29 August 2011

How To Try OpenVMS under ES40 Emulator

After reading some information about mainframe I'm directed to an opensource emulator for Alpha system called es40, which unfortunately halted. The main developer move to commercial project called Charon-AXP which also offer Personal Alpha (freeware but limited in performance). I'm quite interested with OpenVMS and it's possible similarities with Windows NT (remember Dave Cutler?). It would great to run this super reliable "relic" on plain XP :)


1. Download es40 first here (you can pick last release or the snapshot in preferred variants)
2. Get your free DECUServe membership:
  - Start > Run > telnet (make sure you don't disable telnet service)
  - Inside telnet console, type decuserve.org and enter
  - You will greeted with username: prompt, now type REGISTRATION and enter

  - You will see something like USxxxxxx where x are your membership number, now follow provided instruction. You will be asked for common informations.
  - Once you completed, you'll need to wait (it said twice a week) DECUServe to transmit your credentials to http://www.openvmshobbyist.com. I still waiting this process :(
3. Later you could register hobbyist license here (use DECUServe as your participant chapter)
4. Getting media kit. Current HP OpenVMS is version 8.4 (for Alpha) as it's not available yet for hobbyist you can use these downloads:
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/jedi/ALPHA084.IMG (main OS ods-2 image need vmscd)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/jedi/ALPHA084LP1.BCK (layered products part 1 in VMS backup format)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/jedi/ALPHA084LP2.BCK (layered products part 2)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/jedi/OPNSRC084KIT.BCK (Opensource extras?)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/VMS84A_UPDATE-E0100.ZIPEXE (update for 8.4)
  - http://h71000.www7.hp.com/ebusiness/technology.html (another free arrays of ported modern software)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/FREEWARE80_1.ZIP (HP's maintained opensource collection part 1)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/FREEWARE80_2.ZIP (HP's maintained opensource collection part 2)
  - http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/FREEWARE80_3.ZIP (HP's maintained opensource collection part 3)
  - http://de.openvms.org/OpenVMS-Ports/ (list for many 3rd party ports, including Python 2.5!)
  - http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/os84_index.html (online and pdf documentation for OpenVMS)
5. Follow OpenVMS installation instruction for ES40 here

- there is ISO image http://ftp.hp.com/pub/openvms/openvmsft/ALPHAF84.ISO if you have problem with IMG format (not sure the difference though)
- I'm still waiting registration process so can't comment on the installation step itself

** Holy cow, I just finished downloading the core image and it booted!...
start Personal Alpha GUI
make empty disk(hdd) first then assign to dk0
assign dk200 or any else except dk0 to alpha084.img
assign your preferred LAN and terminal (optional)
press START once PuTTY show up type "b dk200" (to boot manually), Sadly I still wait my hobbyist license.

** Got my license finally
Now OpenVMS Alpha 8.4 installed. Got this thread how to map CDE to X in windows using Xming. For anyone who too poor to donate could get "not so new" release here ftp://itc-auto-link.lnk.totel.ru/Network/Xming/


  1. Location of the ISO has moved.


  2. It's difficult to find any current details on the hobbyist program since HP took it in-house. Ive been trying since last year and have emailed HP for assistance, but I dont hold out much hope of getting an answer.

    DECUSERVE seems to be down or non existent these days.

    1. I still have the preinstalled disk image and it still booted well, but I don't remember my registration number etc or how to retrieve it from running VMS.

      The image is 158mb 7z compressed (barebone installation I guess)

    2. Oh sorry, it says license no longer active.. I guess i's not perpetual registration.

  3. what is performance or description for es40 how to connect with real terminal vt100