VRPN 06.04

VRPN main page

Obtaining VRPN

VRPN Support

Installing and Testing

Compiling and Modifying

Client code

Server code



Logging and Playback

Shared Objects


Clock Synchronization

Text Messages

Doxygen documentation


Coming attractions & suggestions

UNC-specific information

VRPN Support

Unsupported VRPN, No License Fees

The Virtual Reality Peripheral Network (VRPN) is public-domain software released by the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its development was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources program. UNC's NCRR provides free, as-is, unsupported releases of this software. Instructions for downloading this software are found at www.cs.unc.edu/Research/vrpn/obtaining_vrpn.html. As described there, individuals and groups are welcome to download and use VRPN without license fees.

The only current documentation available about VRPN is found on the VRPN web page (a copy of which is included with each release; the latest version can be found at www.cs.unc.edu/Research/vrpn).

VRPN Support by Developers and Users

The developers of VRPN are continually improving the system and adding features to support their own research. These improvements are added into the public-domain version as new releases. Outside users of VRPN often add new features and devices, and are encouraged to feed these improvements back to UNC so that they can be included in future releases. This has two benefits: the group feeding back the techniques benefits because the changes are automatically carried to future releases and the entire community benefits from the addition of the new features.

If you are wondering whether a feature you want is coming soon, an email to vrpn@cs.unc.edu is often a fruitful way to determine this (if you use VRPN, you are encouraged to be on this mailing list, which is also used to announce new releases and other items of interest to VRPN users). Send email to taylorr@cs.unc.edu to be added to (or deleted from) this list. Questions to this list are answered as time permits.

VRPN Support through 3rdTech

For those wanting more reliable support, email to vrpn-support@3rdtech.com lets you contact 3rdTech, who provides fee-for-services support for VRPN. The intent is to widen the usefulness of VRPN while recovering the costs of supporting projects other than UNC research. This support has taken several forms, including:

  • on-site installation of VRPN
  • writing new device drivers for VRPN
  • porting VRPN to new computing platforms
  • providing documentation improvements
  • user training and answering questions about VRPN not answered on the VRPN mailing list

This support is normally provided on an hourly, fees-for-services basis. 3rdTech is happy to provide free estimates of the cost for particular enhancements and bug fixes. 3rdTech is also happy to discuss other, fixed-rate, fixed-duration support contracts if these are more appropriate for your needs (yearly or semester-long support contracts, for example).

The enhancements provided by 3rdTech are wrapped immediately back into the public-domain versions and released for general use. The feature enhancements in versions 4.07-5.00 and 05.02 of VRPN were enabled in whole or large part by industrial support from the Walt Disney VR Studios. Versions 05.01-05.02 were supported by Schlumberger Cambridge Research. This allows the entire community to benefit from the support, while still allowing the client to get features they need in a timely manner. 3rdTech is happy to list the names of supporting individuals or groups, but in order to preserve privacy we will not do so unless you request it.