Ultrix 3.0 VAX

John Forecast johnforecast at comcast.net
Wed Apr 24 13:17:56 CDT 2019

   It sounds like you are looking for an Ultrix 3.0 standalone boot tape. While I found a number of people who claim to have a physical tape, with some claiming to have imaged the tape, I was unable to find an image on-line. That being said, it’s possible to use the Ultrix 2.0 standalone bootable tape (AQ-JU00C, available from bitsavers.org) with a couple of edits at the end - I did this to get 2.2 up and running.

   Since Ultrix 2.0 only supports a limited number VAX processors, the first stage has to be run on one of those processors, I always use microvax2. Subsequent stages may be run on any processor supported by Ultrix 3.0.

Stage 1:

I use the following .ini file:

	# Boot from standalone tape. This MUST be performed on a microvax2 instance.
	set rl dis
	set ts dis
	set rq0 ra81
	att rq0 system.dsk
	att tq0 AQ-JU00C-BE_ULTRIX-32_2.0_SA_87.tap
	set tti 7b
	set tto 7b

Attach the Ultrix 3.0 supported tape to tq0 when it asks. This stage will create the root partition and restore from the tape. No special handling at this point, just answer the questions as for a normal install.

Stage 2:

Use the VAX simulator for the target system (I used vax780) and boot rq0. After answering some questions it will fail trying to create a file system on /dev/rra0 which doesn’t exist - you need to edit /.minidevice as follows:

	# ed .minidevice
	RA81 ra 0 TK50 tms 0 
	RA81 ra 0g TK50 tms 0 

Reboot the system and it will create a file system on /dev/ra0g, copy the base packages along with any you have selected and build a custom kernel. After all this reboot again and it will drop you into single user mode after complaining about "Can't stat /dev/ra0ga”. Edit /etc/fstab:

	# ed /etc/fstab

Reboot again and you should have a functioning system.


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