VMS and supported VAX hardware

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Mon Oct 5 05:18:06 CDT 2015

On 2015-10-05 11:21, Peter Coghlan wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Oct 2015 at 09:12:59 +0200, Pontus Pihlgren wrote:
>> On Sat, Oct 03, 2015 at 11:49:28PM -0400, Christian Gauger-Cosgrove wrote:
>>> So yes, [Open]VMS 7.3 will run on a VAX-11 series VAX. And probably
>>> even on a microVAX as well (though I haven't tried).
>> The follow up question then is, is there a reason to avoid 7.3 on lower end VAX
>> models, say VAXstation 2000 or MicroVAX-II, both of which I have.
>> I suppose disk space is the most pressing issue. What about memory consumption in
>> a basic install?
>> Or memory usage for options like TCP/IP or DECWindows.
> My preference is to not go higher than V5.5-2 on the smaller graphics equipped
> machines.  This allows the pre-Motif version of DECWindows (I think it is called
> XUI?) to be used which is much less of a resource hog than Motif.
> Even on machines without a graphics display, significant amounts of Motif are
> started up anyway in order to enable remote display and this requires a lot
> of disk and memory unless it is disabled.
> There is also the pre-DECWindows windowing software called VWS (VAXstation
> Workstation Software?) which is even lighter on resources.  I haven't looked at
> this for many years but I suspect the cut off for using it is also at V5.5-2.
> The lower end VAXstation 3100 machines struggle with Motif.  It takes a long
> time to start and when in use, the response feels sluggish.  I can only imagine
> what it would do to a VAXstation 2000 or MicroVAX-II.

Agreed that graphics, and especially Motif is a hog.
However, VMS V5 was in itself problematic in that it really had bad 
It was significantly slower than V4, and customers complained. So much 
that DEC explicitly addressed this concern with V6.
So, from that perspective, I would avoid V5 if I could...


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

More information about the cctalk mailing list