What is an OAR?

Around the Open Simulator community, we hear things like "save your OAR" or "get an OAR from Outworldz". For the non-technical users learning to host their own regions or grids, OAR is an acronym for OpenSimulator Archive. It is a file type that can contain all of the assets of a region, its terrain, and its parcels. In other words, an OAR can be a complete backup of a virtual world known as a region in OpenSimulator. This feature allows a region owner to save and restore "backups" of their region.

Why do some grids not allow users to save their own OARs?

Unfortunately, this feature is often a topic of controversy associated with intellectual property theft. If we better understand the concerns and how to address them, we can eliminate the vast majority of controversy. If the OAR to be saved contains content that is all created by its owner, there is no issue.

With the evolution of the HyperGrid, marketplaces, and self-hosted regions or grids, it is common for a region to contain assets created by multiple users. The controversy arises for these regions - especially when they contain assets from creators on other grids. When these OARs are saved using the default 'save oar filename.oar' console entry, creator information is not preserved in the archive so the information is not available when loaded.

As a result, content creators often have concerns about their content being "appropriated" by OpenSimulator users. The vast majority of default OAR saves may result in unintentional appropriation.

What is appropriation?

This is the action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission. In this case, if an OAR is saved without preserving creator information, when the OAR is loaded, the new owner appears to be the creator of all assets in the OAR which is not accurate. This is the source of the controversy. While statistically miniscule, intentional appropriation is never acceptable - this constitutes intellectual property theft which should always be reported.

How can an OAR that contains assets created by different users be saved "properly"?

Despite what you may have been told, there is a way to preserve the creator information! I recommend it as a standard practice so you can share your OARs at any point in the future without having to resave them before sharing. Here is an example:

Let's say:

  1. You own a region called MyRegion and you have access to the region console.
  2. You want to preserve creator information.
  3. You decide you want to save only the assets that have copy and transfer permissions.
  4. You have a folder under bin called oars where you want to save it.

To save the OAR, on the region console, you type:

save oar --publish --perm=CT oars/MyRegion.oar

Using --publish, objects in the saved oar are stripped of owner, last owner, land, and group association. This switch preserves creator information but group and land associations may need to be manually reassigned if used as a backup.

Using --perm, objects with insufficient permissions will not be saved to the OAR. The user whose permissions are checked is the estate owner. This can be useful for grids that allow their customers to export their regions to OARs, because it ensures that exporting to OAR can't be used to bypass content permissions.

To load the OAR, on the console type:

load oar oars/MyRegion.oar

When an archive is loaded, owners will be restored if the relevant UUIDs can be found in the OpenSimulator installation's user database. Otherwise, prim ownership will default to the master avatar for the region.

The loaded OAR in this example will have all creator information preserved and only assets for which the estate owner had copy and transfer permissions when the OAR was saved.

This process was validated when saving IMA Outpost Alpha after recent items from different creators were added to the region. The OAR was loaded on a different grid with a different estate owner with creator information preserved.

Suggestion for Developers: Based on currently available documentation in the wiki, perhaps these switches should be on by default so that typing 'save oar' in the console will preserve creator information and only save assets with estate manager copy and transfer permissions to a file named region.oar in the bin folder. Also, perhaps it is time to add switches for preserving group and land associations.


Written by Lisa Laxton

CEO, Infinite Metaverse Alliance LLC


This article was written for stable version Release Post-fix where the method recommended was tested. For more information, see http://opensimulator.org/wiki/OpenSim_Archives


We conducted this survey last year to focus our efforts on user needs. The survey is open again for 2018! We would like to hear from you as we get ready to release new viewers focused on Open Simulator. Thanks again to all those who participated last year and for those who participate this year. :) Please share the survey widely so we hear from many voices! Here is the link:




From Jo Querrien


Managing your inventory keeps your contribution to the load on inventory servers down, and also speeds up your teleporting and decreases the lag spike (for everyone in the region including you) caused when you enter a new region.  Also, it makes FINDING what you want much easier.  Everyone's inventory  will look a little different, because your inventory should be set up the way that makes it easiest for YOU to use, not someone else.

1) Start NOW.  The bigger your inventory is when you get started, the more work it will take to get it under control.

2) ORGANIZE FIRST.  Sort things in a way that makes sense to YOU, and sort EVERYTHING. (tips for this later)

3) Get rid of low hanging fruit (duplicate landmarks, unnecessary notecards, copies of things, anything named "Primitive", or stuff you'll never use).  Just delete them.

4) Once you have everything sorted so you can FIND things, packing things into boxes helps a LOT in lowering your inventory.

5) The Outfits folder - useful tool or useless load on the inventory server?



