HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

Content starts here

OpenVMS DCL Dictionary

Previous Contents Index


Registers the attributes of a network service.

Requires SYSNAM (system name) privilege.


SET NETWORK network-service



Specifies the name of a network service.


The SET NETWORK command allows you to control information about network services on an OpenVMS system. This information is contained in structures pointed to by executive mode logical names SYS$NET_SERVICES_1 to SYS$NET_SERVICES_12. Each structure defines a particular network service and contains the following information:
  • Product name
  • Manufacturer
  • Type of network
  • Node name
  • Address(es)
  • Interface(s) (OpenVMS device driver)
  • Vendor-specific data
  • Status
  • Connections
  • Counters
  • Start command
  • Stop command
  • Path to the Point-to-Point Protocol utility (PPPD) shareable image

The following items are required for network registration: product name, manufacturer, type of network, node name, address. For each network service that supports the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), the file name of the PPPD shareable image must also be specified using the /PPPD_CALLOUT qualifier.

The SET NETWORK command allows you to perform the following actions on the information on network services:

  • Add a service (use the /REGISTER qualifier)
  • Delete a service (use the /REMOVE qualifier)
  • Modify the information for a service (use the /UPDATE qualifier)

The /REGISTER qualifier is the default, if you do not specify an action.



Specifies the network address of the local node.


Specifies a command to be executed to display the number of network connections.


Specifies a command to be executed to display the number of network counters.


Specifies a character string provided by the network service vendor.


Specifies the OpenVMS driver for the network service.


Specifies the manufacturer of the network service.


Specifies the protocol for the network service.


Specifies the name of the local node.


Specifies the name of the protected shareable image activated by PPPD. This image contains the routine PPPD$OPEN_CONNECT, which notifies the network service that a new physical transport exists that supports PPP. If the image resides in the SYS$SHARE directory, enter the file name of the image without the suffix (such as, PPPD_CALLOUT instead of PPPD_CALLOUT.EXE); otherwise, enter the system logical that identifies the location of the image.


Defines a new network service.


Deletes a network service from the database.


Specifies an image to be executed when you issue the START/NETWORK command for the network service.


Specifies a command to be executed to display additional status information.


Specifies an image to be executed when you issue the STOP/NETWORK command for the network service.


Allows you to modify the specified data for the network service.



    /MANUFACTURER= "Digital Equipment Corporation"
    /INTERFACE="net 0"
    /DATA="Router: No"
    /STATUS="mcr ncl show node 0 all"
    /CONNECTIONS="mcr ncl show node 0 session control port * all"
    /COUNTERS="mcr ncl show node 0 session control all counters"


This command adds the network service DECnet-Plus (Phase V) to the database, with the specified characteristics.


/MANUFACTURER="Digital Equipment Corporation"
/STATUS="ucx show service"
/CONNECTIONS="ucx show device"

This command creates a new TCP/IP network service, adds it to the database, and enables the PPPD utility by supplying a logical name that identifies the location of the shareable image.


Enables error checking by the command interpreter after the execution of each command in a command procedure. Specify SET NOON to disable error checking.






During the execution of command procedures, the command interpreter normally checks the status code returned when a DCL command or program image completes and saves the numeric value of this code in the reserved symbol named $STATUS. The low-order 3 bits of this value are also saved in the reserved symbol $SEVERITY. Command procedure execution aborts when either an error or fatal error is detected.

Use the SET NOON command to override default error checking. When SET NOON is in effect, the command interpreter continues to place the status code value in $STATUS and the severity level in $SEVERITY, but does not perform any action based on the values. As a result, the command procedure continues to execute no matter how many errors are returned.

The SET ON or SET NOON command applies only at the current command level. If you use the SET NOON command in a command procedure that executes another procedure, the default, SET ON, is established while the second procedure executes.


$ COPY  *.OBJ  *.SAV

This command procedure routinely copies all object modules into new files with the file type .SAV. The DELETE command first deletes all existing files with the .SAV file type, if any. The SET NOON command ensures that the procedure continues executing even if there are no files with the .SAV file type in the current directory. Following the DELETE command, the SET ON command restores error checking. Then the COPY command makes copies of all existing files with .OBJ file type.


Sets the rate at which output is written to a batch job log file.

For use only within command procedures that are submitted as batch or detached jobs.


SET OUTPUT_RATE [=delta-time]



The time interval at which output is written from the output buffer to the batch job log file. If no delta time is specified, the information is written in the output buffer to the log file, but the output rate is not changed from the default of once per minute. Specify delta-time as [dddd-][hh:mm:ss.cc]. For more information on delta time, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual or the online help topic DCL_Tips (subtopic Date_Time).


When you submit a batch job, the output to be written to the log file is stored in an output buffer. Periodically, the buffer is flushed and its contents are written to the batch job log file. By default, the buffer is flushed once a minute; therefore, you can type the log file to determine how much of the job has completed while the job is still executing.

