My first OpenVMS
Published: 31-03-2018 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article
Table of Contents
(You can read all my OpenVMS articles by clicking the picture above)
Last week I registered myself with the DECUServe OpenVMS system. I alsoregistered with HP as an OpenVMS hobbyist and got OpenVMS 7.3 for VAX. Thissmall blog item describes my first steps with the hosted DECUS OpenVMS system.I'm excited since I now know how to create folders, navigate the filesystem andedit files. Oh and I had a nice chat with another OpenVMS user via the PHONEprogram.
As I like to mess around with legacy systems like the PDP-8 and the PDP-11,VAX/VMS and thus OpenVMS seems to be a great step forward. Started out as ahardware project to be a a 32-bit virtual address extension for the PDP-11, theVAX saw it's birth at DEC around 1977. Accompanied with several operatingsystems, like DEC systems before, the VAX could run a lot of software includingPDP-11 software. Also released around 1977 was VMS, one of the operating systemsfor the VAX-11/780. Renamed to VAX/VMS with the release of version 2 in 1980.Ported to the Alpha architecture and renamed OpenVMS with version 6 in 1992. In2001 with version 8.2 it was ported to the Intel Itanium architecture and nowalso being ported to the x86 architecture, hopefully ready in 2019, a port byVMS Software Inc. (VSI). A venerable operating system with lots of historybehind it and a great future ahead.
Lively among hobbyists (Dutch article), with recent articles on clustering and installing OpenVMS, I wanted to enjoy this as well, so I decided to register as a hobbyist with HP Enterprise's OpenVMS Hobbyist program. It is required to be part of a 'chapter' of OpenVMS Hobbyists, and
DECUServe seems to be the only club left that allows registration and is open to all.
At first I did not fill in a number and chapter, but was contacted by HPe toregister with DECUS before I could become a member. So I did, viahttp://decus.org.
Using the following SSH command you can connect to DECUS and register:
ssh -oHostKeyAlgorithms=+ssh-dss REGISTRATION@eisner.decus.org
Follow the online interactive instructions and you're good to go.
As I registered I can login with my username and password:
N O T I C EThis is Encompasserve. Access is for subscribed individuals only. o By logging into the system you agree to abide by the Encompasserve Canons of Conduct. o Source code or any other information posted on this system is not warranted in any way. YOU USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. o If you submit source code to or post information on this system, you must allow its unrestricted use. You must have the right to grant such permission. o Refer to the Encompasserve Canons of Conduct, posted in the DECUServe_Information conference topic 4.3, for further guidance. o Report problems in DECUServe_Forum.For information about Encompasserve please login under -> Username INFORMATIONTo subscribe to Encompasserve please login under -> Username REGISTRATIONTo report any form of a problem please login under -> Username PROBLEMSTo renew an Expired account please login under -> Username REGISTRATIONEXAMPLE@eisner.decus.org's password: Last interactive login on Thursday, 29-MAR-2018 03:22:35.36 1 login failure since last successful login You have 1 new Mail message.%DCL-S-SPAWNED, process EXAMPLE_45713 spawned User [EXAMPLE] has 63 blocks used, 9937 available, of 10000 authorized and permitted overdraft of 0 blocks on DISK_USER $Subprocess EXAMPLE_45713 has completed
Navigating the filesystem
Now for the most exiting part of my OpenVMS journey yet, navigating thefilesystem. It is not as you would expect on a Linux/UNIX system, as
lsdropped me into some sort of file editor:
$ ls[End of File] Buffer: $MAIN | Write | Insert | Forward(Pressed CTRL+Z)LSE> exit$
Okay, that's not working. Lets try the (Windows) alternative:
$ DIRDirectory EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE]$MAIN.TPU$JOURNAL;1 ICREATEDAFOLDERYAY.DIR;1 LOGIN.COM;1MAIL.MAI;1 NOTES$NOTEBOOK.NOTE;1 REMY.DAT;2REMY.DAT;1 WWW.DIR;1Total of 8
To be honest, I found out that command after reading through 9 chapters ofOpenVMS documentation from HP.
As you can see I managed to create some files and a folder. As you might alsonotice, the names and structure is way different that a Linux filesystem.
This is my understanding so far. OpenVMS directories are not seperated by a
/(as on UNIX) but a dot (
.). A full file path can be addressed by it's filespecification that has the following format:
So in the case above, there is an
INDEX.HTML file in the
WWW folder, whichcan be addressed via:
$ dir [.WWW]Directory EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE.WWW]INDEX.HTML;1Total of 1 file.
As far as I know a folder should be surrounded by
[brackets] and the dot infront of WWW specifies the current folder. I could also write the full filespecification:
$ dir EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE.WWW]Directory EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE.WWW]INDEX.HTML;1Total of 1 file.
Creating a folder is not done with
$ mkdir raymii%DCL-W-IVVERB, unrecognized command verb - check validity and spelling \MKDIR\
But with the logically named
create command, and the correct folderspecifications, with brackets and a leading dot:
$ create /dir [.RAYMII] $ dir [.RAYMII]%DIRECT-W-NOFILES, no files found
Changing folders, again, not done with
cd. Printing the current folder is not
pwd as well, but
$ show default DISK_USER:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE]
Changing the folder is
$ set default [.WWW] $ dirDirectory EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE.WWW]INDEX.HTML;1Total of 1 file.
