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Vax Console Input not Enabled

Occasional Visitor

Vax Console Input not Enabled

I'm working with a Vax 4000-100 with a VT520 as the system console. It's pretty basic with only a three-bay StorageWorks attached, running OpenVMS V7.3. The machine startup is fine, you type in your boot command and sometime during the boot process, the console input is disabled. I can log on remotely and find no other problems; I can boot from the sysboot> prompt, using default settings and the console is fine. I have looked at startup and login files but I am not a VMS expert and see no obvious problem. The console still gets OPCOM messages, just no input. Maybe someone could point to some places to look further?
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Vax Console Input not Enabled

My old VAXes just work, so I know nothing,
but I'd start with:


Look for "[No] Type_ahead". If it's "No",
then that might explain everything.

> [...] sometime during the boot process, the
> console input is disabled. [...]

Well, I'd say that it's disabled at the
beginning, and gets (re-)enabled late in the
start-up sequence (if ever).
Honored Contributor

Re: Vax Console Input not Enabled

This is back in the era when OPCOM could occasionally (and erroneously) grab the console port.

To determine if this is the case and in addition to the SHOW TERMINAL, issue a SHOW DEVICE /FULL and see if there's an (non-zero) owning process PID listed for the console.

There were AFAIK patches, or (as most of us did) you simply disabled OPCOM output on the console.
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: Vax Console Input not Enabled

Glenn, there's also another possible issue. Check to see if and/or when your startup procedure does a $ SET LOGIN/INTERACTIVE. Until that command is issued OPA0 will not allow login.

If you're able to login from another terminal or a remote system check the various suggestions that others have suggested. Also check OPA0 to see what it's terminal characteristics have become. Check for broadcast, broadcast mailbox, typeahead... I'm stretching my memory here and no longer have access to Notes that cover the issue with $ SET LOGIN, but I vaguely remember that in some circumstances you could still login from remotes or other terminals. All are worth a look to check. If you could post the output from $ SHOW TERM OPA0 as an attachment somehow that would help.

Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Vax Console Input not Enabled


welcome to the OpenVMS ITRC forums.

When talking about 'input' on OPA0:, you are certainly expecting to get a Username: prompt, when typing at the console terminal. The fact that you can type >>> B shows, that the physical connection between the VT520 and the OPA0: serial port is o.k.

Some VAX 4000 systems have this 'annoying' feature, that you can't immediately login on the console terminal, once startup has finished. Sometimes you have to wait a little bit, maybe a couple of minutes. Did you try that ?

Please also check SHOW TERM OPA0: and SHOW DEV/FULL OPA0: - as requested.

Try to login from remote and issue a SET LOGIN/INTER=128, then try to login on the console again, if the previous checks did not show a problem.

Occasional Visitor

Re: Vax Console Input not Enabled

Okay, let me try to make this clearer. I power up the machine and get what I call the boot prompt which is three chevrons, >>>. At this point I can type in commands, everything looks normal. I then type a boot command like >>>boot DKA100. System seems to boot normally, I get the usual "job terminated" message and the accounting information. Now I have no input from the VT520 keyboard. I can log on remotely and do whatever I want from a PC.
To answer some questions:
Current login interactive login limit is 64. Setting it to 128 made no difference. Current interactive value = 1, does this mean that my remote is one and OPA0 is not interactive?
I find no place in startup files where it calls for $ SET LOGIN/INTERACTIVE, but that may only be due to not looking in the right place. The "show terminal OPA0" file shows the device as interactive.
I've attached a couple of Word files for reference if anyone cares to look further. This has been running a good while like this, but it would be nice to get my console back.