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Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

 
George_145
Valued Contributor

Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

Hi,

A change is coming to the format for OpenVMS operating system patch kits that I want to let you know about. The following notice should be coming out through Subscriber's Choice in the next few days.

o Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

The format for OpenVMS operating system patch kits is changing. Within the next few weeks, when a user downloads an OpenVMS patch kit from the ITRC site, the kit will have a PCSI$COMPRESSED extension rather than the PCSI-DCX_AXPEXE extension. These kits do not have to be expanded before they can be installed. Aside from not having to expand these kits before use, users will not see any other changes. From a usage perspective, PCSI$COMPRESSED kits are used the same way as the PCSI kits everyone is used to. All PRODUCT commands (INSTALL, UNDO etc.) are the same.

o Reason For The Change

Before release, OpenVMS patch kits are compressed using FTSV (SPOOL) to create DCX compressed binary files with an extension of PCSI-DCX_AXPEXE. Files are compressed so that file characteristics are preserved when downloading files from the ITRC and when transferring files between the various types of operating systems. Once these files are downloaded, before they can be installed, they must be run to be expanded into the installable PCSI kit.

Because of file name format requirements at the ITRC download site, kit files cannot carry the full kit name. Compression provides a way to rename the files to an abbreviated name that satisfies the ITRC format requirements. For example, the VMS732_SYS-V0600 patch kit was released as VMS732_SYS-V0600.PCSI-DCX_AXPEXE with a documentation file name of VMS732_SYS-V0600.TXT. This then expands into the installable file DEC-AXPVMS-VMS732_SYS-V0600--4.PCSI.

o New Format

PCSI$COMPRESSED kits are kits that have been built and compressed using the DCX compression algorithms within the PCSI utility itself. The most significant advantage of using PCSI$COMPRESSED kits is that they do not have to be expanded before they can be installed. Instead, they are installed "as is" and PCSI will perform the decompression of the individual kit components during the installation. This results in disk space savings and the elimination of an installation step for users. When building PCSI$COMPRESSED kits, it is not possible to give the kit an abbreviated kit name. Because of that, coupled with the ITRC format restrictions, it has not been possible to use the PCSI$COMPRESSED kit format for OpenVMS patch kits. That has now changed. While kit files still need to be compressed to preserve the file characteristics, the ITRC site no longer has file name format requirements. This allows us to begin releasing PCSI$COMPRESSED patch kits, letting users take advantage of the simplified installation process and disk space savings that they provide.

This change applies to all OpenVMS Alpha operating system patch kits that use the PCSI installation utility.

George Pagliarulo
ECO Release Process
OpenVMS Sustaining Engineering
e-mail: george.pagliarulo@hp.com



8 REPLIES 8
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

George,

Thank you for taking the time to post this message. The courtesy is appreciated.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

thank you for the info George. I hope .PCSI$COMPRESSED files can be downloaded without problems from the site using pc ftp (in cases where a VMS can't directly do it).
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

Yes, they can be downloaded by all the same methods that worked with the previous DCXEXE kit format.
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

I wanted to make one clarification on this. This format chagne affects both Alpha kits and future IA64 architecture kits. VAX is not affected since we don't use PCSI for VAX kits.
Galen Tackett
Valued Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

George,

As others have said, thanks for the advance notice. This is a welcome change, from my point of view.

A couple of questions:

First, you said:
> I wanted to make one clarification on this. This format chagne affects both
> Alpha kits and future IA64 architecture kits. VAX is not affected since we don't
> use PCSI for VAX kits.

As you say, I don't see any OpenVMS VAX o/s patch kits that use PCSI. However, there are plenty of ECO kits for layered products that do come in PCSI format. An example is TCP/IP Services. Will these start coming in compressed format? (This is only of interest to me as a hobbyist. I don't use VAXes at work.)

Second, is it possible to install from a PCSI$COMPRESSED kit on an ISO9660 CD without first copying the kit to disk? I may already know the answer, as I assume you could just specify the proper record attributes at mount time with the /UNDEFINED qualifier (or whatever it's called).

Thanks again,

Galen
Robert_Boyd
Respected Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

I presume that the PCSI$COMPRESSED format will only be used for new patch kits that apply to OpenVMS V7.3-2 and later? Or is the compressed format capability available on earlier versions of OpenVMS/Alpha V7.3x?

Robert Boyd
Master you were right about 1 thing -- the negotiations were SHORT!
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

> Will LPs use the PCSI$COMPRESSED format?

LPs produce their own kits and are not required to follow what we do for the OS. However, I am planning to send a note to the LP groups advising them of this change and the benefits. I expect that, unless there is some reason an LP can't do it, PCSI$COMPRESSED kits will be adopeted.

> Can you install from an ISO9660 CD?
Most likely this would not work but it is not because the kit is a PCSI$COMPRESSED kit. It is because the disk is not ODS-2. If the disk is dual formatted and mounted properly with the /MEDIA_FORMAT qualifier, you may be able to install from the ODS-2 formatted section. But, this has not been tested.

> Is the compressed format available on earlier verisons?
PCSI is common code going back to V6.2. So, yes earlier versions could have kits with this format (see the above comment about LPs) but we do not ship PCSI OS kits on anything earlier than.....I believe V7.2. The furthest back you will see a PCSI$COMPRESSED kit for the OS is V7.3-1. Until next month,anyway, when V7.3-1 goes unsupported.
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Change to OpenVMS Operating System Patch Kit Formats

support for compressed kits was introduced in various patch kits for PCSI
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion