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OpenVMS Alpha Partitioning and Galaxy Guide

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9.6 Step 6: Start the Secondary Console Devices

If you decide to use the Ethernet port, you may need to inform the console which media type and connection you intend to use: AUI, UDP, or Twisted Pair. The console and operating system will determine which to use, but you can assign a specific media type using the following commands:



The first command displays a list of available network devices. The second command establishes the default media type for the specified device (EWA0 in this example). This should be done for all Ethernet devices prior to initializing the secondary consoles.

9.7 Step 7: Initialize the Secondary Consoles

Once you have established the Galaxy variables, to initialize the secondary consoles, enter:


The console displays the following:

lp_count = 2
lp_mem_size0 = 1800 (6 GB)
CPU 0 chosen as primary CPU for partition 0
lp_mem_size1 = 1800 (6 GB)
CPU 4 chosen as primary CPU for partition 1
lp_shared_mem_size = 1000 (4 GB)
initializing shared memory
partitioning system
QBB 0 PCA 0 Target 0 Interrupt Count = 2
QBB 0 PCA 0 Target 0 Interrupt CPU = 0
Interrupt Enable = 000011110000d05a
Sent Interrupts = 0000100000000010
Enabled Sent Interrupts = 0000100000000010
Acknowledging Sent Interrupt 0000000000000010 for CPU 0
QBB 0 PCA 0 Target 0 Interrupt Count = 1
QBB 0 PCA 0 Target 0 Interrupt CPU = 0
Interrupt Enable = 000011110000d05a
Sent Interrupts = 0000100000000000 Enabled Sent Interrupts = 0000100000000000
Acknowledging Sent Interrupt 0000100000000000 for CPU 0

OpenVMS PALcode V1.80-1, Tru64 UNIX PALcode V1.74-1

system = QBB 0 1 2 3         + HS                            (Hard Partition 0)
 QBB 0 = CPU 0 1 2 3 + Mem 0       + Dir + IOP + PCA 0 1     + GP  (Hard QBB 0)
 QBB 1 = CPU 0 1 2 3 + Mem 0       + Dir + IOP + PCA 0 1     + GP  (Hard QBB 1)
 QBB 2 = CPU 0 1 2 3 + Mem 0       + Dir + IOP + PCA         + GP  (Hard QBB 4)
 QBB 3 = CPU 0 1 2 3 + Mem 0       + Dir + IOP + PCA         + GP  (Hard QBB 5)
partition 0
 CPU 0 1 2 3 8 9 10 11
 IOP 0 2
 private memory size is 6 GB
 shared memory size is 4 GB
micro firmware version is T5.4
shared RAM version is 1.4
hose 0 has a standard I/O module
starting console on CPU 0
QBB 0 memory, 4 GB
QBB 1 memory, 4 GB
QBB 2 memory, 4 GB
QBB 3 memory, 4 GB
total memory, 16 GB
probing hose 0, PCI
probing PCI-to-ISA bridge, bus 1
bus 1, slot 0 -- dva -- Floppy
bus 0, slot 1 -- pka -- QLogic ISP10x0
bus 0, slot 2 -- pkb -- QLogic ISP10x0
bus 0, slot 3 -- ewa -- DE500-BA Network Controller
bus 0, slot 15 -- dqa -- Acer Labs M1543C IDE
probing hose 1, PCI
probing hose 2, PCI
bus 0, slot 1 -- fwa -- DEC PCI FDDI
probing hose 3, PCI
starting console on CPU 1
starting console on CPU 2
starting console on CPU 3
starting console on CPU 8
starting console on CPU 9
starting console on CPU 10
starting console on CPU 11
initializing GCT/FRU at 1fa000
initializing pka pkb ewa fwa dqa
Testing the System
Testing the Disks (read only)
Testing the Network
AlphaServer Console X5.8-2842, built on Apr  6 2000 at 01:43:42

This command must be entered from the primary Galaxy console. If the Galaxy partitions have been properly defined, and hardware resources have been properly configured, you should see that the primary CPU in each instance has started.

If one or more consoles fails to initialize, you should double-check your hardware installation, Galaxy partition definitions, and hardware assignments.

9.8 Step 8: Boot the OpenVMS Galaxy

When you have correctly installed the Galaxy firmware and configured the consoles, you can boot the initial Galaxy environment as follows:

For each Galaxy instance:

P00>>> B -FL 0,1 DKA100 // or whatever your boot device is.



Congratulations! You have created an OpenVMS Galaxy.

