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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | Porting Open Source to OpenVMS
Author Bash 1.8.4 update for VAX and Alpha & I64

Posts: 477
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on March 31 2011 14:41
I have posted PCSI kits for updated Bash 1.14.8 kits at

The VAX kit is not very useful as none of the other tools have been ported to OpenVMS/VAX yet.

I am in the process of getting the GNV source at http://gnv.sourceforge.net/ updated with the fixes for this version.

[email protected]
Personal Opinion Only


You need to rename or remove the existing GNU:[BIN]SH., SH.EXE, BASH., BASH.EXE prior to installing the kit.

If these files are present, the Bash PCSI kit will not replace them.

You have to use dir/full to check the FIDs of the files and use set file/remove on the alias links, and delete on the original files.
Typically on the "SH." and "BASH." files are alises of "SH.EXE" and "BASH.EXE".

With the new kit, GNV$BASH.EXE is the primary name of the file, and
the other names are just aliases for it.

If you did not remove the files before installation, remove them and then do a product remove of bash, followed by a product install.

The following issues are fixed with this build of Bash.

* No logical names required for proper Bash operations other than
GNV$GNU for locating the simulated "/".

The older GNV programs may still need the logical names until they get
the same fixes. Those additional logical names should be set in
GNV$GNU:[lib]gnv_setup.com instead of in the system startup.

* GNV$GNU is used to find the posix root and locally sets SYS$POSIX_ROOT
for child processes if needed. This is to comply with VMS logical
name conventions. The logical name BIN is also set locally to be
GNV$GNU:[BIN] if it is not already set.

* Bash now sets the logical name GNV$SHELL so that child programs can
detect if they are running under a UNIX shell instead of under DCL.
This requires that the child programs check this logical name.
Partial support for this is in Perl 5.10 and full support for this
is in Curl 7.19.5 and later.

* VM pipes have been improved.

* Now uses the terminal type width and size from VMS, so command line
editing works with any terminal size.

* SYS$LOGIN:SH??????. temp files are no longer being left behind.

* DCL fallback is disabled by default, since it did not work correctly
and broke almost all shell scripts.
Use export GNV_DISABLE_DCL_FALLBACK=0 to enable it.

* Now builds on both VAX and Alpha, should also build on IA64.

* VMS C has a built in ALLOCA function, so stop replacing it with less
efficient code.

* Default path was in the wrong order.
old: /bin:/gnu/bin:/usr/local/bin/usr/
new: /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:.

* On non-VAX, internal filename buffers fixed to handle long filenames.

* The --version startup option reports the build date and time to make
it possible to identify this and successor variations of this port.


The Alpha kit was re-released as it was missing some of the source modules. No changes to the binary were done.

I64 kits are now available courtesy of Marin Vorlander at his site:


They are also available at ftp://encompasserve.org/gnv.

Martin has not extensively tested these images.
Edited by malmberg on April 15 2011 02:41
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