Setting up a VMS system

John H. Reinhardt johnhreinhardt at
Thu Sep 23 16:18:55 CDT 2021

On 9/23/2021 8:12 AM, Scott Quinn via cctalk wrote:
> On Wed, 2021-09-22 at 12:00 -0500, cctalk-request at wrote:
>> Currently the Hobbyist Program covers Alpha and Itanium.  We?ve been
>> told it will cover x86 at some point.  I for one can?t wait for x86,
>> as I don?t really want to add an Itanium to run some of the newer
>> software.
>> Zane
> Not even that... looked at the VSI stuff and it is only the newest
> Alphas that are supported. 21064/21164 and, I believe, 21264 are not

The VSI SPD for OpenVMS V8.4-2L1 (the version given with the VSI Commumity License program) indicated DS10 and newer.  However, as often mentioned, there is a difference between "supported" and "works".  People in comp.os.vms have installed the VSI releases on Alphastation 255's Alphaserver 800/1200 and other EV4 and EV5 Alphas.  VSI won't mark them as supported probably because they don't have any such systems to test on or just don't want to bother testing on such systems.

If you have somehow gotten a copy of VSI OpenVMS V8.4-2L2 then it was specifically built to support EV6 and newer Alphas.  It will NOT work on older systems such as the AlphaServer 800/1200/4100 and AlphaStation 255 series.

> supported by any release licensed by VSI, and they changed the PRODUCER
> key so you can't use those PAKs on DEC/CPQ/HP variants of VMS.

Part of their licensing agreement with HPE which prohibits them from selling/licensing any previous version of OpenVMS that they haven't worked on.

> HP stopped issuing new hobbyist PAKs back very early in 2020. I put in
> for a renew March or so and never got it. They were so disinterested in
> the program that they didn't mention stopping it, so I guess it isn't
> surprising that the page is still up.

If it's a VAX PAK you need, contact me and I can send you a copy of the last VAX OpenVMS Hobbyist PAK sent out.  Note that it expires on 1-JAN-2022 so it's good only for a few more months.

> Isn't VMS DCL pretty close to RSX? Never used RSX, but that is what I
> was always told. Anyway, good system, pretty solid, expect to do a LOT
> of typing for commands if you're used to UNIX, and don't put any VAX
> with a public DCL account on the Internet because there is a huge
> security hole in DCL that was never fixed for VAX.


John H. Reinhardt

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