VAX6460: VMS 5.4 how to move on?

From: Geoff Roberts <>
Date: Sun Oct 28 22:56:53 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gunther Schadow" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 2:52 PM
Subject: VAX6460: VMS 5.4 how to move on?

> Hi,
> O.K. I am delighted! I did boot VMS 5.4 from that RA90 labeled
> as unit 0.

Ok! What was the problem that prevented it working earlier?

> I changed the system password and am now copying
> ULTRIX filed off the TK50 tape onto disk in order to write them
> on 9-track trying to boot from there. Of course I will have
> all sorts of grief because of the weird VMS blocked file
> formats.

Yeah it's different.

For instance, what I read from the tape should look
> like this on UNIX:
> $ dir /size
> FILE.000;1 0
> FILE.001;1 0
> FILE.002;1 12880
> FILE.003;1 1420
> FILE.004;1 17240
> FILE.005;1 6140
> FILE.006;1 3920
> FILE.007;1 1020
> Total of 8 files, 42620 blocks.
> O.K. seems like we have file sizes reported in 512 byte blocks.


> But file 1 didn't come up right. May be that was because of
> this read error that keeps the tape from booting?

Could be, certainly doesn't look right to have a zero length file, it has to
occupy at least one block.

> Anyway, before I go to bed I will have copied the first set
> of filed to disk and back to a tape. Either a TK70 or a
> 9-track and will try to boot. It looks like I'm making
> progress, finally.


> However, I ask myself what to do with that VMS 5.4 system
> disk. Should I keep it and get another drive downstairs
> Should I rather keep this running 5.4
> VMS or should I make a fresh install of a VMS 6.1 of which
> I have tapes?

6.1 would be better on that hardware. Make sure you get all the license
stuff from
the 5.4 sysdisk before you init or otherwise clean it, you might have all
sorts of
goodies on there. The distributions are easy to get (relatively) but the
licenses are expensive unless
you get the freeware one from DECUS, which I think covers all the apps and
layered products too now.
If you do have several drives, it wouldn't hurt to keep the working version
salted away somewhere.

> I am a curious person, so I could first dig in
> the disks for interesting stuff, but then, I rather want to
> get away from VMS and onto Ultrix and finally NetBSD. So
> how much are old filesystems worth keeping? I don't have
> enough tape to back it all up, and even if I had, how would
> I do this?

You have to boot Standalone backup either off tape or a disk.
It's a bootable version of Backup, essentially a minimal VMS shell with
embedded backup.
Only proper way to backup a VMS system disk. How many RA9x drives do you
You could do a BACKUP/PHYSICAL onto another RA9x drive. Instant system
You could also install SA Backup onto another drive, or even to an alternate
system root on the
same drive, you then boot SA Backup instead of VMS and can do full backups
of anything.

> How can I find UCX on this VMS 5.4 filesystem? It appears as
> absent. Is there something like find(1) on VMS? Did UCX not
> exist for VMS 5.4?

It did, but as an option, and an ugly one at that. Probably not on there,
DECNET was standard and shipped with/as part of VMS usually. UCX was
another extra cost item.

Could I install it from a VMS 6.1 bin tape?

Unlikely to be on the 6.1 tape, you'd need a consolidated software
Someone closer to you will have the necessary bits. Or you can get a 3rd
party stack
like Multinet (essentially 3.2 BSD Tahoe TCP/IP ported for VMS)
If you get stuck, get back to me, can help with an old version (3.2 Rev B
that will work with 6.1 ok)
(with a little nudging)

> Do I have any chance of using my ethernet for anything like
> file transfer or NFS without having UCX?

Only for things that speak DECNET, or thru a terminal with Zmodem or Kermit
or something.
(Both are avbl for VMS - again can help if you are desperate)

> thanks much for helping me accross the VMS river :-)

No prob. I'm a bit the way you are with VMS about Unix. (VMS was the first
'real' OS I played with)
It was on my 6000 when I got it so I had to learn how to drive it.


Geoff Roberts
Computer Systems Manager
Saint Mark's College
Port Pirie, South Australia
ICQ 1970476
Received on Sun Oct 28 2001 - 22:56:53 GMT

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