Diskless VMS install

Glen Slick glen.slick at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 16:42:07 CDT 2020

On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 11:50 AM John Klos via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a VAXstation 4000/60 with an internal disk but no CD drive. I'd
> like to install VMS (7.3), but I'm new to VMS.
> I have a SIMH VAX instance running on the same LAN with VMS installed
> (mounting the VMS images is easy, of course). Can anyone point me to a
> HOW-TO which explains how to use one VMS system to MOP / netboot another
> system to install VMS?

As far as I can remember the standard VMS installation over the
network mechanism assumes you are booting from and installing from an
InfoServer, not another system running VMS. Although for Alpha VMS
systems there is also an InfoServer utility you can run that can take
the place of a dedicated InfoServer. As far as I can remember the
InfoServer utility is not available on VAX systems, only the
InfoServer client is available.

If you are already set up to use SIMH, you could use the InfoServer
support in SIMH instead of the regular VAX support, InfoServer100,
InfoServer150VXT, or InfoServer1000.

I have InfoServer 100, 150VXT, and 1000 physical hardware that I have
set up and used in the past for network installations of VMS. The
standard OpenVMS VAX 7.3 installation CD should have an InfoServer
script file somewhere on it that will take care of automatically
sharing the installation volume and ISL boot file (ISL_SVAX_073) when
the CD is inserted. On the VAX where the installation is taking place
the OpenVMS 7.3 installation manual has a section on booting from and
installing from an InfoServer.

There is probably already an How-To out there somewhere on setting up
and using a SIMH InfoServer. I'll have to take a look around and see
what I can find. Or also spend some time seeing what it takes to get a
SIMH InfoServer set up again myself and make some notes along the way.

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