HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Version 8.4 Release Notes

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Chapter 6
Hardware Release Notes

This chapter contains information about the following hardware products:

A few notes about using device drivers are also included at the end of this appendix.

6.1 USB Device Support


OpenVMS tests and supports specific HP provided USB devices on HP Integrity servers.

In some cases, specific third-party devices are tested and supported by OpenVMS. For these devices, OpenVMS engineering will respond to bug reports and fix defects in driver support for them. These devices are listed in appendixes of the HP OpenVMS Systems Management Utilities Reference Manual.

The functionality of USB is such that in many cases broad categories of devices can be supported by a single generic device driver. OpenVMS does not attempt to prevent such unknown third-party devices from configuring and operating. However, the correct operation of such untested devices is not guaranteed. If a problem occurs with such a device, it can be reported through support channels but there is no guarantee that we will be able to correct the problem or provide an ECO patch for it.

If you require support for a third-party device, a request for support can be made through your HP account team or HP distributor.

6.2 MP and BMC Console Restrictions (Integrity servers Only)

The following notes pertain to the MP and BMC consoles.

6.2.1 Input, Output, and Error Device Restriction


Currently, the OpenVMS operating system requires that the input, output, and error devices for each MP or BMC console point to a single serial-line console. If your system has an MP console, that is preferable.

If you do not boot from the designated console, a warning is sent to the VMS_LOADER, and you might see other errors during the boot. You might also lose output that you would normally expect to see when booting.

6.2.2 Remapping Ctrl/H to the Delete Key


Unlike the OpenVMS operating system, which uses the character 0X7F for DEL/RUBOUT, the MP and BMC consoles and the EFI console environment use Ctrl/H. If you press the delete key on a VTxxx terminal, or if you press a key you have mapped to send 0X7F in your terminal emulator, no character is deleted.

Note: The driver does not perform remapping under the following conditions:

  • Terminal is in IO$_READALL state.
  • Terminal is in IO$_READPBLK state.
  • Terminal attribute is set to PASSALL.
  • Terminal attribute is set to PASTHRU.
  • Pressing Ctrl/V tells the driver to pass the next character and skip the remap check.

6.3 AlphaServer 2100

The following sections contain information specific to the AlphaServer 2100 series computer.

6.3.1 Console Display


On the AlphaServer 2100 and 2100A systems, a console display similar to the following is normal and does not represent system errors:

VMS PALcode X5.48-112, OSF PALcode X1.35-81 
starting console on CPU 0 
initialized idle PCB 
initializing semaphores 
initializing heap 
initial heap 1c0c0 
memory low limit = 132000 
heap = 1c0c0, 13fc0 
probing hose 0, PCI 
probing PCI-to-EISA bridge, bus 1 
probing PCI-to-PCI bridge, bus 2 
*** unable to assign PCI base address 
*** bus 2, slot 7, function 0, size 00001000 (16 bit I/O) 
bus 1, slot 1 -- fra -- DEFEA 
bus 1, slot 2 -- vga -- Compaq Qvision 
bus 1, slot 3 -- pua -- KFESA 
bus 2, slot 1 -- pka -- NCR 53C810 
bus 2, slot 6 -- pkb -- NCR 53C810 
bus 2, slot 7 -- pkc -- DEC KZPSA 
bus 0, slot 7 -- ewa -- DECchip 21041-AA 
initializing keyboard 
Memory Testing and Configuration Status 
Module   Size    Base Addr   Intlv Mode  Intlv Unit  Status 
------   -----   ---------   ----------  ----------  ------ 
  0       64MB   00000000      1-Way         0       Passed 
Total Bad Pages 0 
Testing the System 
Testing the Disks (read only) 
Testing the Network 
econfig:            20041 99 
econfig:            20042 04 
econfig:            20043 00 
AlphaServer 2100A Console V4.3-130, built on Oct 26 1996 at 19:44:57 

Note that in the previous display, the KZPSA adapter is successfully installed despite the error message displayed in the following lines:

*** unable to assign PCI base address 
*** bus 2, slot 7, function 0, size 00001000 (16 bit I/O) 

6.3.2 SCSI Controller Restriction


The Adaptec 1740/1742 SCSI controller (PB2HA--SA) is not supported on AlphaServer 2100 systems with more than 1 gigabyte (GB) of memory. If the controller is connected to such a system, the following message appears on the operator's console:

%PKJDRVR-E- The direct DMA window does not map all of memory. Port is going OFFLINE. 

