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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Software Forum
Author Unix on A DEC Vax?
haziz
Member

Posts: 1
Joined: 15.01.13
Posted on January 16 2013 05:47
I just picked up a DEC Vaxstation 90 with a built in CDROM and an auxiliary SCSI storage module with tape drive. I believe it is functional although I cannot test it yet since I still do not have a working terminal or monitor. I can get a VT-520 terminal and keyboard and will also try to resurrect a separate now defunct Radius monitor with the BNC connectors and I believe the ability to Sync on Green (somebody unfortunately tried to convert that monitor to a standard VGA connection and butchered it in the process). I am fairly comfortable with Linux and have played around a little with FreeBSD and Solaris in the past. I have never used VMS in the past. This is the first time I am working with a Vax computer.

I have a few questions:

Which Unix version to install on the Vax? Original UC Berkeley BSD Unix? OpenBSD? NetBSD? Ultrix if I can get a legal copy? AT&T Unix? For emotional reasons I may prefer to install some version of the original UC Berkeley BSD (1980s Bill Joy/Marshall Kirk McKusick Era), but will go with whichever is easier to install, the machine is newer (production started 1991) than the original BSD Unix versions. I would call it nostalgia except I never did use the original BSD Unix. Another consideration would be some version of AT&T Unix if it will run.

Is there a version of FreeBSD for the Vax?

If there is a functional VMS install on the machine's 4 hard drives (2 each in the machine and the auxilliary SCSI storage module), is there a way to dual boot between Unix and VMS?

I presume that I can get some verison of Emacs running on this system, it does not have to be recent. While Vi may be more historically correct on this machine I much prefer emacs.

Any suggestions or ideas?

My cell phone probably has significantly more computing power and far more memory and storage than this "minicomputer", I am approaching this as a hobbyist. I hope to use the system to explore BSD Unix (and possibly AT&T Unix) further and do some C programming on it. I anticipate to be working purely from the command line. I may explore VMS also at some point.
Author RE: Unix on A DEC Vax?
John Manger
Member

User Avatar

Posts: 53
Location: nr Heathrow, Middlesex, UK
Joined: 18.03.10
Posted on January 22 2013 09:21
My 2d/2c would be that NetBSD seems to be the most popular of the *BSD variants ported to VAX. Some of the oldest NetBSD/VAX releases get quite close to real 'old' BSD....

On the other hand, some people classify DEC's Ultrix as 'abandonware', and given the number of places it can be found on the 'net, I suspect the powers at HP probably feel the same too. The SIMH community often discuss Ultrix on SIMH/VAX, as do some of the old hardware and old Un*x enthusiast sites and forums, so they are good places to start looking for advice and so on.

John M
Author RE: Unix on A DEC Vax?
urbancamo
Member

Posts: 38
Location: Windermere, UK
Joined: 16.05.07
Posted on March 26 2013 11:37
If this is a VAXstation 4000/90 then it is too modern for Ultrix. NetBSD would appear to be your best bet although the machine is also supported under OpenBSD. There was rudimentary graphics support in OpenBSD but I'm not sure how usable it ever became. Be prepared for 'slow' however, you might be better off with an older distribution - certainly these BSD variants are nowhere near as quick on VAXen as VAX/VMS, but your milage may be better with a more appropriate vintage.

Good luck and please report back any successes!
http://www.wickensonline.co.uk
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malmberg
June 26 2018
https://www.openvmshobbyi
st.com/forum/viewthread.p
hp?forum_id=10&thread_id=
2363


bhamakripa
June 24 2018
I am trying OpenVMS via SIMH. Need to get OS binaries for v7.3. Registered here but don't have any membership number yet which is needed to get license. Pls suggest what to do. I hardly know anyth

basilh
June 05 2018
Any other forum members in Perth, Australia?

LouF91
April 05 2018
ah maybe they love that!

malmberg
March 24 2018
Probably. More people hang out on the comp.os.vms newsgroup.

vaxpert
March 23 2018
I have a PE42A and other Alpha system stuff for sale. I'm in So California. Any interest out there?

goodbyespy
February 27 2018
To Prohorenko. Please, visit group OpenVMS in the ok.ru

peteherrera
February 24 2018
How much does it cost to buy a complete OpenVMS hardcopy documentation set of the latest version

prohorenko
February 17 2018
Please help to obtain the license on OpenVMS

malmberg
December 12 2017
HPE only makes the most current version of OpenVMS Alpha / IA64 /VAX available to hobbyists. When I had access to the Alliance 1 program it was the same. No public downloads are allowed by HPE.

nmbonao
December 08 2017
Is anybody knows OpenVMS 8.2 version downloadable version? or CD copy? Thank you very much

aarommes
December 02 2017
Bitcoin and Blockchain enthusiasts ( plus distributed computing ) please connec / reply: http://www.openvmshobbyis
t.com/forum/viewthread.ph
p?forum_id=130&thread_id=
2991


malmberg
September 10 2017
https://sourceforge.net/p
/vms-ports/wiki/VMSInstal
lation/ For the most part just use VMS 6.1 media instead of 7.3. But why run the older release?


DoeveR
August 07 2017
Where can I find the write up on running VMS 6.1 using the simh emulator?

Bart
March 20 2017
Happy to have found my password again!

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