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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Software Forum
Author DECWindows oddities?

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on June 15 2011 14:25
Running 7.3 with a hobbyist license on SIMH, it took a lot of struggle to get DECWindows working. Two notable issues that don't seem to be documented:

1. Apparently you MUST install DECNET and configure it, even if you are going to use TCPIP as the transport for DECWindows. Nothing worked for me until I installed and configured DECNET. After that I could inhibit it from starting up with the "ignore" logical, and DECWindows worked fine over TCPIP, but without DECNET there were error messages saying that remote screens could not be opened because something was "unsupported" (%SYS-E-UNSUPPORTED)

2. When attempting to use XDM to activate a session from a remote host, it is impossible to actually log in unless the Xserver channel is zero (0). If you open X with a server number of 1 or higher, the login fails and you are returned to the authentication panel. This appears to happen because the SYS$SYSTEM:TCPIP$XDM_XSESSION.COM file assumes the server will always be zero.

Neither of these problems seem to apply to the Alpha version of VMS. Can anyone confirm that I've drawn the correct conclusions here?
Edited by Altivo on June 16 2011 03:55
Author RE: DECWindows oddities?

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on June 15 2011 16:40
I do not bother with XDM, I just launch a vue$master session with a menu that allows me to access the other X-11 hosts just by clicking on them.

I always install decnet because even on a single node system, you can use it for decnet objects. Decnet objects can allow non-privileged users to run privileged command files.
Author RE: DECWindows oddities?

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on June 15 2011 17:29
That makes some sense if your primary workstation is running VMS. Mine runs Linux and I normally use either separate X servers on separate screens or something like Xnest or Xephyr to put a remote headless server into a window on my console. While I have real Alpha servers doing useful stuff, they are not located so I can conveniently use them as primary workstations. And I do run a lot of Linux-based stuff anyway.

The SIMH node, of course, has no graphical console of its own. While my real VAX experience never included DECWindows, I do find it more convenient now than just using a telnet session.
Author RE: DECWindows oddities?

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on June 16 2011 03:54
Additional information:

The bug that prevents XDM from handling any Xserver channel other than zero is real in 7.3. It was corrected in the 8.3 distribution for Alpha by patch 70-5-1747.

The script SYS$SYSTEM:XDM_XSESSION.COM from OpenVMS Alpha 8.3 can be copied over to OpenVMS VAX 7.3 and will partly fix the problem. There appear to be corresponding changes needed in a couple of other files, and I'm looking into it.
Edited by Altivo on June 16 2011 08:08
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