6.4 AlphaServer 8200/8400: FRU Table Error


The error log buffer size is controlled by the system parameter ERLBUFFERPAGES, which has a maximum value of 32 pagelets. If the Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) table exceeds this limit during a boot of the OpenVMS Alpha operating system on an AlphaServer 8200/8400 or 4100 system, an entry will not be written to the error log file.

6.5 AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 Systems

This section contains release notes of interest to users of AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems. The note in Section 6.6.2 also applies to these systems.

6.5.1 INIT Console Command Usage on ES47/ES80/GS1280 Soft Partitions


Usage of the INIT console command on ES47/ES80/GS1280 soft partitions is not supported when other instances within the hard partition are booted and running OpenVMS. Issuing an INIT command might result in system crashes of the other instances running OpenVMS. Shut down the other instances prior to performing an INIT command.

While a console INIT is in progress, do not issue boot commands to other instances within the same hard partition; wait until the INIT has completed.

6.5.2 RAD Support


The OpenVMS support for resource affinity domains (RADs), also known as NUMA support or awareness, has not been qualified in OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 for the AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems. For more information about RAD support, see the HP OpenVMS Alpha Partitioning and Galaxy Guide.

6.5.3 License Requirements


The AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems require a minimum of two OpenVMS software licenses: one license for base support and one license for dual SMP support for the first two processors. This is a change from the previous method of licensing OpenVMS AlphaServer SMP systems. The dual SMP licenses for OpenVMS are included with the CPU modules when you purchase an OpenVMS system or when you purchase additional CPU modules for an OpenVMS system.

6.5.4 STOP/CPU and Shutdown Behavior


Because of hardware restrictions, any CPU on an AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 system with an attached I/O drawer cannot be stopped using the DCL command STOP/CPU. In contrast, CPUs on these systems without an attached I/O drawer can be stopped with this command.

When the shutdown procedure is invoked on an ES47/ES80/GS1280 system with an attached I/O drawer, an error message such as the following might be displayed:

%SYSTEM-W-WRONGSTATE, CPU 5 is in the wrong state for the requested operation 

You can ignore such messages. The shutdown will complete correctly.

6.5.5 Setting Time at MBM


You must set the correct time and date on the MBM of an AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 system. If you do not, OpenVMS might display an incorrect time and date.

6.6 AlphaServer GS Series Systems

This section contains release notes of general interest to most users of the AlphaServer GS Series systems.

6.6.1 AlphaServer GS80/160/320 Systems: Device Restriction

Permanent Restriction

Only one set of the following devices found on the legacy bus adapter is configured and supported per partition in OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3 or higher. These devices include:

  • Serial ports COM1 and COM2
  • Parallel port
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

If multiple legacy bus adapters exist, only the adapter that includes the console port is configured and supported.

6.6.2 OpenVMS Galaxy License Enforcement


In an OpenVMS Galaxy computing environment, the OPENVMS-GALAXY license units are checked during system startup and whenever a CPU reassignment between instances occurs.

If you attempt to start a CPU and there are insufficient OPENVMS-GALAXY license units to support it, the CPU will remain in the instance's configured set but it will be stopped. You can subsequently load the appropriate license units and start the stopped CPU while the system is running. This is true of one or more CPUs.

6.6.3 Installing Licenses


Before you upgrade to Version 7.3-1 or higher, perform the following steps to ensure that the common license database can share license units among hard and soft partitions:

  1. Calculate the required units.
    • Load the base OpenVMS license.
    • Load the SMP licenses.
    • Use the following command to verify that you have the correct number of license units:



    The base OpenVMS license allows you to have only one interactive user login per physical system (not per partition). (However, you can always log in from OPA0: in each partition.) For additional interactive users, you will require additional license units. See your HP support representative to determine your requirements.
  2. Add your licenses to the common license database. For example:

    $ LICENSE REGISTER license-name /ISSUER=DEC - 
    _$ /AUTHORIZATION=USA123456 - 
    _$ /PRODUCER=DEC - 
    _$ /UNITS=1050 - 
    _$ /AVAILABLITY=H - 
    _$ /OPTIONS=(NO_SHARE) - 

    Note that you cannot use the /INCLUDE qualifier with the LICENSE REGISTER command to override the NO_SHARE attribute of the license.
  3. Modify the license to override the NO_SHARE attribute of the PAKs with the command LICENSE REGISTER /INCLUDE=(node-name-list). For example:

