VMS and supported VAX hardware

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Sat Oct 3 17:51:28 CDT 2015

On 2015-10-03 23:00, Pontus Pihlgren wrote:
> Hi
> Is there a table of VMS versions and hardware that they support. I know that 7.3 is
> the last that supports VAX. But before that, are there limitations to what versions
> run on which hardware.

I know that DEC had some information on the first version of VMS for 
specific models, but I don't know if I've a comprehensive list.

> For instance, would VAX/VMS 1.0 run on a VAXstation 4000? Or would 7.3 run on a
> 11/730?

VAX/VMS 1.0 only ran on the 11/780. No other hardware supported. So, no. 
VAX/VMS 1.0 would not run on a VAXstation 4000.

OpenVMS 7.3 was the last release. And with that release, a few early VAX 
models were officially not supported. However, I think it should work, 
in theory. There is always the question of the machine being slow 
enough, or not have enough memory, to maybe cause problems. But DEC 
never removed the hardware support code. But at OpenVMS 7.3, they no 
longer even had the hardware around to verify that it worked, so it was 
officially unsupported. (Or that's my understanding anyway.)
As far as I can remember, none of the VAX-11 models were officially 
supported by OpenVMS 7.3. The oldest model that were supported (if I 
remember right) was the VAX 86x0.

It should be possible to find the OpenVMS/VAX 7.3 upgrade manual online, 
which should give a little more detail on which models were dropped form 

> Also, what separates MicroVMS from VMS?

MicroVMS was specifically tailored for MicroVAX machines, back when they 
had rather limited amount of disk. One RD53 or so...
So, it was trimmed down, with components not needed for the specific 
platforms removed, some things tailored differently, and some things 
moved into optional extras, which you could buy/install if you happened 
to have more money and hardware resources.

It also came on one TK50, or about 20 RX50 floppies, for installation.
(I have some "fun" memories of installing it from floppies when I was 
working at DEC in the mid-80s... Remind me when we meet, and I'll tell 
you all about it.)


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at softjar.se             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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