To change the default output rate, include the SET OUTPUT_RATE command in the command procedure that you are submitting as a batch job. When the SET OUTPUT_RATE command is executed within a batch job and a delta time is specified, DCL flushes the buffer, sets the default output rate, and starts a new output interval.

If the SET OUTPUT_RATE command is executed within a batch job and a delta time is not specified, DCL flushes the buffer but does not change the default output rate and does not start a new interval.

If you issue the SET OUTPUT_RATE command interactively, or within a command procedure that is executed interactively, then no action is performed.



This command, when executed within a batch job, changes the default output rate from once a minute to once every 30 seconds.


Changes a password or system password. Also, can establish a secondary password or system password, or remove a secondary password.

See the qualifier descriptions for restrictions.






All user accounts on a system have passwords. A password is required for logging in to the system.

To maintain secrecy, users should change their passwords from time to time. The SET PASSWORD command offers a means of making this change.

A system manager can control which users have the right to change their passwords, and can establish a minimum password length and the maximum period of time that a password can remain unchanged. The OpenVMS system automatically screens passwords against a dictionary and a history list to prevent the use of native language words or the reuse of old passwords. A system manager can add words readily associated with the site to the dictionary, thus disallowing them as passwords.

Systems can also have passwords (not to be confused with the password associated with the SYSTEM account). The system manager uses the SET PASSWORD/SYSTEM command to change the system password from time to time.

A password contains up to 32 alphanumeric characters. The dollar sign ($) and underscore (_) are also permitted. Uppercase and lowercase characters are equivalent. All lowercase characters are converted to uppercase before the password is encrypted. (For example, "EAGLE" is the same as "eagle.")


Blank spaces are permissible within a password, but they are not considered part of the password, and OpenVMS ignores them. For example, "MY PASSWORD" is an acceptable password, but the system only records "MYPASSWORD." This means that "MYPA SSWORD" is also a valid password for the account in question.

A password that contains blank spaces will fail in contexts where spaces have meaning. For example, the syntax of an access control string assumes there is one and only one space, preceding the password, for example:


If you enter the following command, it will fail:


Use the following procedure to change your password:

  1. Enter the SET PASSWORD command.
  2. The system prompts you for your current password. Enter your current password.
  3. The system prompts you for a new password. Enter a new password, or press Return to disable your current password.
  4. The system prompts you to verify the password. Enter the new password to verify. (If the two entries of the new password do not match, the password does not change.)

The following guidelines are recommended to minimize the chances of passwords being discovered by trial-and-error or by exhaustive search:

  • Make passwords at least 6 characters long.
  • Avoid names or words that are readily associated with you.
  • Change your passwords at least once every month.

To ensure that the previous guidelines are met, use the /GENERATE[=value] qualifier. This qualifier generates random passwords of up to 12 characters in length. The system manager can require individual users to use generated passwords. For more information about this, refer to the description of the Authorize utility's /GENERATE_PASSWORD qualifier in the OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual.

External Authentication

If external authentication is enabled on your system and user accounts in the SYSUAF file are marked for external authentication, those users are authenticated using their external user IDs and passwords.

When a user has logged in using external authentication, the SET PASSWORD command attempts to notify the external authentication service of any password change. The following messages are displayed when this takes place:

  %SET-I-SNDEXTAUTH, Sending password request to external authenticator
  %SET-I-TRYPWDSYNCH, Attempting password synchronization

If the external authentication service cannot be contacted or the password change is rejected, an error message is displayed to the user:

  %SET-E-EXTPWDERR, Password could not be set by external authenticator

If the user was not externally authenticated but the EXTAUTH flag is set (the user logged in with /LOCAL_PASSWORD), the new password is only set locally in the SYSUAF file (normal OpenVMS password policy checks do not apply in this case).



Generates a list of five random passwords. Press Return to repeat the procedure until a suitable password appears.

Value is a number from 1 to 10 that restricts the length of the password. For any value n, the SET PASSWORD command generates passwords of from n to (n+2) characters long.

If no value is specified, SET PASSWORD uses a default value of 6, and generates passwords from 6 to 8 characters long. Values greater than 10 are not accepted and produce errors.

If your system manager has established a minimum password length for your account, SET PASSWORD/GENERATE=n compares that length with the optional value specified with the /GENERATE qualifier, and uses the larger of the two values. If you do not specify a value with the /GENERATE qualifier, the account minimum length is used.


If the SET PASSWORD/GENERATE command fails to work properly, consult your system manager to be sure that either the file SYS$LIBRARY:VMS$PASSWORD_DICTIONARY.DATA exists, or the logical name VMS$PASSWORD_DICTIONARY is correctly defined.


Creates or allows you to replace a secondary password. The procedure is the same as setting your primary password.

Once a secondary password has been established, you will receive two PASSWORD: prompts when logging in. The primary password should be typed in first, followed by the secondary password.

Secondary passwords make it possible to set up an account that requires two different people to access it. Each person knows one of the two passwords, and both passwords are required to log in successfully.

