VAX emulation with OpenVMS

Time Machine

DECnet Optional

For the selection of packages that follows, you mostly just confirm the defaults or select the package as offered by pressing Y . You can usually do without DECnet and DECwindows. At the end, the installer wants you to confirm once again, and then writes the data to disk.

When installation is complete, you need to set up passwords for the accounts SYSTEM, SYSTEST, and FIELD. To make things easy, simply enter the same password for all accounts.

Finally, the installer will prompt you with SCSNODE name ; what it wants here is a name for the computer; for SCSSYSTEMID, you can simply type 1025.


The installer waits for the license key you were sent after registering for the OpenVMS Hobbyist program. After selecting menu option 1, answer YES to the question Do you have your Product Authorization Key? . Now copy the data from the email you were sent to the input mask, line by line. The operating system product is listed in the license file as VAX VMS. In this section, you will find the authorization number, which looks like:


The product name is VAX VMS, and the Number of Units is 0. In the same way, copy the termination date (TERMINATION_DATE), the activity table code (ACTIVITY), and the checksum (CHECKSUM). The fields Version, Product Release Date, Availability Table Code, Key Options, Product Token, and Hardware ID can stay blank. Confirm the input, and the system checks to see whether it is correct and offers to load the license. Otherwise, you need to correct your entries.

At the end, you should see the message:

%LICENSE-I-LOADED, DEC VAX-VMS was successfully loaded with 0 units

When you quit the licensing tool, the installer prompts you to configure the time zone, including optional summer time.

Finally, it creates a new system image and shuts down the VMS, ending up at firmware level again where you can either reboot or press Ctrl+e to change to the emulator and then exit to quit.

Automatic Boot

To remove the need to specify the boot device on each boot, you can configure it in the firmware or NVRAM. To do so, enter

set boot dua0

Now, exit the emulator, reboot again and type

show boot

You should see DUA0 as the boot device. However, the VAX will still not boot automatically at startup time. To do this, you will need the dep bdr 0 command in your vax.ini file's set cpu idle line. This sets the corresponding bit in the register to ensure that the computer automatically starts the preset boot device. Now restart vax, which should automatically boot up the installed OpenVMS (Figure 2).

Figure 2: After the installation, OpenVMS comes up waiting for the first login. The system console displays the audit messages.

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