is therefore safer from hackers and copybotters. Closed grids do, however, make it hard for legitimate, honest consumers to make personal backup copies of the content they buy.

      I guess you can see where my sympathies lie. 🙂 But then, I do have the word “hypergrid” right in the title of this blog. So that should be a hint!

      Many grids also have serious, legitimate reasons to stay closed — school grids who have compliance issues, companies using grids for internal training, product development and simulations, government agencies using grids for meetings, planning and training — they all want to keep their stuff private. I have no way of finding out about the existence of such grids, or count their numbers, unless they personally come up to me and tell me, or issue a press release, like the Forsyth Schools’ Noble grid guys did.

  4.' Vanish says:

    “OpenSim land area hits new high” – is this going to be the eternal headline every month from now on? Because I think we can pretty much assume it’s going to happen every month.

    •' Minethere says:

      “OpenSim land area hits new high – really, really good pot to blame” [just an idea to change it up a bit]

      •' Sarge Misfit says:

        Gotta do something about that Wookie Wowee Weed. After all, everybody knows that WWW is a gateway to more addictive things, like HTTPS

      •' Vanish says:

        In other news: “Web is growing bigger. Website numbers hit a new high.”

        •' Minethere says:

          “More people are being born by the second. More people equals more internet users equals more OpenSim regions!!!”

          [thinks we got some great new title names going here]

          • Ha ha ha. Very funny.

            But would you prefer to have the opposite headline? OpenSim land area drops to three-year low?

            All of these regions have a cost. A cost in computer power, time, and, often, money. Plus, the cost of figuring out what the hell OpenSim is to start with. So I’m always happy to see growth!

            But yes, I was lazy and couldn’t think of another headline this month. The only other big news in the article was Kitely, and people already think I’m their pet stooge. 🙂

          •' Minethere says:

            hehe-)) “pet stooge” omg!! next headline suggestion:

            “OpenSim reaches new highs, so say the OpenSim pet Stooge”

            [just knowz one of these will show up next month]-))))) [prefers the pot one tho, so far]

    •' Joe Builder says:

      Vanish got a point there, Just added 9 more regions 🙂

  5.' Joe Builder says:

    Seems more and more people are into the mega regions these days, Lot of grids are growing in size by adding megas. Numbers to tend to add up.

    •' Gaga says:

      If variable size regions technology finds it’s way into Opensim from Aurora, which seems like it may happen soon, then counting regions will loose meaning. Might have to find another metric like land area.

      • This has already come up with a couple of Aurora-Sim-based grid owners — they can submit standard region equivalents, instead. This should be relatively easy, as most Aurora-Sim variable regions are just multiples of standard regions. If they do weird sizes, I guess they can take the square meters on the entire grid, then divide it by the square meters of a standard region.

        I’m not seeing a lot of use of variable Aurora-Sim regions yet, however. There would probably be problems moving those OAR files to standard OpenSim installs, issues with viewer support, etc…

        I hope that eventually the coolest features of Aurora-Sim — such as infinite regions — will be folded back into mainline OpenSim, and we’ll all be on the same path again.

      •' Joe Builder says:

        Probably, But now we have Mega Regions very simple to do, extremely stable if you don’t abuse it. One day hopefully when things settle a Aurora type will be looked into. I have set up a few 100 region megas and went as bold to do a 225 region. But from home PC’s if you don’t have a good machine 4×4 (16 Regions) should be max. Myself I do run a 35 region and a 16 region from my home PC with never a issue. I think the new grid Ingen-labs runs two 64 region megas

  6.' Markus says:

    Maria, thanks for naming 3DGrid in your article. But I have to correct the statement. 3DGrid is not the Grid of University of Augsburg. It is a Grid, I provide also to the University of Augsburg to host there educational projects, but not only. Over the time, 3DGrids main purpose is to provide a 3D platform for immersive education for free. we have arround 245 users, of which arround 45 to 60 are working on projects during every semester. Note: 3DGrid is HG enabled and is using Vivox as Voice. As it is free, I also decided, to implement no currency system – but I’m on the way, to add virtual currency (with no real money behind it), to enable also educational projects with commercial scope.

    At the moment I switch over the current OpenSimulator Software to the new 0.7.6-Release and I also consolidate all services on the main URL instead of using a seperate The Grid will be accessible up from the beginning of November. Registration is free for everyone and I will re launch the web site arround 3DGrid at the same time. This was necessary, to switch over for example the Group functionallity to the new V2 Groups delivered now by OpenSimulator core code. Also do I want to add the possibillity of having some ‘intercultural’ exchange and maybe joint projects between different educational service providers (Universities, K12 schools, etc.).

    The explenation of the projects of the university will be delivered through the 3DGrid Web and will also be translated from German language to English, so that everyone can read, what the University is doing on the Grid in particulary. Everyone who is interested in the projects, or even in the way, I manage the software, infrastructure, etc., is more then wellcome to either register on the Grid or to post me a message through

    Thanks and Regards

  7.' Guest says:

    Maria, thank you for naming 3DGrid in your article. I’ve just to correct something. 3DGrid is not the Grid of University of Augsburg. It’s a free Grid, that I offer also to University of Augsbur for their educational projects, but not only for the University. The main purpose of 3DGrid is, to offer the possibillity, doing educational projects for free but of course also to provide a Grid for everyone, who may want to participate or is simply interested in 3D activities and virtual worlds.

    At the moment, I’m in the middle of a major Grid upgrade, which also affects other services (expecially the web service, which will become part of The reason is, that I switch over for example the group functionallity from flotsam/jopensim to the core V2 groups. This in fact adds value to the grid and makes future maintanance of the Grid and the web easier.

    I also want to enable some kind of ‘intercultural’ projects, where Universities, Schools, etc. can work together in one Grid. I guess, this will add value to the single projects and removes borders.

    Some words about the technique and future plans: 3DGrid is voice enabled with Vivox and of course HG enabled. There’s no currency yet, because I have no intention to earn money with the Grid. But I’m thinking of enabling a ‘virtual’ currency, so that also commercial projects (which maybe simulates cash flow and commercial impacts on certain situations/simulations) can be performed.

    I’m more then happy, if people, who are interested in the Grid or the Projects, register for the Grid or in the Web once the services will be enabled latest early November this year. Some, who only want to get in contact with me or want to know more about scope, technique or whatever, can just post a message though

    Thanks and Regards
    Markus (3DGrid)

  8.' Manel says:

    the bigest problem that stop open sims to grow , its a litlle nich of market dont want resolve the problem of ; ( when 85% of people i talk ) after seeting all the region still close , ( UDP & TCP % firewall & after ???? ) SL doesn´t have that problem , if we pay all those problems gone , free way ? ( my stupid opinion , some people wish that issues remain so they can sell and land their land) when the creator of open sim wanted open Free