changing regions & loading OARs for sim-on-a-stick


i was certain i had posted how to do change regions on sim-on-a-stick and that i had listed it on the SoaS blog posts page. but i had given similar instructions but in reference to changing texture files

first a little tech background – sim-on-a-stick is built with Diva’s D2 Distribution which is configured as one megaregion, not four individual regions. a megaregion has advantages for a private grid because it removes border crossings. the concept of regions (sims) is from Second Life but is also fundamental to OpenSim architecture

okay, so now you know why sim-on-a-stick is a megaregion but that only messes with loading terrain textures. if you do want to change from one megaregion to four regions, simple go to

soas073 (or soas073imp132) > diva-r18222-c > bin > config-include > DivaPreferences.ini

find the line that says - CombineContiguousRegions=true and change it to false and save it

the next time you start up your sim-on-a-stick you’ll have 4 “real” regions

google docshowever, you don’t need to do that for loading OARs – you only need to change the current region to the one you want to load your OAR file to. go to your OpenSim console panel and type change region simonastick 2 to put the focus on the second region and so on (below)

then do load oar c:\two.oar to load an OAR file named two.oar located in the root of the C drive, in this example. you can also load an OAR via a URL – 
load oar (details here)

in the spirit of being portable, or even to share with others, you can upload your OARs to Google Docs and set Sharing settings. now you can be totally spontaneous, download sim-on-a-stick, and snag your OARs if you have access to a Windows PC and an internet connection


Twitter Tumblr Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Delicious Facebook Plusone Pinterest Linkedin Tumblr Posterous Snailmail

written by Ener Hax

March 20th, 2012 at 6:30 am

21 comments to 'changing regions & loading OARs for sim-on-a-stick'

subscribe to comments with RSS or trackBack to 'changing regions & loading OARs for sim-on-a-stick'.

  1. Unless something changed which I am not aware of, if you have existing content on a mega region and wish to un-mega, you can’t just set the “CombineContiguousRegions=false” as that would break the content and data.

    You need to make OARS of the regions first, also best to backup the DB with MySqlDump before initiating a major change such as turning off MegaRegions. see below. Once the oars are made & things are backed up, then you can undo the MegaRegion with a modicum of safety for your content.

    There is more to it but it’s likely better for a full article to cover it properly.

    –MySql Dump–
    \mysqldump –opt -uDBUSER -pDBPW DBNAME > filename.sql

    where DBUSER is the user name assigned to access the MYSQL
    where DBPW is the password for that user account
    where DBNAME is the databasename
    where filename.sql is the target filename (note the extension is SQL)

    — MySQL Restore dump —
    \mysql –verbose –user=DBUSER –password=DBPW DBNAME < /filename.SQL


    20 Mar 12 at 8:18 am

  2. Hmmm the blog ate part of my post.

    Just before the \mysqldump & \mysql was



    20 Mar 12 at 8:20 am

  3. nicely put WhiteStar and perhaps a rationale to always use individual regions as the deafult and then move to megeregions if desired. i always build in terms of individual regions but taht is because i started in Second Life

    Aurora Sim does away with that concept

    now that you brought thgat up, do you think the “best” way to initially configure sim-on-a-stick is as 4 regions?

    would that allow less heartache later or if you wanted to use your content on something like Kitely? (hmm, good blog post!)

    thanks WhiteStar! =)

    Ener Hax

    20 Mar 12 at 8:39 am

  4. I use SoaS for my standalone mega and upgraded it to a 3 X 3 with no trouble. I also build everything and do terrains on a single OSgrid region then save and reload the oar to one of the mega regions after sellecting with region change as you explained above. I back up everything in OAR files before doing anything on the mega. I wish we had variable regions in Opensim as they do function better and faster and use a lot less resources.



    20 Mar 12 at 9:11 am

  5. :) Well from my personal experience and having helped the odd person here & there, my own take on it would be to stick with stock 256×256 regions in a 4 region config. The often small issues with Mega regions can create larger problems for folks down the road. Additionally Mega’s are still being refined and variations can cause issues if not addressed when things change in the core code, which means more comprehensive update & maintenance tools are needed for the average user to manage updates, changes etc.

