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VMS NEWBIE!! What file do I edit to automatically mount disks in during system startup?

Matthew Murdock
Frequent Advisor

VMS NEWBIE!! What file do I edit to automatically mount disks in during system startup?

Under Unix we edit /etc/fstab (vfstab, or /etc/filesystems), what is the equivelant under OpenVMS 8.4 Running on IA64 Box.

The disk devices are dkb1: and dkb2:.

I can mount from DCL as mount dkb1: DISK1 and mount dkb2: DISK2. Thanks.

 

PS.. I barely Learned how to delete a character and save a file in EDIT. Thats how new I am to VMS.

3 REPLIES
David R. Lennon
Valued Contributor

Re: VMS NEWBIE!! What file do I edit to automatically mount disks in during system startup?

Hi, Welcome to VMS!!

 

OpenVMS does not have a strictly defined place to do volume mounts in it's boot file (startup) sequence. Every site (or even system) could do it in a different place.  I believe at one time there was an example of doing a mount in the current main traditional VMS system startup file - SYS$MANAGER:SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM but most places find this rapidly becomes cluttered and it makes more sense to do mounts in a seperate file, called by that file. This is especially true if one has special logic for handling errors or unexpected situations, such as is done in SYS$EXAMPLES:CLU_MOUNT_DISK.COM.

 

If it is a volume that contains a page and swap file, it will most likely be done in SYS$MANAGER:SYPAGSWPFILES.COM.  Or it could be in SYS$MANAGER:SYCONFIG.COM or SYS$MANAGER:SYLOGICALS.COM.

See chapter 5 of the System Manager Essentals manual:

http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/82final/aa-pv5mj-tk/00/00/40-con.html

 

Advanced (?) sites will have taken advantage of the SYSMAN STARTUP database facility and a disk mount command procedure can be called from that.

 

You may want to look at this presentation for a good overview of the SYSMAN STARTUP database, etc:

http://www.djesys.com/vms/support/powerpnt/ovmsmgmt.ppt

 

- Dave

 

Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS NEWBIE!! What file do I edit to automatically mount disks in during system startup?

> OpenVMS does not have a strictly defined place to do volume mounts in
> it's boot file (startup) sequence. [...]

   Yeah, what he said (except for the apostrophe in "its").

   Around here, I have a DCL script, MOUNT_DISKS_LOCAL.COM, which reads
a data file, LOCAL_DISKS.DAT, which vaguely resembles a "/etc/fstab".
SYS$MANAGER:SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM runs MOUNT_DISKS_LOCAL.COM near its
beginning.  This lets me use a common SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM (and
MOUNT_DISKS_LOCAL.COM) on different systems, with all the local
(disk-related) details in LOCAL_DISKS.DAT.  For example:

 

ALP $ type LOCAL_DISKS.DAT
!                                               5 April 2011.  SMS.
!
! ALP's Local Disks (as seen from ALP$DKC0:).
!
!    Format:  CODE  DEVICE  LABEL
!
!    Code: N: non-system disk, R: read-only non-system disk, S: system disk.
!    LABEL = "*" for any label on non-system disks.

!    For the best messages, place the system disk last.
!

N  DKC100:  UTIL5ALPX
N  DKB200:  UTIL2ALP
N  DKB300:  TEST

S  DKC0:  VMS083ALP

R  DKA600:  *



   (DKA600 is a DVD-ROM drive.)


> [...] Thats how new I am to VMS.

   Perhaps it'd be simpler to add a couple of MOUNT commands to your
SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM now, and worry about more clever/complex schemes
later.

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS NEWBIE!! What file do I edit to automatically mount disks in during system startup?

Welcome.

 

Use the command EDIT SYS$STARTUP:SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM to edit the system startup procedure, and add the MOUNT command(s) for the disk volumes involved.

 

Usual caveat: OpenVMS (and I'm going to refer to it by the older name VMS from here on out) is not Unix.  VMS is nothing like Unix.  VMS shares little or nothing with Unix.  Attempts to apply (most) knowledge of Unix over to VMS will just lead to pain and frustration.  The filenames and file syntax is very different.  Commands are very different.  Scripts are different.  File access and file protection mechanisms are different.  Clustering is different.  The integrated file sharing present for all default file access is very different.   Nomenclature is different.   Pretty much everything involved with VMS will be quite foreign to somebody that's familiar with Unix.    VMS is not Unix.

 

You can certainly choose to contine down your current path (of pain, suffering, flailing and frustration), or you can skim through the VMS User's Manual, and then the VMS System Management Manuals.   Start with the User's Manual.   The System Manager's Manuals (two volumes) are the next stop for your particular requested tasks, but those manuals will assume that you have some familiarity with the contents of the User's Manual — folks that know little about running a text editor on VMS are not usually expected to be editing the VMS system startup files — and won't try to explain text editing when they tell you to (for instance) use EDIT SYS$STARTUP:SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM to edit the main system startup file.

 

If you're going to be programming, the next stop will be the Programming Concepts manual, and then other API and command manuals depending on what you're up to.

 

These and (many) other VMS and VMS layered product manuals are available via the HP OpenVMS documentation web site.

 

Depending on your editing preferences, other editors including vim and an older version of emacs are available for VMS, and are separately installed.  Yes, the VMS text editors themselves have manuals available, too.

 

For better or worse, VMS expects the users to have read the manuals.  Unlike the older Unix manuals, the VMS manuals are pretty good.  The only Unix manuals I've encountered that do as well as VMS are the OpenBSD manuals and — where there's coverage — the OS X manuals.  Put another way, the VMS stuff is pretty reasonable reading.  Download the PDFs and skim them.  Also see the HELP command, as a refresher for the manuals.

 

Some other resources:

OpenVMS Overview

OpenVMS beginners FAQ

OpenVMS FAQ (old, more technical)

 

ps: editing /etc/fstab or filesystems is far from ubiquitous Unix behavior here, too.   On some Unix systems, it's rare to use or edit those files.   Unix isn't altogether consistent in how it does these things, and Unix, Linux, OS X and BSD do have their share of differences.

 

On probably the most common Unix box this side of Android:

$ ls /etc/fstab

ls: /etc/fstab: No such file or directory

$ cat /etc/fstab.hd

IGNORE THIS FILE.

This file does nothing, contains no useful data, and might go away in

future releases.  Do not depend on this file or its contents.