Viewer parameters

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For versions of Second Life prior 1.20 see: Pre 1.20 Client parameters

Using Viewer parameters

There are many ways of passing command line parameters to the Viewer.

Command line

When running the Viewer from a command shell you may specify parameters directly on the command line. For example, on Windows:

SecondLife.exe --channel "Test 123"  --settings settings_workspace.xml --set InstallLanguage en

Add --args on Mac:

open ./Second\ Life\ --args --channel "Test 123"  --settings settings_workspace.xml --set InstallLanguage en

Settings Files

On all platforms, you can also construct a settings file and specify that with the --sessionsettings command line switch. Please see the table below to understand the settings variables engaged by each command-line switch.

If you edit the user_settings/settings.xml file, that affects future Second Life sessions initiated from your OS account.

Alternatively, you can edit the first_last/settings.xml file, which affects only Second Life sessions for that login user. For example, if your Second Life name is "FooBar Baz", you should find that file in foobar_baz/settings.xml. (Caution: this file uses a different XML format than the other settings files.)

Mac OS X AppleScripts

An alternative (and often easier) way to launch Second Life with command line parameters is to use an AppleScript.

Follow these steps:

  1. In /Applications/AppleScript open Script Editor.
  2. Open a new document and paste the following text into it:
    do shell script "\"/Applications/Second Life\" -grid Aditi"

    The script includes an example parameter that will cause the Viewer to log in to the beta grid; change the parameters as desired.

  3. Once you're happy with the parameters, click "Compile"
  4. Choose File > Save As
  5. Save the script as an Application, and select "Run Only" (may be "Execute" on OS X.4 Tiger). If you want to tweak the script then you can save it as not run-only, and/or save a copy as "Script".

Double-click the application you've compiled to launch the Viewer with the specified parameters.

NOTE: If the Viewer launches then immediately quits, open it normally since there is likely an update available: download it and your script will work again. There is a JIRA issue for this.

Visual Studio

In Visual Studio, the command line paramaters are in the Debug Options pane of the newview project preferences. Ensure newview is your startup project, and launch the compiled viewer from within the debugger for these options to take effect.


In XCode, first select "newview" under the "Executables" group in XCode. Then open the "Get Info" dialog and click the "Arguments" tab. Add any of the following options to the "Arguments to be passed on launch" pane.

Parameter reference

NOTE: A parameter refers to a directive provided on the command-line following a double-dash (--). An argument is a value provided for a parameter. For example in --port 13001, "port" is the parameter and "13001" is the argument.

