Second Life Client GPL’ed

January 8th, 2007 by Crusader

Linden Lab issueda press release this morning to announce that their 3D virtual world Second Life client source code has beenreleased under the GPL:

“Open sourcing is the most important decision we’ve made in seven years ofSecond Life development. While it is clearly a bold step for us to proactivelydecide to open source our code, it is entirely in keeping with thecommunity-creation approach of Second Life,” said Cory Ondrejka, CTO of LindenLab. “Second Life has the most creative and talented group of users everassembled and it is time to allow them to contribute to the Viewer’sdevelopment. We will still continue Viewer development ourselves, but now thecommunity can add its contributions, insights, and experiences as well. Wedon’t know exactly which projects will emerge – but this is part of thevibrancy that makes Second Life so compelling.”
Linden Lab intends to incorporate certain code changes and enhancements intothe official version of the Second Life Viewer, which will only be availablefrom the Second Life website. All code developed outside Linden Lab’s in-houseengineering team will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure quality standards,stability and security. Support will continue to be given for the officialversion of the Viewer only, with third party projects unsupported by LindenLab.

Initial projects may include: bug fixes; improvements to compatibility withless common hardware configurations; support for additional multimedia types;User Interface changes; and potentially new look and feel ‘skins’ for theViewer itself. Timeframes for these enhancements will vary depending on thescale of the project and project team.

There’s also commentary on the move from FortuneMagazine and the LindenBlog:

While this initial step will open up what is essentiallythe user’s window into Second Life for modification, it will leave Linden Labin control of the proprietary software code for all Second Life’s backendservices – the server software that makes the world exist. However, executivessay that the company’s eventual intention is to release an open source versionof that software as well, once it has improved security and other corefunctions. They say they have been preparing for the open source move forabout three years.

There’s been an alpha version of theLinux client for Second Life for a while now; presumably this move willallow it to eventually achieve parity with the other platforms.

Documentation and the source code itself can be found at

6 Responses to “Second Life Client GPL’ed”

  1. grifter Says:

    while the client was called alpha, it has proven to be more stable and fullfeatured than many betas, it lacked only a few features that other clients had, and those were becoming scarce indeed, and it even touted a few features that the others didn’t have

    i hope many good things come of this

  2. zborgerd Says:

    I wasn’t expecting that!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    i only hate to use credit cards for payment. i would be interested to at least have a look at it

    anyway, thank you linden lab!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I know I might not score many points with all the OSS zealots, but thanks for what exactly?[br]SL is plain ugly and laggy. Linden Labs just tries to get free labour for their client, that’s all.[br] Nothing to be thankful about, really.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s a nickel, kiddo, get yourself a decent computer.

    in other news: foxes still complain about sour grapes.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I could be your father if your mom wasn’t so ugly. And to get back on topic, SL looks shitty even on my 7900, did you even try it before flamebaiting? I don’t think so..

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