HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Release Notes

Order Number: AA-RV8YA-TE

September 2003

This manual describes changes to the software; installation, upgrade, and compatibility information; new and existing software problems and restrictions; and software and documentation corrections.

Revision/Update Information: This is a new manual.

Software Version: OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2

Hewlett-Packard Company Palo Alto, California

© Copyright 2003 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Proprietary computer software. Valid license from HP required for possession, use or copying. Consistent with FAR 12.211 and 12.212, Commercial Computer Software, Computer Software Documentation, and Technical Data for Commercial Items are licensed to the U.S. Government under vendor's standard commercial license.

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OSF and Motif are trademarks of The Open Group in the US and other countries.

UNIX® is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

Microsoft®, Windows®, Windows NT®, and MS Windows® are US registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

X/Open® is a registered trademark, and the X device is a trademark of X/Open Company Ltd. in the UK and other countries.


The HP OpenVMS documentation set is available on CD-ROM.

Contents Index


Intended Audience

This manual is intended for all users of the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 operating system. Read this manual before you install, upgrade, or use OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2.


Please check the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 Cover Letter for release notes and late-breaking information that was not available at the time this manual went to production. You can access the cover letter on the OpenVMS documentation web site:


Document Structure

This manual contains the following chapters and appendixes:

  • Chapter 1 contains release notes that pertain to installing or upgrading the OpenVMS Alpha operating system.
  • Chapter 2 contains installation and support information for OpenVMS Alpha associated products.
  • Chapter 3 contains release notes about the general use of the OpenVMS Alpha operating system.
  • Chapter 4 contains release notes specific to OpenVMS system management.
  • Chapter 5 contains release notes that relate to programming on an OpenVMS Alpha system, including notes for compilers, linkers, and run-time library routines.
  • Chapter 6 contains information pertaining to hardware that runs on the OpenVMS Alpha operating system and OpenVMS device support on Alpha systems.
  • Appendix A contains information about OpenVMS Alpha products that are no longer supported as of this release, or that are slated for retirement.
  • Appendix B describes the proper use of interlocked memory instructions, which is crucial for the Alpha 21264 (EV6) processor.

Notes are organized by facility or product name when applicable.

This manual contains release notes introduced in the current release and notes from previous OpenVMS Alpha versions that still apply to the new release. A subheading for each release note indicates either the version of origin (for example, V7.3) or the version when an old note was last updated (for example, a note from V7.3 that was revised for Version 7.3-2 will be labeled with V7.3-2).

Notes from previous releases are published when:

  • The information in the release note has not been documented in any other printed manual in the OpenVMS documentation set, and the note is still pertinent.
  • The release note may be pertinent in multiple-version OpenVMS Cluster systems.

Related Documents

For a list of additional documents that are available in support of this version of the OpenVMS operating system, refer to the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 New Features and Documentation Overview manual.

For additional information about HP OpenVMS products and services, visit the following World Wide Web address:


Reader's Comments

HP welcomes your comments on this manual. Please send comments to either of the following addresses:

Internet openvmsdoc@hp.com
Postal Mail Hewlett-Packard Company
OSSG Documentation Group, ZKO3-4/U08
110 Spit Brook Rd.
Nashua, NH 03062-2698

How to Order Additional Documentation

For information about how to order additional documentation, visit the following World Wide Web address:



The following conventions may be used in this manual:

Ctrl/ x A sequence such as Ctrl/ x indicates that you must hold down the key labeled Ctrl while you press another key or a pointing device button.
PF1 x A sequence such as PF1 x indicates that you must first press and release the key labeled PF1 and then press and release another key or a pointing device button.
[Return] In examples, a key name enclosed in a box indicates that you press a key on the keyboard. (In text, a key name is not enclosed in a box.)

In the HTML version of this document, this convention appears as brackets, rather than a box.

... A horizontal ellipsis in examples indicates one of the following possibilities:
  • Additional optional arguments in a statement have been omitted.
  • The preceding item or items can be repeated one or more times.
  • Additional parameters, values, or other information can be entered.
A vertical ellipsis indicates the omission of items from a code example or command format; the items are omitted because they are not important to the topic being discussed.
( ) In command format descriptions, parentheses indicate that you must enclose choices in parentheses if you specify more than one.
[ ] In command format descriptions, brackets indicate optional choices. You can choose one or more items or no items. Do not type the brackets on the command line. However, you must include the brackets in the syntax for OpenVMS directory specifications and for a substring specification in an assignment statement.
| In command format descriptions, vertical bars separate choices within brackets or braces. Within brackets, the choices are optional; within braces, at least one choice is required. Do not type the vertical bars on the command line.
{ } In command format descriptions, braces indicate required choices; you must choose at least one of the items listed. Do not type the braces on the command line.
bold type Bold type represents the introduction of a new term. It also represents the name of an argument, an attribute, or a reason.
italic type Italic type indicates important information, complete titles of manuals, or variables. Variables include information that varies in system output (Internal error number), in command lines (/PRODUCER= name), and in command parameters in text (where dd represents the predefined code for the device type).
UPPERCASE TYPE Uppercase type indicates a command, the name of a routine, the name of a file, or the abbreviation for a system privilege.
Example This typeface indicates code examples, command examples, and interactive screen displays. In text, this type also identifies URLs, UNIX commands and pathnames, PC-based commands and folders, and certain elements of the C programming language.
- A hyphen at the end of a command format description, command line, or code line indicates that the command or statement continues on the following line.
numbers All numbers in text are assumed to be decimal unless otherwise noted. Nondecimal radixes---binary, octal, or hexadecimal---are explicitly indicated.

