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"Ghosted"/Stuck Avatars, the return of the message: "The system is logging you out ...

Marigold Devin
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I don't know if this is really a discussion topic, but I felt the need to get something off my chest in view of a certain issue that has arisen this week. Anyway, I'm sure mods will remove if it's inappropriate.

Here goes...

Prior to March 2011, when the issue of "ghosted" avatars (avatars failing to complete the log out process) was fixed prior to the current new bug raised it's rather aggressive head, as some of you will know, I was heavily involved (obsessed) in being an unofficial "ghost hunter".  My aim was to raise general awareness, and to direct people to as fast and effective a fix as possible. 

I realise now that it was wrong of me to go against the advice published in the official Second Life Knowledge Base, and to offer a workaround. 


All the information anyone needs about this issue can be found there, and is regularly updated, as is the Grid Status, which should also be everyone's first port of call when they encounter issues.


Unless we actually work behind the scenes at Linden Lab, none of us know how our "workaround" advice might affect the servers, and we might actually be compounding a problem by giving such advice.

Therefore, if this issue is ongoing or arises again in the future, I strongly urge people to go directly to Linden Lab Support, either via Live Chat or by submitting a ticket. 


The support personnel, I am assured by several Linden employees, have measures in place with which, once the problem is established and identified, to poke the stuck presence off the server.

Common problems such a this are very familiar to support staff, and do remember that's what they are there for - to support anyone with problems that we are unable to fix ourselves via these resident-led forums.

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Thank you Marigold.  The stuck presence (ghosting) actually never did completely go away.....but it did cease to be a common issue.  Within the last six months I had the problem after I got logged off (my pesty but lovable cat stepped on the plug strip I have my router and modem plugged into.........I do that so that I can turn those two devices off or on without having to reach for the cord to pull it from the outlet).  Needless to say I lost my Internet connection (and got the message that I've been logged off and the choice to either stay and read chat or to quit SL).  That ghosted me.  I've dealt with ghosts (not as much as you but I have dealt with it enough to know what to do) so I did the little tricks that used to work like logging in my alt and paying me a linden, pushing me (but I was "phantom" so that didn't work),   IM'ing myself, and waiting for about 30 minutes.  It did not get my unghosted like, at least one of those things used to do.  I contacted Live Chat and got the sim restarted....which always works.  One thing I learned a long time ago is to not repeatedly attempt to log in with back to back tries.......someone (I believe it was Chosen Few but not sure) told me that doing that actually extends the time it takes for the log in servers to log your avatar out.  Of course I had to experiment for myself (it was relatively easy to do back then because I would get ghosted fairly often......as did many others.  That was in about 2006 or so).  I watched the time the message told me to wait and it would extend 5 to 10 minutes after each attempt.  I stopped doing that after that.


I'm assuming your "I realise now that it was wrong of me to go against the advice published in the official Second Life Knowledge Base, and to offer a workaround. " is in reference to the advice I think I do remember you giving in the past.  I'm glad you are retracting that. 


Great thread and post.  :heart:

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Just as a general announcement to anyone who happens upon this page, the Jira concerning this issue has this comment from Maestro Linden:

Maestro Linden added a comment - 01/Feb/12 9:09 AM

The project with this bug, that was deployed to RC Bluesteel/LeTigre this past week, is being pulled off the grid. All cases of this issue should be gone by the time the roll finishes, in less than an hour.

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You were one of the people who urged me to create this thread, Peggy.  You're one of the most experienced people on these forums. And you are also one of the relatively few who realise that Second Life is as subject to evolutionary changes as Real Life is.

The other people who made me realise I needed to push people to contact Support were Alexa Linden and Oskar Linden. Alexa because she advised on the JIRA that this was what people needed to do, and probably was the one responsible for putting the details onto the grid status report too. Oskar, because aside from being tremendously great with me, humouring me about my hobby, I arrived late at his User Group last Thursday, and then asked stupid questions late into the meeting, when if I could have stirred myself to turn up on time, I would have seen that my questions had already been answered. 