  4. To make the OpenVMS Alpha license units available to the instance of OpenVMS running in each partition, you must ensure that the SRM environment variable SYS_SERIAL_NUM is the same in each partition. To do so, perform the following steps:
    1. From the master console of each partition (usually on console line 0), use the SHOW SYS_SERIAL_NUM command to display the system serial number. For example:

      sys_serial_num G2A105 

      If the value of SYS_SERIAL_NUM is blank, use the SHOW SYS_ SERIAL_NUM command from the master console in each of the other partitions to check for a nonblank system serial number.


      If all partition consoles show a blank value for SYS_SERIAL_NUM, you must create a nonzero value of up to 12 characters. Ensure that the system serial number that you create is not used on any other AlphaServer GS80/160/320 on this OpenVMS Cluster.
    2. Once you have determined the system serial number, use the SET SYS_ SERIAL_NUM command from the master console of each partition to change SYS_SERIAL_NUM to the correct value. For example:

      P00>>>SET SYS_SERIAL_NUM G2A105 

      You must do this in every hard partition and soft partition.
  5. For the OpenVMS Cluster license database to be updated correctly, HP recommends that you completely shut down and reboot all OpenVMS Cluster common nodes. A rolling upgrade type of boot does not correctly update the common license database.


If your system is part of an OpenVMS Cluster that shares a common license database, and if you want to reconfigure the number of hard or soft partitions on your AlphaServer GS80/160/320, make sure that all partitions have the same SYS_SERIAL_NUM.

For partitionable machines that share the NO_SHARE licenses across partitions, it is possible to see the following error text on system bootup.

%LICENSE-E-NOAUTH, DEC OPENVMS-ALPHA use is not authorized on this node 
-LICENSE-F-EXCEEDED, attempted usage exceeds active license limits 
-LICENSE-I-SYSMGR, please see your system manager 
Startup processing continuing... 

This error text can be safely ignored. The text is displayed when someone has logged into a system that is sharing the OPENVMS-ALPHA PAK and they are then in use. This will be fixed in a future release.

6.6.4 AlphaServer GS60/GS60E/GS140 Multiple I/O Port Module Configuration Restriction


AlphaServer GS60/GS60E/GS140 configurations with more than a single I/O Port Module, KFTHA-AA or KFTIA-AA, might experience system failures.

When upgrading OpenVMS Galaxy and non-Galaxy AlphaServer 8200/8400 configurations with multiple I/O Port Modules to GS60/GS60E/GS140 systems, you must install one minimum revision B02 KN7CG-AB EV6 CPU (E2063-DA/DB rev D01) module as described in Compaq Action Blitz # TD 2632.

For complete details about this restriction and its solution, refer to Compaq Action Blitz # TD 2632.

6.7 AlphaStation 200/400: ISA_CONFIG.DAT Changes Required


Customers configuring ISA devices on AlphaStation 200/400 Family systems must change their SYS$MANAGER:ISA_CONFIG.DAT file, so that the node information for each device appears at the end of each device description block.


For upgrades from OpenVMS Version 6.2 or 7.0 systems, this change must be made before starting the upgrade procedure.

Table 6-1 shows the changes to the device description block.

Table 6-1 Changes to Device Description Block
Before Version 7.1 After Version 7.1
[AUA0] [AUA0]
IRQ=9 DMA=(0,1)
DMA=(0,1) PORT=(388:4,530:8)
PORT=(388:4.530:8) NODE=3

6.8 AlphaStation 255: PCI Configuration Restriction


The OpenVMS Alpha operating system does not support the PCI option cards configured in PCI slot 0 on any AlphaStation 255 series systems.

PCI slot 0 is the lowest physical PCI option slot on AlphaStation 255 series systems. The interrupt signal for this slot is shared with the built-in Ethernet port. Because the OpenVMS Alpha operating system does not currently permit PCI devices to share an interrupt line, a PCI device installed in slot 0 will not function correctly or may cause errors to occur with the built-in Ethernet port. As a result of this restriction, AlphaStation 255 series systems support a maximum of two PCI option cards, configured in slot 1 and slot 2.

6.9 ATI RADEON 7000 Graphics (Integrity servers Only)


The following release notes pertain to using the embedded ATI RADEON 7000 graphics adapter on OpenVMS Integrity servers.