To remove your secondary password, press Return when SET PASSWORD/SECONDARY prompts you for a new password and verification. After you do this, you will receive a single PASSWORD: prompt when logging in. If you remove the secondary password, your system manager must restore it.

The /SECONDARY and /SYSTEM qualifiers are incompatible.


Requires the SECURITY privilege.

Changes the system password rather than a user password.

If a terminal line has the system password (SYSPWD) characteristic set, no terminal prompts are sent to that terminal until the system password is entered.

A system password is valid only for the node it is set on. In an OpenVMS Cluster, each node can have a different system password.

The /SYSTEM and /SECONDARY qualifiers are incompatible. For more information about the use of system passwords, refer to the OpenVMS Guide to System Security.


Old password: HONCHO
New password: BIG_ENCHILADA
Verification: BIG_ENCHILADA


In response to the SET PASSWORD command, the system first prompts for the old password and then for the new password. The system then prompts again for the new password to verify it. The password changes if the user is authorized to change this account's password, if the old password is given correctly, and if the new password is given identically twice; otherwise, an error message appears and the password remains unchanged.

In a real session, neither the old password nor the new password and its verification appear on the screen or paper.


Access to a MSCP/TMSCP class device may be available to an OpenVMS node from more than one host or storage controller. Use the SET PREFERRED_PATH command to specify a particular host or preferred path to access a specific MSCP class disk or TMSCP class tape device.

If a preferred path is specified, the normal OpenVMS path selection process is modified to select the user-specified path over other available paths, assuming the user-specified path is available.

This command is only meaningful for MSCP/TMSCP class devices that have more than one path available.


SET PREFERRED_PATH device-name[:]



Specifies the name of a MSCP class disk or TMSCP class tape device.



Tells the MSCP/TMSCP class driver that you want this host to be the preferred access path to the specified device. The class driver remembers this host name until it is changed by taking one of the following actions:
  • Issuing another SET PREFERRED_PATH command specifying a different host
  • Using the /NOHOST qualifier
  • Rebooting the system

Note that simply specifying a preferred path does not mean that it is immediately selected if the disk or tape device is currently using another path. Use the /FORCE qualifier along with the /HOST qualifier to force the preferred path to be used immediately.

The host_name is the name of the host that will be the preferred path to the disk or tape device.


Tells the class driver to initiate the path selection process immediately. If this qualifier is omitted when a new host name is specified, a switch from the current path to the new preferred path will not occur until some other event initiates the path selection process.


Clears any previously defined preferred path assignment. Restores usual OpenVMS path selection behavior.




Prior to issuing this command, the $10$DUA10: disk device has host HSC015 as its primary path and host HSC014 as its secondary path. Issuing this command selects host HSC014 as the preferred path.

Note that the preferred path has been recorded by the class driver; however, the disk will remain on the current path (HSC015) until the next time the path selection process is initiated.



To make the path change occur immediately, include the /FORCE qualifier on the command line with the preferred path specification.



Issue this command to initiate path selection processing if the specified device has a primary path that differs from the preferred path.

If the preferred path is available, the device moves to that path.



Remove the specified preferred path by using the /NOHOST qualifier if the device should no longer have a preferred path.


Allows you to set a prefix control string for verified command lines.





Specifies the FAO control string to be used in generating a prefix to a verified command line. The following rules apply:
  • No more than 64 characters are allowed in the control string.
  • The resulting string can be no longer than 64 characters.
  • Basic formatting FAO directives can be used ("!/", "!_", "!^", "!!", "!%F", and "!n*c").
  • Time and date FAO directives can be used ("!%T" and "!%D").
  • Repeat counts can be used ("!n(DD)").
  • Output field length specifications can be used ("!lengthDD").
  • Combination of repeat count and output field length can be used ("!n(lengthDD)").
  • FAO directives that require arguments will always receive a value of zero.


The SET PREFIX command allows you to prefix verified command lines with a custom string. This string is a limited FAO control string that specifies date and time information as well as constant information and formatting controls (that is, tabs, form feeds, and so on). For example, this allows you to use a full date and time prefix (a time stamp) to identify batch runs and to verify that a batch job ran at the expected time.

See the documentation on the F$FAO lexical function for more information about FAO control strings.

The first line of a verified command is prefixed with the result of the control string. The control string is evaluated before the command itself is executed. Any continuation lines are prefixed with a blank string in order to make them flush with the first line of the command. Command input and output are not prefixed. The prefix control string can later be retrieved by using VERIFY_PREFIX with F$ENVIRONMENT.


$ SET PREFIX "(!5%T) "
(17:52) $ SHOW DEFAULT


This example demonstrates the difference between having and not having a prefix for verification. The first command turns on verification. (Verification must be turned on to see the prefix.) The second command invokes a test procedure to show what the output looks like without a prefix. The third and fourth lines reflect the contents of the test procedure invoked in the preceding command. The third command sets the prefix to an FAO control string so that the first five characters of the standard time will be shown for each command. The last command invokes the test procedure again to demonstrate what the output looks like with a prefix.

Previous Next Contents Index