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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | Introduction Forum
Author Hello everyone!
matt
Member

Posts: 1
Location: Michigan, United States
Joined: 09.02.20
Posted on February 09 2020 02:29
I'm completely new to OpenVMS. A buddy of mine was showing me his retro computer collection the other day and showed me his DEC Alpha systems running Tru64 and told me about the absolutely legendary stability of these systems, and how they can have uptimes measured in decades when running an OS like OpenVMS. I'm interested in finding out more about it so after a few searches on how to emulate the system and get copies of it I found this forum and the hobbyist program.

Anyhow I have some noob questions, as I know almost nothing about this system.

1) Is it Unix-like at all? Most of my experience is with Unix and Linux systems. These all share a lot of common standards and tools and whatnot, so how does VMS compare both in terms of the system design and the user experience? Is there any adherence to standards like POSIX for easier porting of Unix programs?

2) What's the GUI like? From screenshots I see that it runs a Motif based interface, and in others it has a full CDE desktop. Does it differ at all from the CDE desktop you'd find on something like Solaris 10? Does it run X11 and MWM?

3) Is the installation easy or does it give IRIX a run for its money? smiley

4) What's the state of the x86-64 port and where can I keep up with news on that?

5) Will the x86-64 port be available under the hobbyist program?

6) Do the stability and clustering capabilities come from special hardware (outside of having enterprise grade components and QC) or could the same be done using some nice modern Xeon workstations?

7) Can I set up an OpenVMS machine as a home server (for non-commercial purposes of course) to serve files or maybe host a personal website/blog?

8) What are some interesting things that you guys think I should know about OpenVMS when first starting out?

Thanks smiley and sorry to be a bother if I'm asking about the x86-64 port too soon.
Author RE: Hello everyone!
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 620
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on February 09 2020 03:51
Welcome aboard. Some answers from a VMS bigot.

1) Is it Unix-like at all?
Not really. VMS is much older than Unix. POSIX compliance was built in once Unix became a fad.


2) What's the GUI like?
Having started with VMS 3.0 (yes, I'm old), I've always been more comfortable with the command line interface. That said, I found the DEC desktop publishing and spreadsheet applications to be excellent in an era with keeping Window up for an hour at a time was an accomplishment. Others are more qualified to talk about the modern VMS GUI.

3) Is the installation easy or does it give IRIX a run for its money?
Easy. Just take the defaults when installing.

4) What's the state of the x86-64 port and where can I keep up with news on that?
http://www.vmssoftware.com/

5) Will the x86-64 port be available under the hobbyist program?
Open question.

6) Do the stability and clustering capabilities come from special hardware (outside of having enterprise grade components and QC) or could the same be done using some nice modern Xeon workstations?
No hardware required, it can all be done using VMS software. See these two links for examples:
http://www.migrationspecialties.com/pdf/Emulating_Shared_Storage_20110918.pdf
http://www.migrationspecialties.com/pdf/Virtual_Clustering_Lab_20110918.pdf

7) Can I set up an OpenVMS machine as a home server (for non-commercial purposes of course) to serve files or maybe host a personal website/blog?
I believe so. The FreeAXP and SimH VAX emulators allow this. I think the Hobbyist program would allow it for the O/S.

If you have not done so already, install SimH VAX or FreeAXP, obtain a copy of VMS via the Hobbyist organization, and have a go. Good luck with your exploration.
Author RE: Hello everyone!
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on February 11 2020 13:33
eisner.encompasserve.org is running under Hobbyist licenses and is actually located at the VSI site, and is one of the ways to get a membership number for the Hobby license request.

Many tools have been ported for GNV to give a Posix shell. VAX implementation is spotty for many of the tools.

No idea how easy IRIX is to install

For its age, last major update for installing was over 20 years ago, it was a good install.
Even better if you had an Infoserver (VMS equivalent to a TFTP server, allows live booting from a CD-IMAGE) This was standard procedure for decades.

If you have one VMS system working, and know how to setup a cluster root, you can bring up the otther nodes of the same architecture really fast. There is a script to do that for newbies, but it can be faster to do things manually.

Hosting a web site depends on the TOS of your ISP. Also while VMS was secure for its time, the hobbyist media lags behind ECOs (PATCHES) available to commercial sites.

Look over the sourceforge VMSPORTS site wiki pages. I have a bunch of material. Sorry, I do not have a URL handy.
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malmberg
August 04 2022
No more VAX hobbyist licenses. Community licenses for Alpha/IA64/X86_64 VMS Software Inc. Commercial VMS software licenses for VAX available from HPE.

ozboomer
July 20 2022
Just re-visiting.. No more hobbyist licenses? Is that from vmssoftware.com, no 'community' licenses?

valdirfranco
July 01 2022
No more hobbyist license...sad

mister_wavey
February 12 2022
I recall that the disks failed on the public access VMS systems that included Fafner

parwezw
January 03 2022
Anyone know what happened to FAFNER.DYNDS.ORG? I had a hobbyist account here but can longer access the site.

gtackett
October 27 2021
Make that DECdfs _2.1A_ for Vax

gtackett
October 27 2021
I'm looking for DECdfs V2.4A kit for VAX. Asking here just in case anyone is still listening.

MarkRLV
September 17 2021
At one time, didn't this web site have a job board? I would love to use my legacy skills one last time in my career.

malmberg
January 18 2021
New Hobbyist PAKs for VAX/VMS are no longer available according to reports. Only commercial licenses are reported to be for sale from HPE

dfilip
January 16 2021
Can someone please point me to hobbyist license pak? I'm looking for VAX/VMS 7.1, DECnet Phase IV, and UCX/TCPIP ... have the 7.1 media, need the license paks ... thanks!

Bart
October 16 2020
OpenVMS, and this website!

malmberg
September 05 2020
VSI community non-commercial licenses for AXP/IA64 are available now.

malmberg
September 05 2020
See the forum about licensing. Don't know if HPE hobby licenses still being issued. Commercial licenses still being sold.

silfox70
September 01 2020
I need the license for OpenVMS7.3. Where can I find them?

malmberg
August 29 2020
Eisner, which is currently being moved, got an SSH update and the keys were updated to more modern encryption standards.

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