Changing back to the previous folder:
$ set default DISK_USER:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE] $ dirDirectory EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE]$MAIN.TPU$JOURNAL;1 ICREATEDAFOLDERYAY.DIR;1 LOGIN.COM;1MAIL.MAI;1 NOTES$NOTEBOOK.NOTE;1 REMY.DAT;2REMY.DAT;1 WWW.DIR;1Total of 8 files. $
Editing text files
I very briefly dabbled with
EVE to create some files:
EVE REMY.DAThelloprintthis is a test[End of file] Buffer: REMY.DAT | Write | Insert | Forward5 lines read from file EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE]REMY.DAT;2
It seems to be an interactive editor, pressing CTRL+Z saves the file:
7 lines written to file EISNER$DRA3:[DECUSERVE_USER.EXAMPLE]REMY.DAT;3
Other editors are available, like
TECO, which was on several PDP-8 operatingsystems as well. To be continued in a new article.
As you saw in the above examples, OpenVMS by default supports file versioning.On every file on it's filesystem. How awesome is that? 32,767 versions aresupported by default and there is nothing you have to do or remember. Justcreate and edit files!
Managing versions is quite easy as well. Since the version number is appended tothe filename (
REMY.DAT;1) after a semicolon, you just use file system commands(which I haven't figured out yet) to remove or edit specific versions.
Editing version 2 of the file
Or using the
TYPE command (
cat on linux) to show the difference:
$ type REMY.DAT;2helloprintthis is a test
$ type REMY.DAT;1hellothis is a test
I don't understand we don't have this as an option on modern linux systems toenable. Windows has something like it,
VSS, but that has to be set up andprovides only timed backups. This however is default and awesome.
SHOW USERS command I was able to see a list of currently logged inusers:
$ show users OpenVMS User Processes at 31-MAR-2018 14:46:06.54 Total number of users = 9, number of processes = 11 Username Interactive Subprocess Batch EXAMPLE 1 HARROD 1 HENKLE 2 1 JACKSON 1 MALMBERG 1 PARRIS 1 REICHERT_D 1 SCHENKENBERG 1 SPALDING 1
There was a user online and I used the
PHONE program to initiate a chat with
CORNELIUS (hi George). It was a nice chat, until work required attention. Exitwith CTRL+Z.
Thank you George for the nice talk we had!
The above image shows my discussion with George and my enthousiasm on justhaving figured out how to create a folder on this OpenVMS system.
I found out, with the documentation, some other commands.
show command shows general information:
$ show systemOpenVMS V8.4-2L2 on node EISNER 31-MAR-2018 14:32:46.22 Uptime 9 03:43:15 Pid Process Name State Pri I/O CPU Page flts Pages00000201 SWAPPER HIB 16 0 0 00:00:04.75 0 400000204 LANACP HIB 14 69 0 00:00:00.03 112 13800000206 FASTPATH_SERVER HIB 10 9 0 00:00:00.03 78 9500000207 IPCACP HIB 10 10 0 00:00:00.00 37 5100000208 ERRFMT HIB 8 13946 0 00:00:03.87 113 134 $ show networkProduct: MULTINET Node: Eisner.Encompasserve.org Address(es): 10.10.127.2Product: DECNET Node: EISNER Address(es): 11.91 $ show cpuSystem: EISNER, AlphaServer DS20 500 MHzCPU ownership sets: Active 0,1 Configure 0,1CPU state sets: Potential 0,1 Autostart 0,1 Powered Down None Not Present None Hard Excluded None Failover None $ show memory System Memory Resources on 31-MAR-2018 14:39:40.52Physical Memory Usage (pages): Total Free In Use Modified Main Memory (1.50GB) 196608 21718 163141 11749Extended File Cache (Time of last reset: 22-MAR-2018 10:48:42.07) Allocated (MBytes) 749.39 Maximum size (MBytes) 768.00 Free (MBytes) 0.04 Minimum size (MBytes) 3.12 In use (MBytes) 749.35 Percentage Read I/Os 92%
HELP command is very good as well:
$ help showSHOW Displays information about the current status of a process, the system, or devices in the system. Format SHOW option Additional information available: Description ACCOUNTING ACL AUDIT BROADCAST CLUSTER CPU DEFAULT DEVICES DISPLAY ENTRY ERROR FASTPATH IMAGE INTRUSION KEY LICENSE LOGICAL MEMORY NETWORK PRINTER PROCESS PROTECTION QUEUE QUOTA RMS_DEFAULT ROOT SECURITY SERVER SHADOW STATUS SYMBOL SYSTEM TERMINAL TIME TRANSLATION USERS WORKING_SET ZONE
I'm very happy this system exists and that there are still other people aroundto keep it running and let new folks like me enjoy and learn about it. The lasttime I was so enthousiastic about navigating a file system was with the PDP-8and OS/8, and now with OpenVMS. I do expect to learn more about OpenVMS andeventually installing my own system with
simh and the Hobbyist binaries I gotfrom HPe, including a ISO image for OpenVMS 7.3 for the VAX architecture.
I do have one unread email, but no idea how to read that. So that will be thenext challenge ahead, figure out how to read and reply to emails. Fun timesahead!
Oh and I also don't know yet how to exit an SSH session other than closing thewindow.Tags: alpha, blog, dec, decus, itanium, openvms, pdp, simh, vax, vms