Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Mon Apr 29 09:15:34 CDT 2019

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 4:55 PM Ray Jewhurst via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> I am new to the list and would like to introduce myself. I am a computer
> history buff who especially likes DEC machines.

Welcome.  I started working with DEC machines for fun in 1982 and for
money in 1984, so they have a dear place in my heart.

> I see that Bitsavers has a copy of VMS 1.5 and wanted to
> know if anyone got it working with the Vax 780 simulator?

There was some discussion about that on the Simh mailing list a couple
of years back.  The difficulty is that Simh doesn't emulate the
console media closely enough to use them to start the install and
prior to VMS 2.0, the method (tools used, etc) was different.  VAXen
don't boot from tape like a PDP-11, so you have to have an install kit
to match your console medium (RX01 for an 11/780, TU58 for 11/750,
11/730, 11/725, etc)   From the discussion, it seems to be easiest to
install a newer version of VMS (3.0 works, 2.0 does as well, I think)
to unpack the VMS 1.5 files onto a blank disk, then boot that on an
emulated 11/780 and finish the install.

I myself haven't tried the process but the Simh mailing list archives
describe the process in a way that someone with VMS experience can
likely figure it out.  I haven't encountered any step-by-step recipes.

Where the Hobbyist License comes into play is with VMS 5.0 and newer -
you'll need LMF license keys and the Hobbyist Program is a way to get
free keys with a one-year expiration.


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