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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | FreeAXP
Author FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on July 04 2014 08:44
I know this is a big ask of a freeware product but I thought I'd ask it anyhow

Any chance of getting FreeAXP to emulate an Alpha EV56 cpu?

Why?

Because I wanted to test the latest release of RDB 7.3 but Oracle in their 'wisdom' have compiled the only RDB 7.3 Alpha version for EV56, effectively shutting out anything lower :-(

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/rdb/rdb-pmatrix-rdb-086351.html

RDB 7.2.5 Alpha is now the maximum version possible

smiley
Edited by maveri on July 04 2014 08:59
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
Bruce Claremont
Moderator

Posts: 504
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on July 05 2014 04:09
FreeAXP emulates the instruction set of the EV56, EV6, and EV68 series Alpha CPUs. See section 11.1 in the User Guide. Are you saying RDB 7.3 will not install on a system that shows as equipped with an EV4?
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on July 05 2014 08:49
The manual suggests that to get EV56 emulation, you need the Avanti product line? (I have to confess I have only ever skimmed the manual)

I'm just running FreeAXP Vanilla, out of the box so to speak

Is there a way to get FreeAXP to use the EV56 chipset then?

Here's the display from a show cpu/full (VMS 8.4)

TYPE: EV4 (21064)

If there is a way to get FreeAXP to emulate the EV56 then great but if it involves upgrading to Avanti and a license cost then I'm afraid I'll have to just live with FreeAXP as it is then - this is just a system I'm playing with at home.

I fully understand that one has to draw the line somewhere at what gets offered for free and what will require licensing (I mean, people put their time and effort into this product) - I guess I'm just looking for the El-cheapo option smiley

EDIT:
Yes, sorry I didn't answer your question
RDB 7.3 for Alpha will not install on a system with only an EV4 processor.
RDB 7.3 Alpha now requires EV56 as a minimum
Edited by maveri on July 05 2014 08:51
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
Bruce Claremont
Moderator

Posts: 504
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on July 06 2014 03:58
FreeAXP also emulates the EV56 instruction set.

As far as the processor type is concerned, at present you'll have to figure out how to either spoof it or bypass the installation check in the RDB installation procedure. We'll look at it and see if we can come up with any better ideas.
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
iamcamiel
Moderator

User Avatar

Posts: 22
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands
Joined: 06.04.08
Posted on July 06 2014 05:22
Recent versions of both FreeAXP and Avanti present themselves as EV4 cpu type machines, but do implement the EV56 instructions. So, an EV56 compiled version of RDB should run without problems on either Avanti or FreeAXP, if you can get it to install. I'll have a look at that next week.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/es40
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on August 01 2014 15:49
I just used the standard install, but rdb checks the chipset and exits with an error

How does one tell FreeAXP to use the ev56 chipset instead of defaulting to ev4?

Quote from a recent rdb release statement

Note that there is no longer a non optimized 7.3 Alpha kit. For example in 7.2 Alpha we have: 7.2.5.3.0 (not optimized for EV56 or higher) 7.2.5.3.1 (optimized for EV56 or higher)

In 7.3 Alpha we only have: 7.3.1.0.1 (optimized for EV56 or higher)


Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
Bruce Claremont
Moderator

Posts: 504
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on August 02 2014 02:44
FreeAXP presents itself as an EV4 system. It utilizes EV56 instructions internally. It does not have a mechanism to spoof the RDB installer.
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 463
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on August 04 2014 19:33
You may be able to unpack the RBD install kit and see if it is a command file that is doing the check and then patch it and rebuild the install kit.

Alternatively if you can unpack the RDB install kit, you may just be able to reverse engineer it and install it.
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
Bruce Claremont
Moderator

Posts: 504
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on August 05 2014 03:16
Do you have a link handy to the Rdb install kit you are using?
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on August 08 2014 17:04
The main download page for RDB is here

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/rdb/downloads/index.html

I'm selecting the link for rdb

Rdb 7.3.1.0.1 Alpha
New 23-September-2013

Which is redirects to

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/rdb/downloads/othersoft-087176.html

Where you need to accept the license conditions
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on August 22 2014 20:16
Any hint on how we can get FreeAXP to make OpenVMS think it's running on an EV56 then?

The kits show that Oracle will not be supporting anything below EV56 going forward :-(

I know there may not be a lot of incentive since VMS Software ltd has officially announced OpenVMS will indeed live on and will eventually be ported to x86 and other cpu's but there is still room for things like FreeAXP for a while yet because to start with the x86 support will be on specific high end HP hardware that not everyone will be able to afford
Maybe for the average folk, there's a place for FreeAXP / Avanti to be officially supported for OpenVMS.next, even if it's double visualized? smiley
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
nlastovi
Member

Posts: 1
Joined: 18.04.11
Posted on March 20 2015 04:55
I'm sure that since you are running on freeaxp, there isn't much need for "support". so I'd suggest take the .A saveset apart and edit KITINSTAL.COM to remove the check and then repack the .A saveset. I'm moderately sure that there is not a run-time check for AMASK/IMPLVER for EV56.
Author RE: FreeAXP - EV56 emulation?
maveri
Member

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on June 03 2015 12:37
nlastovi wrote:
I'm sure that since you are running on freeaxp, there isn't much need for "support". so I'd suggest take the .A saveset apart and edit KITINSTAL.COM to remove the check and then repack the .A saveset. I'm moderately sure that there is not a run-time check for AMASK/IMPLVER for EV56.


I don't think it's a matter of trying to trick RDB into not checking / by-passing the check

Oracle state that from a certain version of RDB 7.2.XXXX, they are not going to be producing non-optimised version of RDB anymore

In other words, the minimum supported Alpha CPU type is now EV56 (as per their product support pages - I don't have the link)

If FreeAXP presents itself as anything less than an EV56, then newer versions of RDB will not run (assuming it checks) and even if you hack the check, how long before you encounter an EV56 instruction set and get a bugcheck?

It would seem to me that the only way to use FreeAXP with later versions of RDB is if FreeAXP presents itself as being an actual EV56, or at least allows a setting of the same to be set (since according to Bruce, it runs as an EV56 internally anyhow)

In the end it was just easier to switch to EmuVM as that presents itself as an EV56 - simplest way to solve the problem IMO
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