Chapter 10
Using a Single-Instance Galaxy on Any Alpha System

With OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3, you can run a single-instance Galaxy on any Alpha platform. This capability allows early adopters to evaluate OpenVMS Galaxy features and, most important, to develop and test Galaxy-aware applications without incurring the expense of setting up a full-scale Galaxy computing environment on a system capable of running multiple instances of OpenVMS (for example, an AlphaServer 8400).

A single-instance Galaxy running on any Alpha system is not an emulator. It is OpenVMS Galaxy code with Galaxy interfaces and underlying operating system functions. All Galaxy APIs are present in a single-instance Galaxy (for example, resource management, shared memory access, event notification, locking for synchronization, and shared memory for global sections).

Any application that is run on a single-instance Galaxy will exercise the identical operating system code on a multiple-instance Galaxy system. This is accomplished by creating the configuration file SYS$SYSTEM:GLX$GCT.BIN, which OpenVMS reads into memory. On a Galaxy platform (for example, an AlphaServer 8400), the console places configuration data in memory for OpenVMS to use. Once the configuration data is in memory, regardless of its origin, OpenVMS boots as a Galaxy instance.

To use the Galaxy Configuration Utility (GCU) to create a single-instance Galaxy on any Alpha system, use the following procedure:

Run the GCU on the OpenVMS Alpha system on which you want to use the single-instance Galaxy.

If the GCU is run on a non-Galaxy system, it will prompt as to whether you want to create a single-instance Galaxy. Click on OK.

The GCU next prompts for the amount of memory to designate as shared memory. Enter any value that is a multiple of 8 MB. Note that you must specify at least 8 MB of shared memory if you want to boot as a Galaxy instance.

When the GCU has displayed the configuration, it will already have written the file GLX$GCT.BIN to the current directory. You can exit the GCU at this point. If you made a mistake or want to alter the configuration, you can close the current model and repeat the process.

To reboot the system as a Galaxy instance:

  2. Shut down the system.
  3. Reboot with a conversational boot command (>>> B -FL 0,1 device).

Chapter 11
OpenVMS Galaxy Tips and Techniques

This chapter contains information that OpenVMS Engineering has found useful in creating and running OpenVMS Galaxy environments.

11.1 System Auto-Action

Upon system power-up, if the AUTO_ACTION console environment variable is set to BOOT or RESTART for instance 0, then the GALAXY command will automatically be issued and instance 0 will attempt to boot.

The setting of AUTO_ACTION in the console environment variables for the other instances will dictate their behavior upon the issuing of the GALAXY comamnd (whether it is issued automatically or by the user from the console).

To setup your system for this feature, you must set the console environment variable AUTO_ACTION to RESTART or BOOT on each instance, and be sure to specify appropriate values for the BOOT_OSFLAGS and BOOTDEF_DEV environment variables for each instance.

11.2 Changing Console Environment variables

Once you have established the initial set of LP_* environment variables for OpenVMS Galaxy operation and booted your system, changing environment variable values requires that you first reinitialize the system, change the values, and reinitialize again. Wrapping the changes between INIT commands is required to properly propagate the new values to all partitions.


For AlphaServer 4100 systems no INIT command is needed to start, but you must change these variables on both instances.

11.3 Console Hints

Because AlphaServer 8400 and 8200 systems were designed prior to the Galaxy Software Architecture, OpenVMS Galaxy console firmware and system operations must handle a few restrictions.

The following list briefly describes some things you should be aware of and some things you should avoid doing:

  • Do not set the BOOT_RESET environment variable to 1. This causes each secondary console to reset the bus before booting, thus resetting all previously booted partitions. Remember that OpenVMS Galaxy partitions share the hardware.
  • Be patient. Console initialization and system rebooting can take several minutes.
  • Do not attempt to abort a firmware update process!
    This can leave your system seriously hung.
  • When updating console firmware, update all CPUs at the same time.
    You cannot run two different types of CPUs or two different firmware revisions. If you fail to provide consistent firmware revisions, the system will hang on power-up.
  • Never issue the GALAXY command from a secondary console. This will reinitialize the system, and you will need to start over from the primary console.

11.4 Turning Off Galaxy Mode

If you want to turn off OpenVMS Galaxy software, change the lp_count environment variable as follows and enter the following commands:

>>> SET LP_COUNT 0   ! Return to monolithic SMP config
>>> INIT                      ! Return to single SMP console
>>> B -fl 0,1 device          ! Stop at SYSBOOT

Chapter 12
OpenVMS Galaxy Configuration Utility

The Galaxy Configuration Utility (GCU) is a DECwindows Motif application that allows system managers to configure and manage an OpenVMS Galaxy system from a single workstation window.

