DECnet on VMS

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This is a guide to basic administration and use of the DECnet subsystem of VMS.

Administration

Setting up DECnet phase IV on VMS is a fairly straightforward procedure.

Note: Before setting up any system I recommend you read up on DECnet Phase IV basics.

Note: This procedure requires DECnet to already be installed. On modern versions of VMS (From what version on? 6.x? 7.x?), DECnet is bundled with VMS, but this cannot be taken for granted. This also makes the assumption that DECnet phase V is not enabled, something which most VMS installations after 7.x will default to.

Licensing

Make sure that your license is registered for DECnet. For an end-node (most cases) the license is DVNETEND. For a routing node, the license is DVNETRTG. (What the heck is "DVNETEXT"?)

To register and load the license. An example is shown below:

$ LICENSE REGISTER DVNETEND - 
  /ISSUER=OPENVMS_HOBBYIST - 
  /AUTHORIZATION=DECUS-USA-xxxxx-xxxxxxx - 
  /PRODUCER=DEC - 
  /UNITS=0 - 
  /TERMINATION_DATE=9-APR-2008  - 
  /ACTIVITY=CONSTANT=100 - 
  /CHECKSUM=x-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
$ LICENSE LOAD DVNETEND

To check the license, run

$ LICENSE LIST DVNETEND/FULL

Configuring

To invoke the interactive DECnet configuration script, run (as SYSTEM or as a user with sufficient privileges):

$ SET DEF SYS$MANAGER
$ @NETCONFIG

The DCL script will guide you through setting up your system with DECnet.

Starting

To start DECnet, run

$ SET DEF SYS$MANAGER
$ @STARTNET

Stopping

To stop it, run

$ MCR NCP SET EXECUTOR STATE OFF

this will immediately terminate all DECnet connections on the system. If, however, you want to shut it down a little more softly, execute

$ MCR NCP SET EXECUTOR STATE SHUT

which will keep existing connections, but make it impossible to open new connections. Once all connections have been closed, DECnet is fully shut down and the NETACP process ceases to execute.

Use

Remote login

Remote login over DECnet is trivial. Simply run

$ SET HOST hostname

...and if the network is functioning, and the remote end is alive and configured to accept remote logins, you will get a login prompt. If the connection jams while in a session, press ^Y twice in succession. You will get the prompt:

Are you repeating ^Y to abort the remote session on node PYTHON? 

If you answer yes, the connection will be terminated.

Realtime chat

VMS has a really neato UNIX talk(1)-a-like called PHONE. Simply run...

$ PHONE [node::]username

...and the person on the other end will recieve a call he can answer using the command PHONE ANSWER. This system allows for phone conferencing, file transfer, and many other really neat things.

Mail

VMS also has a mail system. It is relatively self-explanatory, so you should just try to run

$ MAIL

and toy around using the command-line interface.