Operating System - OpenVMS

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

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Ian Derringer
Regular Advisor

Remote copy within VMS systems

I am currently running OpenVMS 7.3-2 on Alpha ES45 & ES40 - I would like the ability to do a remote copy between the Alpha servers. What do I need to setup prior to do the remote copy??

Please help!!
Thank you in advance.

Bojan Nemec
Honored Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems


There are many solutions for copy files betwen two VMS systems. If you mean RCP for remote copy you must install tcpip services and start the rcp server. A second solution is to use SSH and SCP, you will also need to install tcpip services and enable SSH. Another tcpip solution is FTP which have also a simple command line interface. With FTP you can copy with a command like this:

$ COPY/FTP file ipname"user password"::dev[dir]
$ COPY/FTP ipname"user password"::dev[dir]file file

where ipname is th ip address or name of the remote system.

Another solution is to install and setup DECnet. The command is similar to the previous FTP version:

$ COPY file nodename"user password"::dev[dir]

where nodename is the decnet name of the remote system.

You can put the systems in cluster. When the systems are clustered you can mount devices on both sides and you see remote disks as "local" disks. You can copy files in the same manner you copy files betwen two disks. Or you can yust use the files on both systems.

Kari Uusimäki
Occasional Advisor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

Hello Ian,

There are a few different ways to do it. I'll describe two shortly. I assume you have not clustered both the Alphas. I also assume that you mean copying using a LAN.

The easiest way to do copying is using DECnet protocol. If you don't have it installed and configured, you find the needed information from the OpenVMS online documentation at:
(for DECnet-plus) or
(for plain DECnet)

When it is available, you just do:
$ copy file.txt otheralpha::device:[directory]file.txt

or the other way:

$ copy otheralpha::device:[directory]file.txt file.txt

The next easiest way would be using a combination of DECnet and TCP/IP (aka DECnet-over-IP). Then you have to have installed and configured both DECnet-plus and TCP/IP. This is especially useful if you happen to have a routed TCP/IP network between the two Alphas (like the Internet)

Then you would do:

$ copy file.txt otheralpha.domain.top::device:[directory]file.txt

or the other way:

$ copy otheralpha.domain.top::device:[directory]file.txt file.txt

For both of these setups you need a license for the protocol (DVNETEND for DECnet or TCPIP for TCP/IP) or if you have a certain NET-APP-SUP-xxx license you are entitled to use the protocols with that license and don't need the separate licenses.

If you want, you can also use just TCP/IP copying (ftp). Then you need TCP/IP protocol installed and configured anyway (and a valid license, of course). See:

The syntax is almost the same, see

If you want to make a cluster of the Alphas, then the copying will be even easier and you also get many other nice features.

If I can be of any further help, just ask.



Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems


good answers given already.

One thing to keep in mind: DECnet automatically preserves file structure.
VMS-to-VMS ftp copy also has POSSIBILITY to be configured to do this.

Another asdantage of DECnet wrt TCP/IP: it is possible to specify files ON OTHER DECnet NODES, and access them as if they were local.


OPEN FILE remnode::diskxxx:[dir.subdir]xzz.dat


is perferctly valid,
as is

$ DEFINE FILE remnode:: (etc)


the program specifies "a" file,
and only at runtime it is decided that that file resides at a remote node.

All network handling is totally transparant, and that includes all necessary error handling.

This work for both "classic" DECnet, as for DECnet-over-IP.

( Oh, does it really shine through that I am a DECnet fan, and only grudgingly accepting the clumsiness of IP ? )



Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Respected Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems


Just to add a few more options to the discussion: there are also NFS, Samba, and Pathworks available, but of course they also require the prerequisite underlayers of TCP/IP and/or DECnet.

Do you have enough to think about yet? ;-)

Master you were right about 1 thing -- the negotiations were SHORT!
Ian Derringer
Regular Advisor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

Many thanks, guys!! What I was looking for is the syntax to setup and allow a user to perform remote copy. Maybe I am not clear on my questions; Here is the example what I had to do to setup a user for remote copy;
Set def sys$system
run authorize
show/proxy *::user
add/proxy node_name::user user /def
I do this for both nodes. Tested okay from here.

Again, Thanks everyone for your reponse.

John Yu_1
Valued Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

You've set up the proxies, the user should be able to copy via DECNET:

copy othernode"user"::
Artificial intelligence is rarely a match for natural stupidity.
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems


about awarding points and the points system here.
Purely Personal Opinion
Ian Derringer
Regular Advisor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

Ian Miller - I tried to assign point, but the system said, I did not have any unassign point at this time. Honestly, I tried!!

Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Remote copy within VMS systems

Ian D., you appear to have two usernames on here. The username that started this thread is CA12341 and the username you used to reply was CA1214375. So you can't assign points as you are not using the same username as you started with. Time to talk to itrc_support at hp dot com parhaps.
Purely Personal Opinion