Using the GCU, system managers can:

  • Display the active Galaxy configuration.
  • Reassign resources among Galaxy instances.
  • View resource-specific characteristics.
  • Shut down or reboot one or more Galaxy instances.
  • Invoke additional management tools.
  • Create and engage Galaxy configuration models.
  • Create a single-instance Galaxy on any Alpha system (for software development on non-Galaxy hardware platforms).
  • View the online Galaxy documentation.
  • Determine hot-swap characteristics of the current hardware platform.

The GCU resides in the SYS$SYSTEM directory along with a small number of files containing configuration knowledge.

The GCU consists of the following files:

SYS$SYSTEM:GCU.EXE GCU executable image
SYS$MANAGER:GCU.DAT Optional DECwindows resource file
SYS$MANAGER:GALAXY.GCR Galaxy Configuration Ruleset
SYS$MANAGER:GCU$ACTIONS.COM System management procedures
SYS$MANAGER: xxx.GCM User-defined configuration models
SYS$HELP:GALAXY_GUIDE.DECW$BOOK Online help in Bookreader form

The GCU can be run from any Galaxy instance. If the system does not directly support graphics output, then the DECwindows display can be set to an external workstation or suitably configured PC. However, the GCU application itself must always run on the Galaxy system.

When the GCU is started, it loads any customizations found in its resource file (GCU.DAT); then it loads the Galaxy Configuration Ruleset (GALAXY.GCR). The ruleset file contains statements that determine the way the GCU displays the various system components, and includes rules that govern the ways in which users can interact with the configuration display. Users do not typically alter the ruleset file unless they are well versed in its structure or are directed to do so by a Compaq Services Engineer. After the GCU display becomes visible, the GCU determines whether the system is currently configured as an OpenVMS Galaxy or as a single-instance Galaxy on a non-Galaxy platform. If the system is configured as a Galaxy, the GCU displays the active Galaxy configuration model. The main observation window displays a hierarchical view of the Galaxy. If the system has not yet been configured as a Galaxy, the GCU prompts you as to whether or not to create a single-instance Galaxy. Note that the GCU can create a single-instance Galaxy on any Alpha system, but multiple-instance OpenVMS Galaxy environments are created by using console commands and console environment variables.

Once the Galaxy configuration model is displayed, users can either interact with the active model or take the model off line and define specific configurations for later use. The following sections discuss these functions in greater detail.

12.1 GCU Tour

The GCU can perform three types of operations:

  • Create Galaxy configuration models or a single-instance Galaxy.
  • Observe active Galaxy resources.
  • Interact with active Galaxy resource configurations.

Most GCU operations are organized around the main observation window and its hierarchical display of Galaxy components. The observation window provides a porthole into a very large space. The observation window can be panned and zoomed as needed to observe part of or all of the entire Galaxy configuration. The main toolbar contains a set of buttons that control workspace zoom operations. Workspace panning is controlled by the horizontal and vertical scrollbars; workspace sliding is achieved by holding down the middle mouse button as you drag the workspace around. This obviously assumes you have a three-button mouse.

The various GCU operations are invoked from pull-down or pop-up menu functions. General operations such as opening and closing files, and invoking external tools, are accomplished using the main menu bar entries. Operations specific to individual Galaxy components are accomplished using pop-up menus that appear whenever you click the right mouse button on a component displayed in the observation window.

In response to many operations, the GCU displays additional dialog boxes containing information, forms, editors, or prompts. Error and information responses are displayed in pop-up dialog boxes or inside the status bar along the bottom of the window, depending on the severity of the error and importance of the message.

12.1.1 Creating Galaxy Configuration Models

You can use the GCU to create Galaxy configuration models and a single-instance Galaxy on any Alpha system.

When viewing the active Galaxy configuration model, direct manipulation of display objects (components) may alter the running configuration. For example, dragging a CPU from its current location and dropping it on top of a different instance component will invoke a management action procedure that reassigns the selected CPU to the new instance. At certain times this may be a desirable operation; however, in other situations you might want to reconfigure your Galaxy all at once rather than component by component. To accomplish this, you must create an offline Galaxy configuration model.

To create a Galaxy configuration model, we must start with an existing model, typically the active one, alter it in some manner, and save it in a file.