I have to tell you thought that during the whole of my time in Second Life - and I saw my first ghost around about February 2008 - I never once was able to knock off a ghosted avatar by paying them L$, or sending them IMs.  I have had one or two that I've been able to push into adjacent sims and knock them off that way though.  I have always been able to log back in by persistently trying to log in at a different location; sometimes the "account will be unavailable until ... " time has moved forward by a few minutes, but I have always been able to log in that way.

However, I don't, as I say, think it is EVER right to go against what is advised in the official Knowledge Base (they do seem to have removed that little bit of it now though), and I wish more of us on the forums would direct people to the official base instead of leading people into personal blogsites offering the same/similar (but with Chinese whispered embellishments).   People who have taken the effort to even find these forums often struggle to find the answers they are looking for, and to lead them away from the official site just seems rather arrogant.  But.. that's just a personal annoyance of mine, and obviously others find the help on blogsites invaluable.

This latest incidence of ghosting was caused by a particular rollout, and although to those locked out, stuck just meant stuck.  To me, though, it was quite different to ghosting episodes of the past.

You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, and even drugs that are tested well before being used on human beings sometimes cause issues, so I think it is absolutely to be expected that we get weeks like this, where something that affects a lot of people in a rather drastic way, will occur.

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Charolotte Caxton wrote:

Just as a general announcement to anyone who happens upon this page, the
has this comment from Maestro Linden:

Maestro Linden added a comment - 
01/Feb/12 9:09 AM

The project with this bug, that was deployed to RC Bluesteel/LeTigre this past week, is being pulled off the grid. All cases of this issue should be gone by the time the roll finishes, in less than an hour.

Smashing, Charolotte.

And just to add to that, over on Oskar's deploy thread http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Second-Life-Server/Deploys-for-the-week-of-2012-01-30/m-p/1361837#M4284

Oskar Linden


Re: Deploys for the week of 2012-01-30


Ayesha Askham wrote:


Forgive my obtuseness.  This issue with a new bug...does it mean that the ghosting issue will not now be fixed this week or did I mis-read?

Also, thankyou once again for your painstaking explanation of this process such that numbskulls like me can understand what has to be done each week.

I do hope this ghosting issue can be got rid of because it is not simply affecting region-crossers.  If an av that has previously been ghosted on a sim TPs back into that sim, apparently it can never get out again, even if it cleaned up its doppelganger!

The ghosting issue was created by the code on BlueSteel and LeTigre. That code will not be on any region after tomorrow morning. As for the claim that some avatars are permanently stuck I am unaware of that situation. If you find anyone who for certain cannot log in after tomorrow and support cannot help them let me know.


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Champie Jack wrote:

Results speak for themselves


It would seem so. Although the success rate of this particular method that you're passing on via Thinkerer's out of world blogsite, has been lower than for the period of time it was originally the workaround for,  Possibly because it has become a Chinese whisper rather than the method that was originally documented here on the forums, and there is a vital ingredient missing from it.

However, the time has past once again, and ghosting should now be a thing of the past if the rolls of today/yesterday have gone through the whole grid.

It's always good to share knowledge - to "pay it forward" - but it's really bad form to attempt to undermine someone, and I started this thread because I felt I had unwittingly undermined Linden Lab, and that was never my intention.

It is important to realise that Second Life is as evolutionary as Real Life, and what may work to fix something one week, may actually cause further problems at a later date.  I personally feel I do not want to be responsible for causing further problems. 

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Not to mention that the load on the log in servers can be huge even without the addition of someone (or a group of someones) hammering them with repeated attempts in quick succession.  Yeah, I can hear it now "It ain't my problem.  It's LL's for [insert your favorite derogatory phrase].  Let the deal with it."  That does nothing but (for the most part) prolong your problem plus make it more difficult for others who may or may not being having the same problem.  I say "for the most part" because the law averages say that eventually you will hit it just right and get on.........but that's an awfully selfish attitude on your part.


Hopefully, this latest round of "ghosting" is gone for a while.  But, again the law of averages, say it will rear it's ugly head again sooner or later.  The SL platform is just to complicated to ever be assured of "it's gone forever".  Those grid monkeys are pretty smart monkeys........a hell of a lot smarter than any of us outsiders.

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