I've been quite busy working on a couple of OpenSim installs, one at home behind the firewall, and another one at a cheap hosted environment. Both installs run on Linux: one on CentOS (see my installation adventures here) and one on Fedora Core. Fedore proved to be the bigger challenge, because that one runs at the hosted environment. Their default install of Fedora does not include any development tools, so I had to download and install several packages (mono, nant, a whole lot of libraries and stuff) in order to be able to compile and run a mono based opensim environment. Maybe we should work on a comprehensive overview of what's needed in such an environment!
In the mean time, I've got the hang of downloading the code, installing and running the stuff, both in standalone and in grid mode. But, I think it's too early yet to allow others to use the environment. A teacher at my daughters' school has expressed interest in using my sim for educational purposes, and it's something I very much would like to do, but there's a couple of issues that may need to be solved before we're ready for that.
One of the most important issues in my opinion, is the lack of persistence in avatar customization, inbetween sessions. Every time you login to an opensim environment, you're reset to the default avatar - Ruth, a female. You can create new bodyparts and clothing, and you can wear those too, but once you logout, those modifications are (partly) gone. The next time you login, you have to go into your inventory and reselect the bodyparts and clothing you want to wear.
In grid mode, I have not been able to store new items in my inventory at all. Only the default inventory items are stored in the MySQL database, nothing new gets added. For a user, there is no inventory persistence in grid mode, it seems.
Another issue: customizations in terrain are not persistent between server reboots. Somehow, every time I restart the server, the terrain is reset to a relatively small flat pancake island. I've been experimenting with larger islands, and modified terrain, but I haven't been able to make much progress there - yet.
The good news is, these are known issues, and several of them are being worked on for the next release, 0.5. Remember, OpenSim is still alpha software which is being built by volunteers, so we can't and shouldn't expect everything to work. Tomorrow, I hope to take a look at the OpenSim Office hours, where OpenSim development will be discussed. That should be interesting.