Note: The resource requirements described in Section 6.10.1 also apply to the embedded ATI RADEON 7000 graphics adapter.

6.9.1 Integrity servers Graphics Support


The Graphics option supported on OpenVMS Integrity servers are:

  • ATI Radeon 7500 PCI
  • ATI Radeon 7000 PCI (Embedded and Pluggable)
  • ATI RN50 PCI

6.9.2 Hardware Accelerated 3D Graphics not Supported on RADEON 7000


Hardware accelerated 3D (OpenGL) rendering is not supported on the embedded Radeon 7000 PCI adapter.

6.10 ATI RADEON 7500 Graphics


The following notes describe the resource requirements, enhancements, fixes, and a few restrictions for the ATI RADEON 7500 graphics. If you want to consult the HP DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS documentation set, in particular Managing DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS Systems, you can link to this document and others from the following website:


Note that starting with OpenVMS Version 8.2, the license to use 3D support is included as part of the OpenVMS license. For details, refer to Section 6.15.

6.10.1 Resource Requirements

Support for RADEON graphics requires the following system-wide resources:

  • 2 global sections
  • 296 KB of global memory

In addition, each RADEON card requires the following:

  • 3 global sections
  • 16 MB plus 1 page of global memory
  • 16 MB plus 1 page of buffer object space (32-bit System Space Windows)

The global sections are charged against the GBLSECTIONS system resource, and the 16+ megabytes of global memory are charged against the GBLPAGES and GBLPAGFIL resources.

For example, a single RADEON card requires the following:

  • 5 global sections
  • 16 MB + 8 KB + 296 KB global memory

These numbers equate to the following values:

GBLPAGES 33376 (GBLPAGES is in units of 512-byte pagelets.)
GBLPAGFIL 2086 (GBLPAGFIL is in units of 8192-byte Alpha pages.)

A 4-card configuration requires the following:

  • 14 global sections
  • 296 KB + 4*16 MB + 4*8 KB = 64 MB + 328 KB global memory

These numbers equate to the following values:

GBLPAGES 131728 (GBLPAGES is in units of 512-byte pagelets.)
GBLPAGFIL 8233 (GBLPAGFIL is in units of 8192-byte Alpha pages.)



The shareable library SYS$LIBRARY:DECW$OPENGLSHR_RADEON.EXE has been renamed to SYS$LIBRARY:DECW$MESA3DSHR_RADEON.EXE to reflect that this library was built from the Mesa 3D code base. The API and functionality remain the same as in previous releases. The logical name DECW$OPENGLSHR is defined to point to the shareable library using the new file specification.

6.10.3 Support Limitations


The following functionality is not supported:

  • S-Video output
  • Digital output
  • Dual-head operation
    If you connect monitors to both the DVI port and the analog VGA (CRT) port, you will get identical video output on both screens. This is called cloned video. True dual-head operation, with independent video displays on each port, will be supported in a future release.

6.10.4 Video Artifacts at High Refresh Rates


At high resolutions (for example, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536) and high refresh rates, and under heavy load conditions, video artifacts might occur on some individual RADEON cards or monitors. If you see such artifacts, use a lower refresh rate.

6.10.5 OpenGL Supports IEEE Arithmetic Only


The OpenGL library supports the IEEE floating point format; VAX floating point is not supported. Use the /FLOAT=IEEE_FLOAT option to compile applications.

6.10.6 DECwindows Server Hangs When Output Is Written to the Graphics Console (OPA0)


If the output is written to the graphics console (OPA0) after DECwindows has started, the DECwindows server hangs and the screen freezes. Pressing CTRL/F2 allows the DECwindows server to run again.

Instead of writing messages directly to OPA0, HP recommends using OPCOM and the Console Window application to display messages that normally would be written to the console. To enable this application, edit the command procedure SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_APPS_SETUP.COM and add the following global symbol definition:


If you do not have SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_APPS_SETUP.COM, you can create this command procedure from SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_APPS_SETUP.TEMPLATE.

After editing SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_APPS_SETUP.COM, restart DECwindows with the following command:


6.10.7 Monitor Must Be Connected During Initialization

The RADEON 7500 graphics card has two video output ports: one for digital and one for analog. The digital interface is not currently supported. However, using a digital-to-analog adapter, you can plug an analog monitor into the digital port and get the identical output that you get using the analog port. If you use the digital port, the monitor must be attached before the system is powered up in order for the port to function correctly.

