• 02Nov

    Tired of those beautiful, photo-realistic sunsets? That new-fangled Windlight rendering engine slow your compy to a crawl? Want to relive the good old days, back when voice chat was new and strange, and Linden Lab even bothered to pretend to communicate with its customers?

    Well now you can!

    … Actually, you’ve been able to do so for a long, long time — ever since the Día de Liberación back in summer 2007. One of the benefits of “message liberation” was that you wouldn’t need to download a new SL viewer just because they made some server changes; old viewers would continue to work with new sims.

    And in fact, that has held true, even to today. The only thing stopping you from using a 1.18-series (pre-Windlight) viewer is that annoying “You must download the latest version to continue” message, which is easily bypassed with a trick I’ll describe below.

    But what of that mandatory security update in early October? Or the security update and protocol switch from UDP to HTTPS less than two weeks before that? Wouldn’t those issues prevent old viewers from connecting?

    Apparently not. As of this writing, even 1.19 and 1.18 viewers (but not 1.17 or other older, “unliberated” viewers) can connect to SL with nary a hitch, though they’re probably still susceptible to the security issues mentioned above. As usual, the purportedly required updates are, in fact, not.

    So, what is this trick, this secret knowledge needed to bypass the download prompt and log in with older viewers? Change the channel. It’s an old trick, though there was some concern that it wouldn’t work anymore since the change to HTTPS. Fortunately, those concerns have not come to pass, and the SL servers seem perfectly happy to use UDP with older viewers.

    Changing the channel is easy. The viewer application takes a parameter, “–channel CHANNEL”, which sets the channel to use. The process for giving that parameter varies between operating systems. The processes are described on the SL wiki, but I’ve included a brief overview below.

    • Windows: Create a shortcut to the older SecondLife.exe. Open up the shortcut’s properties (right click > Properties) and edit the shortcut path. After SecondLife.exe but before the closing quotation mark After the closing quotation mark, add: --channel Happydays
    • Mac: Open up the terminal and run these two commands (adjust the first path if your Second Life app isn’t in Applications):

      cd "/Applications/Second Life.app/"
      echo "--channel Happydays" >> Contents/Resources/arguments.txt

      (Mac users, leave a comment if the above solution didn’t work for you. I don’t have a Mac handy to test it!)

    • Linux: Run the viewer as: secondlife --channel Happydays

    You should now be able to log in to SL with your retro viewer version. Enjoy, good night, and good luck!

    P.S. Don’t have the installer for the old viewer laying around? No worries, they’re still available for download. Mad props to McCabe Maxsted for putting that wiki page together!


    Posted by Jacek Antonelli @ 11:49 pm

5 Responses

WP_Cloudy
  • Alexandra Daikon Says:

    AWESOME post!

    My puter does not like windlight too much and I can’t even see half of the cool features of it (no clouds for me and it looks like I’m in a box :() not to mention I get around 5fps so getting an older version is FAB!

    Only thing is there is a little bit in here that gave me some trouble:
    Windows: Create a shortcut to the older SecondLife.exe. Open up the shortcut’s properties (right click > Properties) and edit the shortcut path. After SecondLife.exe but before the closing quotation mark, add: –channel Happydays

    Particularly:After SecondLife.exe but before the closing quotation mark, add: –channel Happydays

    It should be added AFTER closing quotation mark- if you add it BEFORE the end quote then you get an error. Luckily Johan Yugen straightened that out for me. Those of us that don’t know puters very well may get caught up on that wording.

    Other than that awesome job :D Lurve it!

    –Alexa

  • Peter Stindberg Says:

    My standard viewer is Nicholaz BE-w based on 1.18.5 – no glow, no Windlight, but rock solid and fast. If I need Windlight to take some ‘pretteh piccies’ I use Nicholaz EC-g, based on 1.19.x

    I can only recommend both viewers. Nicholaz has made new versions of both a few weeks ago to account for the security fixes.

  • Ana Lutetia Says:

    Thank you so much!!

  • achariya Says:

    Sadly, the Mac trick didn’t work and I’ve got to deal with super-fail 1.22 =_=

  • White Hyacinth Says:

    This post is a lifesaver!
    Thank you very much. :)