Starting from the active Galaxy Configuration Model:

  1. Press the ENGAGE button such that the model becomes DISENGAGED. The button should turn from red to white, and its appearance should be popped outward. When disengaged, all CPU components in the display will turn red as an indication that they are no longer engaged. Do not panic, they have not been shut down!
  2. Alter the CPU assignments by dragging and dropping individual CPUs onto the instances on which you want to assign them.
  3. When finished, you can either reengage the model, or save the model in a file for later use. Whenever you reengage a model, regardless of whether the model was derived from the active model or from a file-based model, the GCU will compare the active system configuration with the configuration proposed by the model. It will then provide a summary of management actions that would need to be performed to reassign the system to the new model. If the user approves of the actions, the GCU will commence with execution of the required management actions and the resulting model will be displayed as the active and engaged model.

The reason for creating offline models is to allow significant configuration changes to be automated. For example, you can create models representing the desired Galaxy configuration at different times and then engage the models interactively by following this procedure.

12.1.2 Observation

The GCU can display the single active Galaxy configuration model, or any number of offline Galaxy configuration models. Each loaded model appears as an item in the Model menu on the toolbar. You can switch between models by clicking the desired menu item.

The active model is always named GLX$ACTIVE.GCM. When the active model is first loaded, a file by this name will exist briefly as the system verifies the model with the system hardware.

When a model is visible, you can zoom, pan, or slide the display as needed to view Galaxy components. Use the buttons on the left side of the toolbar to control the zoom functions.

The zoom functions include:

Galactic zoom Zoom to fit the entire component hierarchy into observation window.
Zoom 1:1 Zoom to the component normal scale.
Zoom to region Zoom to a selected region of the display.
Zoom in Zoom in by 10 percent.
Zoom out Zoom out by 10 percent.

Panning is accomplished by using the vertical and horizontal scrollbars. Sliding is done by pressing and holding the middle mouse button and dragging (sliding) the cursor and the image. Layout Management

The Automatic Layout feature manages the component layout. If you ever need to refresh the layout while in Automatic Layout mode, simply select the root (topmost) component.

To alter the current layout, select Manual Layout from the Windows menu. In Manual Layout Mode, you can freely drag and drop components however you like to generate a pleasing structure. Because each component is free from automatic layout constraints, you may need to invest some time in positioning each component, possibly on each of the charts. To make things simpler, you can click the right mouse button on any component and select Layout Subtree to provide automatic layout assistance below that point in the hierarchy.

When you are satisfied with the layout, you must save the current model in a file to retain the manual layout information. The custom layout is used when the model is open. Note that if you select Auto Layout mode, your manual layout will be lost for the in-memory model. Also, in order for CPU components to reassign in a visually effective manner, they must perform subtree layout operations below the instance level. For this reason, it is best to limit any manual layout operations to the instance and community levels of the component hierarchy. OpenVMS Galaxy Charts

The GCU provides six distinct subsets of the model, known as charts.

The six charts include:

Chart Name Shows
Logical Structure Dynamic resource assignments
Physical Structure Nonvolatile hardware relationships
CPU Assignment Simplified view of CPU assignments
Memory Assignment Memory subsystem components
IOP Assignment I/O module relationships
Failover Targets Processor failover assignments

These charts result from enabling or disabling the display of various component types to provide views of sensible subsets of components.

Specific charts may offer functionality that can be provided only for that chart type. For example, reassignment of CPUs requires that the instance components be visible. Because instances are not visible in the Physical Structure or Memory Assignment charts, you can reassign CPUs only in the Logical Structure and CPU Assignment charts.

For more information about charts, refer to Section 12.4.

12.1.3 Interaction

When viewing the active Galaxy configuration model, you can interact directly with the system components. For example, to reassign a CPU from one instance to another, you can drag and drop a CPU onto the desired instance. The GCU will validate the operation and execute an external command action to make the configuration change. Interacting with a model that is not engaged, is simply a drawing operation on the offline model, and has no impact to the running system.

While interacting with Galaxy components, the GCU applies built-in and user-defined rules that prevent misconfiguration and improper management actions. For example, you cannot reassign primary CPUs, and you cannot reassign a CPU to any component other than a Galaxy instance. Either operation would result in an error message on the status bar, and the model would return to its proper configuration. If the attempted operation violates one of the configuration rules, the error message, displayed in red on the status bar, will describe the rule that fired.

You can view details for any selected component by clicking the right mouse button and either selecting the Parameters item from the pop-up menu or by selecting Parameters from the Components menu on the main toolbar.

The GCU can shut down or reboot one or more Galaxy instances using the Shutdown or Reboot items on the Galaxy menu. The various shutdown or reboot parameters can be entered in the Shutdown dialog box. Be sure to specify the CLUSTER_SHUTDOWN option to fully shut down clustered Galaxy instances. The Shutdown dialog box allows you to select any combination of instances, or all instances. The GCU is "smart" enough to shut down its owner instance last.

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