6.10.8 Boot Reset Recommendation (Alpha Only)

HP recommends that the console variable boot_reset be set to ON.

6.10.9 No Overlay Planes

Hardware overlay planes are not supported.

6.10.10 Single Colormap

The RADEON 7500 graphics controller supports only one hardware colormap. This is important to remember if you change to the 8-bit color depth, where the default visual is PseudoColor. Attempting to use more than one PseudoColor colormap at a time causes colormap flashing.


3D (OpenGL) rendering is not supported on 8-bit PseudoColor visuals. (See also Section 6.10.16.)

Applications should not install or deinstall colormaps themselves. The window manager should perform these actions. However, the application is responsible for providing the window manager with hints about which colormaps to install or deinstall. You provide this information using the Xlib function XsetWMColormapWindows(). This function sets the WM_COLORMAP_WINDOWS property for a given window.

6.10.11 Single Bit Depth for All Windows

If you use the RADEON 7500 card, all windows created on a particular head must have the same bit depth. The RADEON 7500 card supports bit depths of 8, 16, and 24 bits per pixel on any graphics head, but once the DECwindows server establishes a bit depth on a particular head, only windows or visuals with that bit depth can be created.

6.10.12 Pixel Depth for Read/Write Color Map

By default, the RADEON 7500 provides a pixel depth of 24 planes with a read-only, TrueColor color map. Some applications, such as DECwindows Paint, require a read/write color map. If Paint is run with a read-only color map, it fails with the following error message:

Error: Visual Not Supported 
Supported Visuals are {PseudoColor, GrayScale, StaticGray} 

To use a read/write color map, edit the file SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_SERVER_SETUP.COM (or, if this file does not exist, create it from SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_SERVER_SETUP.TEMPLATE) and add the following logical name definition to the file:


Then restart DECwindows using the following command:


This change sets the pixel depth to 8 planes (on up to 8 graphics cards, which allows for a multiple-card configuration) and allows the server to provide a PseudoColor visual.

6.10.13 Backing Store/Save Unders not Supported for 3D Windows

The implementation of backing store and save unders in the RADEON 7500 X11 server does not support 3D windows.

6.10.14 Threads Restriction

The RADEON 7500 OpenGL library for OpenVMS is not thread safe. However, OpenGL can be used in a multithreaded program if the use of OpenGL is restricted to a single thread within the program.

6.10.15 No Support for Single Buffered Visuals

The RADEON 7500 DECwindows server exports only double buffered visuals. For single buffering, select a double buffered visual and call glDrawBuffer( GL_FRONT ) in their application.

6.10.16 No 3D Support for Color Index Mode

Even though 8-bit visuals are supported for 2D operations when the DECwindows server is started with bit depth = 8, OpenGL rendering is not supported on 8-bit visuals.

6.10.17 Timer Mechanism

Under certain circumstances, it is possible for a process to be interrupted while it owns the hardware lock, resulting in an apparent DECwindows server hang.

A timer mechanism has been implemented to detect this situation and to rectify it by forcing an image exit in the suspended process --- or, in some instances, by deleting the process.

The timer mechanism can be configured using the following two logicals, which should be specified in the DECW$PRIVATE_SERVER_SETUP.COM file:

  • DECW$DRM_TIMER_PERIOD (Default: 5.0 seconds)
    Specifies the duration of the clock tick in seconds; a floating-point value.
  • DECW$DRM_TIMEOUT (Default: 6)
    Specifies the number of clock ticks that are allowed to elapse before a timeout occurs and the DECwindows server seizes control of the RADEON card.

The default values are chosen to minimize the impact of the timer on the performance of graphics applications. If you want to reduce the length of time before the DECwindows server begins responding again, you can do so by decreasing the value of DECW$DRM_TIMER_PERIOD.

A process can be interrupted while holding the hardware lock under either of the following conditions:

  • The process is remotely logged in with its terminal displayed on a different system.
  • The process is a subprocess that has been suspended or terminated by another process in such a way that normal exit handling does not occur.

If neither of these conditions is likely to occur in your configuration, you can disable the timer mechanism entirely by setting the timer period to zero:


Whenever you change the value of DECW$DRM_TIMER_PERIOD, you must either restart the DECwindows server or reboot the system for the changes to take effect. To restart the DECwindows server, use the following command:


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