Configuring the Emulator for OpenVMS

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I have been able to

on an Intel 32-bit Compaq nc6000 laptop running the Fedora 9 Linux host system.

Once I got the ES40 Emulator compiled, I manually configured a simplified es40.cfg file, downloaded the SRM firmware, converted the original OpenVMS installation CDROM into an iso image file, and installed OpenVMS.

After a reboot the system was ready. The initial installation of OpenVMS took about 2 hour.

Simplified environment

We disactivated the VGA card because it was very slow, did have only text mode, and did not provide more functionality than the simple telnet console.

Because the SDE emulated disks and the hardware /dev/cdrom did not respond, we choose to work only with the emulated DKA devices.

We disabled the network, because we had problems configuring the NIC. We did not need a NIC, or network access to telnet to the console.

This way we were able to install and run OpenVMS.

ES40 configuration file

The file es40.cfg allows composing your emulated system. A minimal configuration that allowed me to install OpenVMS is documented here.

Danger sign.png Remark: Linux is using forward slashes for directories. Windows would use backward slashes for directories.

Danger sign.png Remark: With 29 memory bits we emulate 512 MB. For 1024 MB of memory we need 30 bits.

gui = sdl
 keyboard.use_mapping = false; = "";

sys0 = tsunami
 rom.srm = "rom/cl67srmrom.exe";
 rom.decompressed = "rom/decompressed.rom";
 rom.flash = "rom/flash.rom";
 memory.bits = 29;

 cpu0 = ev68cb
   icache = false;

 pci0.7 = ali {
   mouse.enabled = true;
   lpt.outfile = "lpt.out";
   vga_console = true;

 pci0.19 = ali_usb {}

 pci0.3 = sym53c810
  disk0.0 = file
     file =          "img/dka0.img";
     read_only     = false;
     cdrom         = false;
     autocreate_size = 1000M;
   disk0.4 = file
     file =          "img/scsi_cd.iso";
     read_only     = true;
     cdrom         = true;
   disk0.5 = ramdisk
     size = 200M;

 serial0 = serial {
   port = 21264;


Prepare the SRM console software image

Download the SRM Firmare kit as documented in Getting the firmware

mkdir rom

(cd rom ;unzip $HOME/Download/ cl67srmrom.exe)

Prepare the OpenVMS installation iso image file

You need the original OpenVMS installation CDROM. I used the OpenVMS 7.3 distribution kit, for demonstration purposes.

Because we had problems for the ES40 Emulator to interface with the hardware CDROM, we created an iso image file instead.

To convert the original OpenVMS distribution CDROM into an iso image file.

mkdir img

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=img/scsi_cd.iso

dd: reading `/dev/cdrom': Input/output error
1080800+0 records in
1080800+0 records out
553369600 bytes (553 MB) copied, 232.986 s, 2.4 MB/s

Prepare the system disk

The new system disk is created automatically with the choosen size.

To restart the installation (with a possibly) bigger system disk, just delete the previous emulated system disk file, and edit the configuration file to change the autocreate_size parameter.

rm img/dka0.img

vi es40.efg

Be sure to have at least 1000 MB available for the emulated system disk, for demonstration purposes only. For real work it should be a multitude of GB big.