Chapter 1
OpenVMS Alpha Software Installation and Upgrade Release Notes

This chapter contains information that you need to know before installing or upgrading to the OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 operating system.

HP recommends that you read all of the following manuals before installing or upgrading to OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2:

  • HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Release Notes (this manual)
  • HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 New Features and Documentation Overview
  • HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Upgrade and Installation Manual

Also refer to Chapter 6 for hardware release notes and to Chapter 2 for information about associated products.

1.1 HP Software Technical Support Policy


HP provides software technical support for OpenVMS operating system software for the latest, currently shipping version and the immediate prior version of the product. Each version is supported for 24 months from its release date, or until the release of the second subsequent version, whichever is greater. "Version" is defined as a release containing new features and enhancements. Patch kits and maintenance-only releases do not meet the definition of "version" in the context of this support policy.

Current version-level support (Standard Support or SS) and Prior Version Support (PVS) for OpenVMS operating system software is provided for OpenVMS versions in accordance with these guidelines. The current level of support for recent versions of OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX is kept up to date on line. You can access current support information by following the links on this web page:


The Operating System Support Policy applies to all OpenVMS Major Releases, New Feature Releases, and Enhancement releases, which are defined as follows:

  • Major Releases for OpenVMS contain substantial new functionality. The version number increases to the next integer (for example, from 6.2-1H1 to 7.0).
    Application impact: OpenVMS internal interfaces have changed. Although binary compatibility will be maintained for the majority of applications, independent software vendors (ISVs) should test on the new version and may need to release a new application kit. Some application partners may want to release a new application kit to take advantage of new features in the operating system.
  • New Feature Releases for OpenVMS contain new features, enhancements, and maintenance updates. The version number increases to the next decimal number (for example, from 7.2 to 7.3).
    Application impact: The release has not retired any published application programming interfaces (APIs). However, OpenVMS internal interfaces may have been modified with the addition of significant new functionality or implementation of performance improvements. It is unlikely that a new application kit will be required for 95 percent of all applications that use documented APIs. Device driver and kernel-level applications (that is, those that use nonstandard or undocumented APIs) may need qualification testing.
  • Enhancement Releases for OpenVMS contain enhancements to existing features and maintenance updates. The version number increases to show a revision by using a dash (for example, OpenVMS Version 7.3-1).
    Application impact: The release may contain new hardware support, software enhancements, and maintenance, but the changes are isolated and have no impact on applications that use published APIs. There is no need for ISVs to test on the new release or to produce a new application kit.
  • Hardware Releases provide current version-level support until 12 months after a subsequent release containing that particular hardware support. Hardware releases are shipped with new hardware sales only and are not distributed to existing service customers.

The following OpenVMS core products are supported at the same level (Standard Support or Prior Version Support) and duration as the operating system version on which they shipped:

  • HP Advanced Server for OpenVMS
  • HP DECnet (Phase IV)
  • HP DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS
  • HP OpenVMS Cluster Client Software
  • HP OpenVMS Cluster Software for OpenVMS
  • HP PathWorks or HP PATHWORKS for OpenVMS
  • HP RMS Journaling for OpenVMS
  • HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS
  • HP Volume Shadowing for OpenVMS
  • HP X.25 for OpenVMS

These products require their own individual support contracts and are not included in the operating system support contract.

1.2 General Application Compatibility Statement

OpenVMS has consistently held the policy that published APIs are supported on all subsequent releases. It is unlikely applications that use published APIs will require changes to support a new release of OpenVMS. APIs may be "retired," and thus removed from the documentation; however, the API will continue to be available on OpenVMS as an undocumented interface.

1.3 Firmware for OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2


OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 was tested with the platform-specific firmware included on Alpha Systems Firmware CD-ROM Version 6.5. For older platforms no longer included on the Firmware CD-ROM, OpenVMS Version 7.3-2 was tested with the latest released firmware version. HP recommends upgrading to the latest firmware before upgrading OpenVMS.

The OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 CD-ROM package includes the Alpha Systems Firmware CD-ROM and Release Notes. Read the Release Notes before installing the firmware.

For AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems, use Alpha Systems Firmware Version 6.6 or later. You can obtain Version 6.6 and the latest firmware information from the following website (URL is case sensitive):


1.4 Upgrade Paths


Upgrade Paths to Version 7.3-2

You can upgrade directly to OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 from only the following versions of OpenVMS Alpha:

Version 7.3-1
Version 7.3
Version 7.2-2
Version 7.2-1
Version 7.2-1H1
Version 7.2

If you are currently running OpenVMS Alpha Version 6.2x through 7.1x, you must do a two-step upgrade: first to Version 7.2-2 or 7.3, and then to Version 7.3-2. If you are running other versions of OpenVMS that are no longer supported, you will have to do multiple upgrades in accordance with upgrade paths that were documented for earlier versions.

Cluster Concurrent Upgrades

During a concurrent upgrade, you must shut down the entire cluster and upgrade each system disk. No one can use the cluster until you upgrade and reboot each computer. Once you reboot, each computer will be running the upgraded version of the operating system.

Cluster Rolling Upgrades

During a cluster rolling upgrade, you upgrade each system disk individually, allowing old and new versions of the operating system to run together in the same cluster (a mixed-version cluster). There must be more than one system disk. The systems that are not being upgraded remain available.

Only the following OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX versions are supported in mixed-version clusters that include OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2:

Version 7.3-1 (Alpha)
Version 7.3 (Alpha and VAX)
Version 7.2-2 (Alpha)
Version 7.2 (VAX)

If you are upgrading in a cluster environment, rolling upgrades are supported from Version 7.2-2, 7.3, and 7.3-1 of the OpenVMS Alpha operating system. If you have other versions in a cluster, you cannot do a rolling upgrade until those versions are upgraded to a supported version.

Mixed-version support for some of these versions is restricted for cluster members running either the Registry server or applications that use the Registry services. See Section 1.9.10.

Mixed-version support for all of these versions requires the installation of one or more remedial kits. For more information, see Section 4.13.1.


HP currently supports only two versions of OpenVMS (regardless of architecture) running in a cluster at the same time.

For a discussion of warranted pairs and migration pairs of OpenVMS operating systems, as well as complete instructions for installing or upgrading to OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2, refer to the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Upgrade and Installation Manual.

1.4.1 Cluster Rolling Upgrades: Correction to HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Upgrade and Installation Manual


In Chapter 5 of the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Upgrade and Installation Manual, there is an omission in the Cluster Rolling Upgrades section. The list of versions supported with OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 in mixed-version clusters is incomplete. The list should also include OpenVMS Version 7.2 (VAX).

1.5 Networking Options


OpenVMS provides customers with the flexibility to choose the network protocol of their choice. Whether you require DECnet or TCP/IP, OpenVMS allows you to choose the protocol or combination of protocols that works best for your network. OpenVMS can operate with both HP and third-party networking products.

During the main installation procedure for OpenVMS Version 7.3-2, you have the option of installing the following supported HP networking software:

  • Either HP DECnet-Plus Version 7.3-2 for OpenVMS or HP DECnet Phase IV Version 7.3-2 for OpenVMS. (Note that both DECnet products cannot run concurrently on your system.)
    DECnet-Plus contains all the functionality of the DECnet Phase IV product, plus the ability to run DECnet over TCP/IP or OSI protocols.
    Support for DECnet Phase IV is provided to customers with a Prior Version Support Contract. For more information about the Prior Version Support service, see Section 1.1.
  • HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS Version 5.4
    TCP/IP Services and DECnet can run concurrently on your system. Once you have installed HP DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS and TCP/IP Services on your system, you can run DECnet applications and OSI applications, or both, over your TCP/IP network. Refer to the DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS Management Guide for more information about running DECnet over TCP/IP (RFC 1859) and OSI over TCP/IP (RFC 1006).

Alternatively, after you install OpenVMS, you can install your choice of another third-party networking product that runs on OpenVMS Version 7.3-2.

For information about how to configure and manage your HP networking software after installation, refer to the TCP/IP, DECnet-Plus, or DECnet documentation. The manuals are available in online format on the OpenVMS Documentation CD-ROM; printed manuals can be ordered from HP (800-282-6672).

1.6 Obtaining Remedial Kits


Remedial kits for HP products are available online at the HP IT Resource Center (ITRC). Use of the ITRC patch download site requires user registration and login. Registration is open to all users and no service contract is required. You can register and log in from the following URL:


You can also use FTP to access patches from the following location:


1.7 System Startup Failure in a Cluster


During system startup, SET VOLUME/SUBSYSTEM is performed on the system disk. This operation might silently fail in a cluster environment if the system disk is locked (for example, during a rebuild operation). If SET VOLUME/SUBSYSTEM fails, a second attempt is made to enable the subsystem after the call to SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM. If the lock still has not been released and the operation fails again, the following warning is issued:

%STARTUP-W-SUBSYSNOTENA, failed to enable subsystem ACEs on system disk

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