HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation
HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Release Notes
6.8 AlphaStation 255: PCI Configuration Restriction
The OpenVMS Alpha operating system does not support 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.
The following notes describe resource requirements and a few restrictions for ATI RADEON 7500 graphics. Details about these new graphics features supported in OpenVMS Version 7.3-2 are included in the HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 New Features and Documentation Overview manual. You may also 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 URL:
6.9.1 Resource Requirements
Support for RADEON graphics requires the following system-wide resources:
In addition, each RADEON card requires the following:
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:
These numbers equate to the following values:
A 4-card configuration requires the following:
These numbers equate to the following values:
6.9.2 Support Limitations
The following functionality is not supported:
6.9.3 Message When AGP Card Not Found
When the DECwindows server initializes the cards, it looks for an AGP card first. If it does not find an AGP card, it outputs the following message in the server log file (SYS$MANAGER:DECW$SERVER_0_ERROR.LOG):
This is a normal, informational message. It does not signal an error.
Cloned video works only on the primary head.
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.
HP recommends that the console variable
be set to ON.
Hardware overlay planes are not supported.
The RADEON 7500 graphics controller supports only one hardware colormap. Keep this in mind 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.
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.
When you are using 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
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:
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.
The implementation of backing store and save unders in the RADEON 7500
X server does not support 3D windows.
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.
The RADEON 7500 DECwindows server exports only double buffered visuals.
For single buffering, users must select a double buffered visual and
in their application.
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.
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$PRIVATE_SERVER_SETUP.COM file:
The default values are chosen to minimize the impact of the timer on the performance of graphics applications. If you want to reduce the length of time before the DECwindows server begins responding again, you can do so by decreasing the value of DECW$DRM_TIMER_PERIOD.
A process can be interrupted while holding the hardware lock under either of the following conditions:
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:
6.10 DECwindows X11 Display Server
This section contains release notes pertaining to the DECwindows X11
display server for OpenVMS Alpha systems.
Alpha computers equipped with S3 Trio32 or Trio64 graphics cards
support single-screen display only. Multihead graphics are not
Starting with OpenVMS Version 7.3, support for graphics boards was fully integrated with the OpenVMS operating system. The following new boards are now supported:
6.11 DIGITAL Modular Computing Components (DMCC)
This section contains release notes pertaining to DMCC.
The KZPDA SCSI Controller and the PBXGA Graphics Card cannot be placed
in a slot behind the bridge on the DIGITAL Modular Computing Components
(DMCC) Alpha 5/366 and 5/433 PICMG SBCs.
To update the SRM console on the Alpha 4/233 (21064a), 4/266 (21164a), 5/366, and 5/433 DMCC systems, you must choose either the SRM console or the AlphaBIOS setup. You can store only one console.
If you accidentally update both the SRM and the AlphaBIOS consoles, you will enter the AlphaBIOS Setup menu, and you will not have the option to return to the SRM console. The only way to exit the AlphaBIOS Setup menu and return to the SRM console is to use a Firmware Update Utility located at the following Internet site:
6.12 Digital Personal Workstation: Booting OpenVMS V7.3-1 and Higher
If you are using the Digital Personal Workstation 433au, 500au, and 600au series systems, you can boot OpenVMS Version 7.3-1 or higher from an IDE CD-ROM if the controller chip is a Cypress PCI Peripheral Controller. You cannot boot OpenVMS on a Digital Personal Workstation au series system from an IDE CD-ROM with an Intel Saturn I/O (SIO) 82378 chip in your configuration. You must use a SCSI CD-ROM, if the Intel SIO chip is present.
To determine which IDE chip you have in your configuration, enter the following SRM console command:
If you see Cypress PCI Peripheral Controller, you can boot OpenVMS.
If you see Intel SIO 82378, you will need to use and boot from
a SCSI CD-ROM.
A combination of improvements in driver performance and faster systems has uncovered a limit to the amount of I/O that a dual-controller HSGnn storage array configured with a relatively large number of LUNs can handle. When this limit is reached, it is possible for the array to be kept so busy processing I/O that it is unable to complete the normal periodic synchronization between controllers, causing a controller hang or failure and a loss of host access to some or all LUNs until a manual controller reset is performed. In the case of such a controller failure, the Last Failure Codes most likely to be reported on the HSG console are 01960186, 01942088, and 018600A0.
Most HSGnn devices will continue to run with no problems. If your site experiences an HSG controller hang or failure when a heavy load is applied and the HSG has more than approximately 24 LUNs configured, you may be able to avoid future hangs or failures by reconfiguring the controller with fewer LUNs or distributing I/O so that the HSG is not so heavily loaded.
This issue is being investigated by the appropriate HP engineering
For release notes on the PowerStorm 300/350 PCI graphics controller support for a Compaq Workstation running OpenVMS Alpha, refer to the PowerStorm 300/350 OpenVMS Graphics Release Notes Version 2.0. You can find these release notes on the OpenVMS Documentation CD-ROMs in the following directories:
These documents, release notes, and installation guides are shipped with the graphics cards.
Starting with OpenVMS Version 7.3, the following parameter settings are
not relevant for PowerStorm 300 and 350 graphics cards: MAXBOBMEM,
MAXBOBS0S1, and MAXBOBS2.
A problem exists with the microcode for earlier versions of RF31T, RF31T+, RF35, RF35+, RF73, and RF74 DSSI disk devices. The problem can cause data loss, and occurs when reading data from one of these devices, if the device has had a controller memory error (also known as an error detection and correction (EDC) error). The error could have been induced by a virtual circuit closure or faulty hardware.
HP advises customers with any of these devices to check their microcode revision levels. If the microcode revision levels are lower than the numbers shown in Table 6-2, HP recommends that you update the microcode.
The microcode for all models, except RF31T, RF31T+, and RF35+, is provided on the latest OpenVMS binary distribution CD-ROM.
The RF_VERS utility, a utility program that displays the microcode revision level of the DSSI disk devices, is also provided on the CD-ROM. Instructions both for using the utility program and for updating the microcode are provided in this section.
The earliest supportable revision levels of the DSSI disk microcode are shown in Table 6-2.
To display the microcode revision level of your DSSI disk devices, perform the following steps:
The following is an example of the display produced by the RF_VERS utility:
To update the microcode in your device, use the appropriate command for your device and platform from Table 6-3.