41 Public Working Groups (12 Active, 10 Forming, 19 TBD)

Status WG Leader WG Intersections



WG15: Virtual World Design for Accessibility

Forming Timber Wolfe 11 WGs: 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13
Research best practices in virtual world design for accessibility. Avacon to host Accessibility Center.         

WG16: Disabilities in Virtual Worlds

TBD Leader needed 11 WGs: 15, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13
Research number of and type of people with disabilities using virtual worlds.         

WG38: Virtual World User Interface Design

Forming Leader needed 12 WGs: 15, 16, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13, 32
Web-based and client viewer user interface design research focus group.         



WG25: Intellectual Property Concerns

Active Mike Lorrey 3 WGs: 26, 23, 24
Research intellectual property concerns associated with virtual content.         

WG26: Virtual Currency Issues

Active Mike Lorrey 3 WGs: 25, 23, 24
Research and discuss FinCEN and IRS rules for virtual currencies.         

Community Interests   


WG27: Surveys on Accessibility

TBD Leader needed 11 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13
Conduct community surveys to collect ideas on improving accessibility to support research.         

WG28: Web-based Virtual World Testing

Active Shawn Maloney 3 WGs: 34, 41, 31
Collect data on web-based viewer options and conduct comparison testing to support research.         

WG29: Publications and Presentations

Active Lisa Laxton 3 WGs: 19, 20, 21
Research publication and presentation opportunities.         

WG30: Research Commons

TBD Leader needed 1 WG: 39
Document creative commons content projects to support research.         

WG31: Test Management

Active Selby Evans 5 WGs: 28, 35, 36, 37, 45
Objective: support development of open source software for user-built virtual worlds.         

WG35: HTML5 Viewer General Use Testing

TBD Leader needed 2 WGs: 32, 31
Web-based viewer research focus group for general use.         

WG41: Community Website and Worlds

Complete Shawn Maloney 1 WG: 28
Build community website for infinitemetaverse.org and build community welcome center region.         

WG46: Best Practices in 3D Mesh Modeling

Forming Leader needed  
Share best practices in 3D mesh modeling for virtual world technologies in IMA's knowledge base.        

WG47: Open Simulator User Generated Content Tutorials

Forming Leader needed  
Create or share Open Simulator User Generated Content Tutorials in IMA's knowledge base.      

WG48: Video Capture Tools

Forming Leader needed  
List and compare video capture tools for virtual world activities in IMA's knowledge base.        

WG49: Free and Open Source Software: 3D Modeling Resources

Forming Leader needed  
List free and open source software used for 3D Modeling in virtual worlds in IMA's knowledge base.        



WG32: HTML5 Viewer for Open Simulator

TBD Lisa Laxton 7 WGs: 35, 36, 37, 4, 2, 13, 38
Web-based Open Simulator viewer research and development.         

WG33: Open Simulator Client Viewer Research

Active Lisa Laxton 7 WGs: 8, 6, 2, 4, 17, 45, 34
Dedicated Open Simulator client viewer research and development.         

WG7: TTS/STT Accessibility

Active Lisa Laxton 11 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13
Improve server software accessibility to support research.         

WG8: Viewer Accessibility Issues

TBD Tim Elliot 12 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13, 33
Improve viewer software accessibility to support research.         



WG21: Opportunity Research

Active Lisa Laxton 4 WGs: 19, 20, 29, 11
Research topics of interest and grant opportunities.         

WG22: 504/508 Compliance

Active Lisa Laxton 11 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 17, 37, 4, 2, 13
Document 504 and 508 compliance issues to support research projects using virtual worlds.         

WG36: HTML5 Viewer EDU/GOV Testing

TBD Leader needed 2 WGs: 32, 31
Web-based viewer research focus group for education and government use.         

WG39: Onboarding Study

TBD Leader needed 1 WG: 30
Study ways to minimize the learning curve and improve bootstrapping/onboarding.         



WG5: Virtual Worlds and Synthetic Training Environments

TBD Leader needed  
Research virtual worlds and synthetic training environment open source software.         

WG6: Virtual World Hardware/Software Matrix

Forming Leader needed 1 WG: 33
Develop hardware/software compatibility matrix tool to support research and enterprise planning for use of virtual worlds.         

Grid Security   


WG10: Best Practices for Administrative Grid Monitoring

TBD Leader needed  
Research best practices in authentication and monitoring.         

WG9: Virtual World Technology Vulnerabilities

TBD Leader needed  
Research and document vulnerabilities of virtual world grid technologies.         

Human Computer Interface   


WG17: Accessibility Devices

Forming Leader needed 12 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 37, 4, 2, 13, 33
Research devices available to improve accessibility.         

