Saturday 14 April 2012

Getting Started With Open Wonderland

I've been looking to build a 3D environment for our home education Lego League team to hold virtual meetings.  After a couple of false starts I'm working my way towards a functioning Open Wonderland server.

The Basic Setup

I've got an old laptop running a headless Debian installation.  I've put the Sun/Oracle JRE on the server.  For then it was a very straightforward job to download the jar file and fire it up.  It took a while on the slow old laptop for the server to get itself started, but once it was ready it politely told me the URL to connect to.  Over to the client PC and the server's URL took me to a page to down load a Java JNLP file from which the client sprung into life.  I soon had an avatar going and was merrily walking around the Open Wonderland world.

Audio Problems

The main set up problem I had was that I couldn't get the Audio to work from the server.  A little bit of tweaking with the Windows Control Panel got the client audio going, but I couldn't get anything back from the server.  I headed over to the Open Wonderland community pages to find some help.  My first port of call was the IRC channel.   There was no sign of life there, so I next tried the Google Group. There was at least some discussion taking place on the group.  I posted a "please help the newbie" message and left it for the evening.  The next  day I had had no response from the group, so I dived into trying to figure out the problem myself.  Locating the log files was less than obvious.  The root of the log file directory was in .wonderland-server below the home directory of the user that I had used to run the server.  Digging into the ~/.wonderland-server/0.5/log directory I found the voice_bridge.log file.   Delving through the log file I spotted that the "Bridge private address" was set to  I figured that would mean none of the server audio traffic would be being routed between client and server.  A small amount of digging into the server's /etc/hosts file found the name of the server being mapped to  I tweaked that to the IP address of the ethernet card, restarted everything and hey presto the audio worked.

I've since had three clients with audio running simultaneously on the home LAN.  Next job is to set up the server on the public internet and see what the performance is like with remote users.

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