Parameter Argument (if any) Description Overridden Setting
--analyzeperformance None Compare gathered metrics with baseline. Must be used with --logmetrics or --logperformance. AnalyzePerformance
--autologin None Login in as last saved user. AutoLogin
--channel <name> Channel name Specify version channel name. (For Testing) CmdLineChannel
--console <show> TRUE or FALSE Show a debugging console (Windows only) ShowConsoleWindow
--cooperative <ms to yield> Milliseconds to yield per frame Yield specified time to host on each frame. YieldTime
--crashonstartup None Crashes on startup. For debugging. CrashOnStartup
--debugsession None Run as if RenderDebugGL is TRUE, but log errors until end of session. DebugSession
--debugviews None Enable UI view debugging information. DebugViews
--disablecrashlogger None Disables the crash logger and lets the OS handle crashes. DisableCrashLogger
--drop <percentage> Percentage to drop (0 - 100) Specify a percentage of packets to drop. PacketDropPercentage
--god None Login in god mode if you are authorized. ConnectAsGod
--graphicslevel integer level override the level that would be selected based on your gpu RenderQualityPerformance
--grid <grid name> Grid name Specify the grid to connect to. Must specify either a hard-coded grid (agni or aditi), or one defined in grids.xml CmdLineGridChoice
--help None Show a message box with available options listed. N/A
--helperuri <URI> Obsolete- no longer supported. May only be set in the grid definition (grids.xml)
--ignorepixeldepth None Ignore pixel depth settings. IgnorePixelDepth
--inbw <bits> Bits per second Specify input bandwidth limit. InBandwidth
--loginpage <URL> Obsolete- no longer supported. May only be set in the grid definition (grids.xml)
--loginuri <URI> Obsolete- no longer supported. May only be set in the grid definition (grids.xml)
--logfile <filename> File name Specify a file name for log output. UserLogFile
--login <firstname> <lastname> <password> Account first name, last name, and password with which to log in. Specify login values. UserLoginInfo
--logmetrics MetricName Log metrics data in MetricName.slp. See Performance Testers for details. LogMetrics
--logperformance None Log performance data in performance.slp. See Performance Testers for details. LogPerformance
--multiple None Allow multiple viewers running concurrently. AllowMultipleViewers
--no-verify-ssl-cert None Disable SSL certificate verification. NoVerifySSLCert
--noaudio None Disable sound from the client. NoAudio
--noinvlib None Do not request inventory library. NoInventoryLibrary
--nopreload None Disable precaching of sound and bitmaps used by the client. NoPreload
--noprobe None Disable hardware checking at startup. NoHardwareProbe
--noquicktime None Disable use of quicktime by the client. NoQuickTime
--nosound None Disable sound from the client. NoAudio
--novoice None Disable voice chat. CmdLineDisableVoice
--outbw <bits> Bits per second Specify output bandwidth limit. OutBandwidth
--port <n> Port number Set the TCP port for the client; useful to run multiple instances of SL on the same local home network. Values that may work: 13000 and 13001 (Valid numbers are 13000 to 13050) UserConnectionPort
--purge None Force the client to clear cached downloads during startup. PurgeCacheOnNextStartup
--qa None Enable UI features for used for testing. QAMode
--quitafter <secs> Number of seconds to wait before quitting Have the client quit after the specified duration. QuitAfterSeconds
--replaysession None Use a saved autoplay file to perform viewer actions automatically. Must be used with --autologin. ReplaySession
--rotate None Force the avatar to rotate to the right. (For Testing) RotateRight
--safe None Reset preferences and run in safe mode. SafeMode
--sessionsettings <filename> name of a file in app_settings Use settings_minimal.xml to force Basic mode on login, an invalid name like none to force Advanced mode. Note that currently (2.6) the login screen mode menu will show "Basic" if this setting appears at all, but the command line setting will still override on actual login.
--set <parameter> <value> First argument is the name of setting; second is the value to assign to it. Specify the value of the named setting (view a full list here). Maps to <setting> arg.
--setdefault <parameter> <value> First argument is the name of setting; second is the value to assign to it. Specify the value of a particular configuration variable which can be overridden by settings.xml. Maps to <setting> arg.
--settings <filename> Local file name Specify the name of the user settings file.
--skin <folder> Folder name Specify the skin folder to use. (eg. korean, spanish) SkinCurrent
--slurl <SLurl> SLurl Specify the starting region and position (for example, secondlife://Ahern/128/128).

This must be the last parameter on the command line.

--update-service <url> base url for the viewer version manager update query Specify the viewer version manager service to use (primarily for upgrade testing) CmdLineUpdateService
--url <SLurl> SLurl Specify the starting region and position (for example, secondlife://Ahern/128/128).

This must be the last parameter on the command line.

--usersessionsettings <filename> name of a file in app_settings Specify the filename of a configuration file that contains temporary per-session configuration user overrides.

Specifying new command line parameters

To add a new command line parameter, use the configuration file app_settings/cmd_line.xml to map a command line paramter to a user setting. A parameter can have the following options:

  • desc - A description of the paramter.
  • short - a single character to map to the paramter.
  • count - the number of tokens to follow a option.
  • compose - true if the option can be specified multiple times.
  • positional - true if the option can be specified without --name.
  • last_option - true if the option should be the last option.
  • map-to - specify a user setting to map the option to.

The file uses LLSD syntax. Use the existing options as reference.


Setting a Custom Cache Location

To set a custom cache location when launching Second Life, you should use the set parameter with a value of NewCacheLocation followed by the desired cache folder to use. This will tell Second Life to startup using this location as a new cache location.

Example: --set CacheLocation j:\SL_Cache --set NewCacheLocation j:\SL_Cache

NOTE: Per STORM-334 The double command above will should retain the previous cache and switch to the new cache.

Using just NewChacheLocation will clear any existing cache folder that it has been using. So, to prevent this you can also the CacheLocation setting to the same value and ahead of NewCacheLocation, which will preserve any cache folder saved in your viewer settings.

This allows you to, use two different shortcuts in order to launch two different Second Life accounts, each with their own separate cache folder, allowing each to have a fully cached home location, for example. Or, a more complex case, a shortcut could create a temporary RAM disk for use as a cache folder, and set this value for Second Life to use, taking advantage of a RAM disk's speed, before saving the contents to disk afterwards.

KBnote.png Note: This command is not working with the Project Bento Viewer or the current default viewer These viewers do, however, automatically create separate inventory caches for each grid. As an alternative, you can use separate settings files as above, then use the normal preferences route to set a custom cache location.