WG18: HCI Research Topics

TBD Leader needed  
Research topics in rehabilitation using virtual reality and brain machine interfaces.         

WG37: HTML5 Accessibility Testing

TBD Leader needed 14 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 4, 2, 13, 32, 31, 14
Web-based viewer device testing group.         



WG23: Marketing and Outreach

Forming Selby Evans 3 WGs: 24, 25, 26
Research virtual world software opportunities to support greater adoption.         

WG24: Business Opportunities

TBD Lisa Laxton 3 WGs: 23, 25, 26
Research and propose small business innovation research topics.         



WG3: Inter-grid Interoperability (IGI)

Forming Lisa Laxton 6 WGs: 1, 2, 42, 45, 12, 14
Develop inter-grid interoperability (IGI) specification for virtual world platforms.         

WG4: Accessibility

TBD Leader needed 13 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 2, 13, 32, 33
Develop applicable accessibility specification for virtual world and virtual reality technologies.         



WG1: Virtual Currency Standards

Forming Lisa Laxton 3 WGs: 3, 42, 12
Research applicable security and virtual economy standards for virtual world and virtual reality technologies.         

WG2: Accessibility Standards

Forming Lisa Laxton 14 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 13, 32, 33, 3
Research applicable accessibility standards for virtual world and virtual reality technologies.         

WG42: Standards Intelligence

Forming Lisa Laxton 5 WGs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 45
Monitor and communicate applicable software standards changes to working groups.         

WG45: IMA Standards, Testing & Evaluation

Active Lisa Laxton 4 WGs: 31, 33, 3, 42
Working Group to explore creating a set of standards for testing OpenSim and other Virtual World systems.         



WG19: Training Research Topics

TBD Leader needed 4 WGs: 29, 20, 21, 11
Research topics of interest and grant opportunities.         

WG20: Augmented Reality and Blended Learning

TBD Leader needed 3 WGs: 19, 29, 21
Research augmented and blended training topics.         

Transaction Security   


WG11: HIPAA/FERPA Compliance

Forming Leader needed 2 WGs: 19, 21
Research encryption methods for virtual worlds for HIPAA and FERPA compliance.         

WG12: National Security Concerns Affecting Virtual Currency

TBD Leader needed 2 WGs: 1, 3
Research national security implications and risks associated with virtual currencies.         

User Interface Design   


WG13: 504/508 Software Compliance

Active Lisa Laxton 12 WGs: 15, 16, 38, 27, 7, 8, 22, 17, 37, 4, 2, 32
Research software development requirements associated with 504 and 508 standards compliance.         

WG14: W3C Usability Guidelines

Active Lisa Laxton 2 WGs: 37, 3
Research applicable W3C guidelines for usability and accessibility testing.         

WG34: Best Practices in User Interface Design

TBD Leader needed 2 WGs: 28, 33
Web-based and client viewer user interface design research.         

19 Private Working Groups (8 Public View Projects, 11 Internal Projects)


IMA Innovation Center

Forming LC TBD

IMA Halcyon Test Grid

Complete IMA Decommisioned

IMA R&D Server

Complete IMA Decommisioned

IMA Webcom Server

Complete IMA Decommisioned

IMA Project Management Site

Active IMA  Moving to a new server

IMA Open Simulator Test Grid

Complete IMA  Decommisioned

IMA Helios Test Grid

Active IMA  Moving to a new server

IMA Community Grids

Active IMA  Moving to a new server

IMA WhiteCore-sim Test Grid

Active IMA  Moving to a new server

IMA Expo Grid

Active IMA  Moving to a new server

IMA Outposts

Active IMA  Alpha build complete and moved to production server, Beta design complete with build in work, Gamma to be used for proposed perpetual "world's fair" hyperport, Delta to be used for shopping hyperport

WebWorldz Development

Active Multiple Much progress made during development of two systems (Cybalounge and Web-Worldz) - testing support by IMA continues.


From Jo Querrien


In real life, we are all individuals.  We can be individuals in virtual worlds, too.  All it takes is being willing to experiment (and don't worry - you can always go back to the look you have now).  ALWAYS make a copy of anything other than a default item before modifying it!  Here are the basics:

A)  Every avatar MUST have shape, skin, eyes, and hair/eyebrow shaper.  ALL of them are things you can make yourself (with varying degrees of difficulty).

B)  Every avatar CAN have attachments and/or system clothing/tattoos, and alpha layers to disappear parts of the body. These are all also things you can make yourself (with varying degrees of difficulty).

C) An avatar can be saved in a folder to make it easy to "get dressed" or completely change your look.