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OpenVMS or not?

 
ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

OpenVMS or not?

At work, we are connected to a host system that may be using a OpenVMS OS. I just want to confirm this. Because at login, I am familiar with the login screen which is like this below:

Username:
Password:

Last interactive login at Friday, 07:30:01.60

But then after, it takes me to a menu screen similar like this here below:

01-Integrated Screens
02-Security
03-Accounting
04-System Maintenance

And so forth...Is this host really running an OpenVMS operating system even when after logging in it shows a menu option screen like the one above??

My guess that it is because of the familiar logon banner. But I just want to confirm this please.

Thanks.
28 REPLIES
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Though technically this could be a system spoofing the appearance of OpenVMS, yes, this looks like OpenVMS with a menu system. Specifically, this looks like an OpenVMS system that has been configured to drop a specific logged-in user directly into a (usually CAPTIVE or a RESTRICTED) menu system.

Also consider asking some folks organizationally closer to the particular box than those here in ITRC.
ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Yes your right, it does drop me down to a menu option screen after when I logon from that banner.

So could this be an OpenVMS system? Amd also, if does have a menu system like I use at work, then what was it codes with? COBOL? Fortran?

Thanks
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Yes. This could be -- and probably is -- an OpenVMS system.

Menu systems can be coded with (and most commonly) DCL, and in Perl, PHP, Fortran, Bliss, C, Macro assembler, or most any other language available on OpenVMS. There are full application environments and commercial menu packages, as well.

Most -- but far from all -- menu systems involve CAPTIVE or RESTRICTED DCL command procedures and DCL programming. For details on these, find a copy of the Writing Real Programs in DCL book (that book I wrote) for detailed information. There are details on CAPTIVE and RESTRICTED command procedures and security and menu systems scattered across the User's Guide, the Security Manual, the DCL dictionary and other books. (The book pulls all these details together.)

I'd encourage you to ask whomever is maintaining and managing the box for you for assistance. (Yes, that person could be you. I've certainly had that "here, it's yours!" happen to me, too.) If this system were my box now and assuming I had inherited the box and was now managing it with little information, I'd look around for documentation and related materials I could find, and for a login that bypasses the menu. For whatever information was available.

I might well next schedule some downtime, and crack open the environment for a look and for a complete system BACKUP /IMAGE (complete, offline, everything), as well as to (re)create or (re)enable a direct (non-MENU) login. There are documented ways to break into an OpenVMS system given physical console access, should it comes to that. One such sequence is listed in the OpenVMS FAQ.

If you are looking for them, the OpenVMS manuals are available at: http://www.hp.com/go/openvms/doc/


Stephen Hoffman
HoffmanLabs
Martin Hughes
Regular Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Once you have logged in, hit CTRL-T, do you see something similar to this?

GONDOR::TSG_MKH 10:15:01 (DCL) CPU=00:00:00.36 PF=527 IO=702 MEM=112

If so, then yes, your system is running VMS. Note that if you get no response, this proves nothing, CTRL-T might simply be disabled.
For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into a hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each wall was a gate. (J.R.R. Tolkien). Quote stolen from VAX/VMS IDSM 5.2
ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

I can do a UNAME -A command but like I said, this system does not have any command shell on it except when I log on to that logon banner.

It is most likely a OpenVMS system because the time were it says Last interactive logon are measured in TENTHS or NANO-SECONDS. All I know that most OpenVMS ssytems measure time in this format.

So, like I said, once after I logon from that command logon prompt, it takes me right down to a MENU SCREEN. It is colorful with a purple backround with white fonts but it is still a text-based looking system...

So would this mean that it is running OpenVMS?
Martin Hughes
Regular Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Just to clarify, what I mean is hold down the ctrl key and press T. This is a control key function, not an interpreted command, you don't need command line access.
For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into a hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each wall was a gate. (J.R.R. Tolkien). Quote stolen from VAX/VMS IDSM 5.2
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?


The system is likely running OpenVMS.





Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

ngoht20,

It is not unusual for regular users on an OpenVMS system to be restricted to a menu-based interaction with the system. This is particular true where the user is only authorized to use a limited set of applications.

The "menu" system could be implemented in any way that is convenient. It could be written in DCL, it could be handcoded in some higher-level language, or it could be one of many packages.

It is often the case in that such accounts have all Control keys (including CNTRL-T) disabled. For security reasons, such accounts are often marked as CAPTIVE in their UAF entry (which among other things, means that if the command file that is automatically invoked ever exits, the user is automatically logged off).

All of the facts that you have mentioned are highly suggestive of an OpenVMS system, but none of the information that you have mentioned completely proves that the system is running OpenVMS. The only sure way is to ask the system owner.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Terry Lykens
Occasional Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

You could also try logging in with the qualifier /nolog after your username. If this isn't a captive account you should get to the command prompt.

-Terry
Terry Lykens
Occasional Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Duh, that should be /nocomm not /nolog.
This is what I get for posting before coffee...

-Terry
Carson Hovey
Occasional Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Try a google search on:

Remote OS detection via tcp/ip fingerprinting.

ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Ok folks!!! Here we go....I tried the CRTL-T key combo and yes...IT WORKED!!!!

Heres what It gave me below:

RUEV03: :KZP746 07:52:02 PSMGMENU
CPU=00:00:00.06 PF=407 IO=201 MEM=238

Then before that, I had this information BEFORE it took me to the MENU-OPTION SCREEN below like this:

Username:
Password:

Last interactive login on Friday, 07:33:00.87
PSMGMENU_V3 (1) Executing group captive login

Now, can people here say now that this is most likely running or connected to a OpenVMS host server?

Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

ngoht20,

Every indicator that you have mentioned is consistent with an OpenVMS system.

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

Re: OpenVMS or not?

This system is likely running OpenVMS.

Nothing here so far is incompatible with OpenVMS behavior and capabilities.

Please back up a few steps here and explain why this identification is an issue, as this is the very first time I've ever encountered a discussion such as this one. There has to be more here, and some background would certainly help better steer the discussion.

You have direct physical access or access to this information through your management and through other local organizational channels; there would seem to be a far more direct path for obtaining this host system configuration information than here in ITRC.

Based on the discussion so far and based on the above reasoning, I could easily infer that this investigation and your goals might well be nefarious, or otherwise unauthorized by whomever is responsible for this system. I do hope this particular inference is incorrect, but I'm certainly also forced to assume there's rather more going on here than what we're being provided with.


Doug Phillips
Trusted Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

ngoht,

You are logged into a server named RUEV03 as user KZP746 and you are running a compiled program named PSMGMENU in a captive environment. Or, so you are being led to believe. If it is OpenVMS, then the menu program PSMGMENU isn't part of OpenVMS.

The operating system could be OpenVMS or it could be something that was developed by some geeks in a basement next door and just presents an OpenVMS type of user interface.

You could keep trying to hack into the system and eventually your system managers will contact you and then you can ask them.
ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Hacking is totally out of the question. My facility logs, momitors, and records for such activities.

All I wanted to know is how the system transforms from a standard command prompt to a menu-driven screen.

I have been interested in OpenVMS for quite some time now and I do want to learn its ropes since its the most stable and secure OS around.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Suggestions for learning DCL on OpenVMS:

o Talk to your manager.

o If you learn from reading and doing, wander over to the OpenVMS documentation web site, and download the OpenVMS User's Guide, and take some time to skim and understand material described there. If you learn from classroom materials, ask your manager for support.

o As for "doing", acquire login access to Deathrow, Encompasserve or other network-accessible OpenVMS site, and learn about DCL commands and procedures there. Use these sites to learn. Details in the OpenVMS FAQ.

o Locate and read any of the available DCL tutorial sites and documents listed in the OpenVMS FAQ.

o For more advanced DCL work, find a copy of the book I wrote (the book goes in and out of print) called Writing Real Programs in DCL 2nd Ed. This book includes what I believe is an extensive introduction to DCL, as well as an example menu system.

o As you become more proficient with DCL and as you seek to work within your existing environment, you will want to contact your local support staff and request (read) access to the DCL and tools involved. You will also want to engage their support.

Surprise your manager and the local IT and management and security staff at your own peril. Continuing to follow a course of questions such as that of this thread will likely cause a degree of skepticism among IT and security and management folks. Offer enthusiasm and assistance and increasing DCL skills and openness, and you can potentially make your manager and your IT team look better. And you can improve your skills, and your value.

ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Maybe it will come to that regarding contacting my local IT people who administers these systems. Also, I did download tons of VMS related docs.

I really want to learn more about this OS which is the most secure OS around.
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

ngoht20,

I notice, that noone yet said, so I will do that:

WELCOME to the ITRC VMS Forum!

How about thanking those that helped so far?
see:
http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/helptips.do?#33

Proost.

Have one on me.

jpe
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Doug Phillips
Trusted Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

>>
All I wanted to know is how the system transforms from a standard command prompt to a menu-driven screen.
<<

The same general way as on any operating system. You run a menu program.

Someone created a menu program. Someone placed its run instruction in the command file that executes when you log in. The menu program that is being started when you log in is named PSMGMENU.

Someone also set your user authorization record so you are "captive" and can't get to the DCL command prompt.
Andreas Vollmer
Valued Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Hello,
It is wonderful that you are show interest in OpenVMS.
But as suggested by my colleagues - talk to the IT guys. Do not try to impress them - it could be the wrong signal.
Please be aware all your attempts to find out on what kind of OS and server you are working and trying to get to the DCL level could be logged.
Depending in what kind of environment you are working this could cost your job!
There are reasons to setup this kind of special accounts!

Yes, your question makes me suspicious. Your investigations could be treated as a hacking attempt.
I support Hoff's suggestion - please ask the IT support.
Consider the system you have access could be a production server. Even if you get access to the DCL prompt, a wrong DCL command, entered by curiosity, could bring down the system or worse.
Therefore stay on track and talk to the IT guys in your company!
Andreas
OpenVMS Forever!
Andreas Vollmer
Valued Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Hi ngoht20,

You have asked a lot about VMS but didn't assigned any points for the answers.
Please so kind and assign now points for the answers of the colleagues. You have created other forum entries than this.
This is in respect for the time and help many people devoted for you!

For sure 0 points for this!

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/helptips.do?#33

Many thanks for your understanding.
Regards
Andreas
OpenVMS Forever!
ngoht20
Frequent Advisor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

Ok, heres what I see from my Windows PC connected to a OpenVMS host on port 23.

Username
Password:
Last interactive login on Friday 07:54:01.88

Then it drops me down to the screen below.

**********************************************************

MENU OPTION SCREEN

01- ORDER PROCESSING 07- SECURITY
02- GM PROCESSING 08- PROCUREMENT
03- ORDERS
04- SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
05- ACCOUNTING
06- PART NUMBER ENTRY

SELECTION BOX ////

*********************************************

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS or not?

This system is probably OpenVMS, and (if this is OpenVMS) most definitely involves some installed software. Probably either local, or a third-party product of some sort, or a combination.

This system definitely looks like it might contain customer and financial data.

Have you discussed your interests here with your manager? I'd not want to see someone showing such initiative and interest end up getting fired.