    I would also point out that while Aurora created Variable Regions which in my opinion are far more suitable for more reasons than I’ll get into, it does require a patch for the viewers to make use of Variable & Infinite regions. The patch has no effect on standard or mega region operability/compatibility in the viewers. Ideally Linden Labs could adopt Var Regions as there is a vast marketing potential with that flexibility but the likelihood is < ALMOST_NILL. But given that they are moving to a "base user (free) / premium user $(std premium accnt with some extras) / premium + $$(premium with more bonuses/features)" model over the next 12+ months they could adapt that into the new marketing model, but … you know ;-)

    One of the great advantages I see with the Diva Distro is that she eliminated the use of XML assets in favour of using a master IAR to load default inventory. This provides a facility whereby any operator can choose to load default inventory as they desire it and with what content they wish to provide to all users. Sadly OpenSim Core has not adopted this method so the ability to provide premade objects, devices and several other types of content by default are extremely difficult if not virtually impossible. Note that Aurora-Sim adopted using IAR files for loading Default Inventory in the fall of 2010 for that reason.

    Sorry, I seemed to have diverged a little but leaving it to provoke thought & discussion & possible future blogging material for you. :D


    20 Mar 12 at 9:50 am

  6. wow WhiteStar! that was a well explained comment and quite informative, thank you very much. i will be changing SoaS to be 4 regions because its intent is to be a n00b starting point as well as a handy tool for established people

    the n00b aspect and the issues that can arise from a megaregion clearly point to the 256×256 region being the best choice

    i did not know that bout the IAR replacing XML. what is the language of an IAR file?

    Ener Hax

    20 Mar 12 at 2:17 pm

  7. I had an interesting experience with saving iar files and putting them in the library (as suggested by Diva). It worked a treat. However when I went to use them (as a different avatar) I couldn’t rez them straight from the library inventory. I’m new to this so perhaps you shouldn’t be able to do that but I found that I had to copy the items and then paste them into my local inventory. Thanks for the tips about regions.

    Lisa Jacka

    20 Mar 12 at 3:08 pm

  8. @Lisa That is the normal and expected behaviour of default assets which actually results in your getting your own “private” copy of the item in question. Every item is unique and subject to security, perms modifications etc and therefore if you want to do something with an item you have to have a unique copy of it or it would affect all other’s with the same object.

    @Ener IAR is a very extended XML plus DAT, + JP2 +++ all assembled into one archive. Default OpenSim uses an XML based inventory mechanism which you can see @ opensim\bin\assets which has some major limitations as there is no way to put assembled objects, shapes and various other forms of inventory there for all to access.

    On GRID systems, the default assets are provided by the grid itself & the Robust server whereas on a non-grid system, the assets are pulled from opensim\bin\assets and made available to the clients logging in. As this is the case, loading IAR @ Grid Level for default assets would enable any Grid Operator to provide a custom default set of assets for that specific grid.

    For example if I ran an RP Grid & wanted to provide default Combat Meters, Avatars & Avatar Accessories to fit within that RP environment then it could be easily accomplished but this is not the case with the default OpenSim XML loading process.

    If your “really curious” you can open an IAR file with 7Zip or other favourite archive manager as IAR’s & OARS are TAR.GZ files.


    20 Mar 12 at 3:45 pm

  9. Thanks White Star. What if I no longer want any OARs and want to go back to completely empty land. What do I do?

    Lisa Jacka

    20 Mar 12 at 5:31 pm

  10. load an empty OAR and that will delete everything or right-click on land and then About Land > Objects > Show > Return (works for only for the region 1 if you are megaregion)

    Ener Hax

    20 Mar 12 at 6:18 pm

  11. […] sim-on-a-stick uses Diva’s build of OpenSim which is one megaregion rather than four “standard” regions and tuesday’s post on how to change this configuration setting yielded some very thoughtful comments […]

  12. […] changing regions & loading OARs for sim-on-a-stick – mar 20 changing regions and uploading OARs […]

  13. Thank you Ener for this. I read this a while ago thinking I would not need to use it and the an Antarctica unit came along…Lol. The students will love being able to change their region so they can edit the terrain to make it more authentic for their learning topic.

    Kate Booth

    Kate Booth

    11 Oct 12 at 3:33 pm

  14. excellent Kate! i constantly forget all these things and often have to search Google, only to find that i mentioned it before!!!

    derr, in one ear and out the other with me!

    Antarctica sounds awesome – pot lots of student pics of their work! =)

    Ener Hax

    12 Oct 12 at 8:24 am

  15. Hi ener, i just wiped my 16 megaregion off my laptop. Could not make my oars scripts etc to work but for one that was on simonastick 1. It worked perfectly, also when i rez a prim and stretch it it turned black as spades. Scripts would not run save for root sim. Builds were phantom and felt like ghost walking through them only way upstairs was to fly through floors lol now that was a hoot. Have not figured out yet how to save my iars, read something bout putting them in bin folder but where in bin folder, i am such a noob i next step by step instructions please. Which folders to open in sequence. Hope you can figure out a way to give ppl option of having megas or regular regilns in one of your updates of simonastick. Thanks bunches. :)

    Shemira Atlass

    22 Oct 12 at 1:54 pm

  16. Oh almost forgot p.s. When i rez a prim it may or may not materialize, and if i does stay when i leave it and next time i log back on it is gone.

    Shemira Atlass

    22 Oct 12 at 1:57 pm

  17. hi Shemira, i am so sorry that you are having these issues. you are certainly persistent and not easily beat!

    have you tried the 16 region version that is on the soas site? or is it one you modded?

    Diva Cantos changed the way that megaregions should be turned on and off and it sounds as if that may be your issue

    see the image at the bottom of this for how it is done now:

    when i imported our 16 region build i did not have any issues with scripts (but i only have sit scripts, a few particle ones, and rotation scripts – but they did work)

    the phantom thing sounds like an issue that Diva and Dot addressed here:

    if all of this is confusing (it took me over a week and 4 tries to get our 16 regions onto SoaS) then maybe it’s best to wait ofr 0.7.5

    BUT . . . i think you can solve this

    now about the texture turning black! yikes, that sounds like a graphic card driver issue?

    Ener Hax

    22 Oct 12 at 3:27 pm

  18. Hello, I’m loving SOAS. It’s too bad I didn’t find it sooner. But, just so you know, it’s still an awesome program in 2013. It’s great being able to test build something without interruptions from groups and without the incredible cost of a full SL sim.

    Thanks for making it available. You’re an angel : )


    Christy Cobalt

    24 Oct 13 at 6:19 pm

  19. Hi, i uploaded 4 oars into the four regions seperately,and all works fine. Now i have the question, how can i combine these 4 oars and save them as 1 oar on my desktop? Hope this is possible.

    thanks for any ideas


    11 May 14 at 2:55 pm

  20. hi Rhada, yes it is possible to combine them! =)

    the default SoaS 4 region version should be as one OAR if you export it out

    here is some insight into that and when you check the DivaPreferences.ini file, you’ll be able to see if it is one mega region (CombineContiguousRegions=true)

    exdporting OARS:

    Ener Hax

    13 May 14 at 9:19 am

  21. Hi Ener,

    A couple of weeks back I downloaded a single region version of SOAS and began building. I have created a number of buildings made from ordinary prims, imported a number of mesh objects, embedded a number of reasonably simple scripts, and imported a range of textures for the buildings and other objects. As I added new items to the build I saved the whole region in an OAR file which I labelled progressively from 1 – 10 (so far). I also organised my inventory so that all of the things I built and imported are easy to find. Each time after saving a new OAR I would then load the newest version of the OAR and at the time everything went smoothly. I was able to re-log into the region and continue building. Now, a week later, when I try to fire up SOAS everything loads to the point where the line “[SCENE]: Loading objects from datastore” appears but then just hangs. I have tried waiting for up to ten minutes but still nothing further happens.

    I tried using a completely new, clean installation of SOAS and then loading my latest region. This worked fine and the region loaded with everything in it. However, all of the scripts, objects, textures, avatar appearance, etc. I had saved previously were no longer available.

    My question is, why is SOAS hanging at the point where objects are being loaded from the datastore? Is there something I have done wrong or overlooked? If you save a lot of things in your inventory does this overload SOAS so that it hangs?

    Any advice hugely appreciated.



    28 Jun 14 at 6:34 pm

leave a reply - add your thoughts

you can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>