OpenVMS DCL Dictionary
If SYS$INPUT is a terminal, it cannot have an associated terminal
Copies keypad key definitions and the current keypad state from the
parent process. By default, if you have established key definitions or
states with the DEFINE/KEY or the SET KEY command, these settings are
copied to the subprocess. Use the /NOKEYPAD qualifier if you do not
want the key settings to be copied.
Displays the assigned subprocess name and any messages indicating
transfer of control between processes.
Copies process logical names and logical name tables to the subprocess.
By default, all process logical names and logical name tables are
copied to the subprocess except those explicitly marked CONFINE or
created in executive or kernel mode.
Controls whether a message is broadcast to your terminal notifying you
that your subprocess has completed or aborted. This qualifier should
not be used unless you specify the /NOWAIT qualifier. The /NOTIFY
qualifier cannot be specified when the SPAWN command is executed from
within a noninteractive process.
Note that messages broadcast as a result of using the /NOTIFY qualifier
are considered to be DCL messages. Therefore, if SET BROADCAST=NODCL is
in effect, all such notification messages are suppressed.
Specifies the output file to which the results of the SPAWN operation
are written. The asterisk (*) and the percent sign (%) wildcard
characters cannot be used in the file specification. (Do not specify
SYS$COMMAND as a file specification for the /OUTPUT qualifier when
using the /NOWAIT qualifier; both parent and subprocess output will be
displayed simultaneously on your terminal.)
If you include a version number in the filespec argument of the /OUTPUT
qualifier, and that version of the specified file already exists, the
existing file is replaced with the new output.
You cannot explicitly specify non-record-oriented, process-permanent
files (NRO PPFs) with the /OUTPUT qualifier. The system displays an
error message when it encounters such a file as the value for the
Note that when NRO PPFs are used as implicit output, the SPAWN command
can succeed, as shown in the following table:
Mailbox transmitting records for parent to write to its current
If you omit the /OUTPUT qualifier, output is written to the current
Determines whether the spawned process inherits the current process'
current or authorized privileges as its authorized privileges. By
default, the authorized privilege mask for the subprocess is taken from
the current privileges of its creator. (This corresponds to
/PRIVILEGES=CURRENT.) If the /PRIVILEGES=AUTHORIZED qualifier is
specified, the subprocess' authorized privileges will be taken from the
caller's authorized privileges.
Specifies the name of the subprocess to be created. If you omit the
/PROCESS qualifier, a unique process name is assigned with the same
base name as the parent process and a unique number. The default
subprocess name format is username_n. If you specify a process
name that already exists, an error message is displayed. If the /LOG
qualifier has been specified, the assigned name of the subprocess is
Specifies the prompt string for DCL to use in the subprocess. The
default is the prompt of the parent process.
The string can consist of more than one character. All valid ASCII
characters can be used in the string. The string must be enclosed in
quotation marks (" ") if it contains spaces, special
characters, or lowercase characters. Otherwise, letters are
automatically converted to uppercase, and leading and trailing spaces
If no string is specified, the dollar sign ($) DCL default prompt
string is used for the subprocess.
Determines whether global and local symbols (except $RESTART,
$SEVERITY, and $STATUS) are passed to the subprocess. $RESTART,
$SEVERITY, and $STATUS symbols are never passed to the
Specifies the name of an alternate command table to be used by the
Indicates that the SPAWN command input originates in a trusted command
procedure. SPAWN commands are not allowed in CAPTIVE accounts. The
/TRUSTED qualifier provides a way for properly written captive command
procedures to perform SPAWN operations when the command input
originates in the captive command procedure where it can be trusted.
For more information about trusted command procedures, refer to the
OpenVMS Guide to System Security.
Requires that you wait for the subprocess to terminate before you enter
another DCL command. The /NOWAIT qualifier allows you to enter new
commands while the subprocess is running. (Use the /OUTPUT qualifier
with the /NOWAIT qualifier to avoid displaying both parent and
subprocess output on the terminal simultaneously.)
Note that specifying the /NOWAIT qualifier causes both input and output
to be shared with the parent process. If the input device is a
terminal, control characters, such as Ctrl/T or Ctrl/Y, also affect all
subprocesses sharing the input device. The Ctrl/Y control character,
for example, interrupts all such subprocesses.
This problem may be avoided by specifying /INPUT=NL:.
$ RUN MYPROG
$ SPAWN MAIL
%DCL-S-SPAWNED, process SKONETSKI_1 spawned
%DCL-S-ATTACHED, terminal now attached to process SKONETSKI_1
%DCL-S-RETURNED, control returned to process SKONETSKI
The SPAWN command in this example allows you to enter the OpenVMS Mail
utility (MAIL) without terminating the currently running program. After
you exit from Mail, control is returned to the parent process.
Starts the specified secondary processor or processors (and any
associated vector processors). The /CPU qualifier is required.
Applies only to OpenVMS multiprocessing systems. Requires
CMKRNL (change mode to kernel) privilege.
Specifies a decimal value representing the identity of a processor in a
OpenVMS multiprocessing system. On a VAX 6000 system or an Alpha 7000
system, the CPU ID is the backplane slot number of the processor. If
you do not specify a CPU ID and do not include the /ALL qualifier, the
START/CPU command selects a single available processor to join the
The START/CPU command starts a secondary processor in a OpenVMS
You can issue a START/CPU command only for processors in the STOPPED or
TIMOUT state, as represented by the SHOW CPU command; otherwise, the
START/CPU command has no effect.
Selects all remaining processors in the system's available set to join
the multiprocessing system.
Eliminates all previous capability (user and system) modifications for
the specified CPU and reinitializes them with the values in the global
initialization variable SCH$GL_DEFAULT_CPU_CAP.
Normally, user capabilities survive CPU shutdowns and restarts (not
reboots), making the downtime as transparent to the user as possible.
The CPU user capability bits are only initialized from
SCH$GL_DEFAULT_CPU_CAP at the first boot of the CPU. (The system
capability bits, however, are reinitialized to their defaults taken
However, there may be times when the CPU needs to be returned to a
known, consistent state. The /DEFAULT_CAPABILITIES qualifier mimics the
behavior of the initial bootstrap of the CPU.
The START/CPU command in this example selects a single inactive
processor from the set of those processors that are currently available
but inactive. When it completes its initialization, the selected
processor becomes part of the system's active set and is capable of
scheduling and executing processes.
The START/CPU command in this example selects the processors with CPU
IDs 4 and 7, if they are currently available and inactive. When they
complete initialization, these processors become part of the system's
active set and are capable of scheduling and executing processes.
The START/CPU/ALL command in this example selects all remaining
inactive and available processors. When they complete initialization,
these processors become part of the system's active set and are capable
of scheduling and executing processes.
Starts or restarts the specified network service on the local node. The
/NETWORK qualifier is required.
Specifies the name of the network service to be started or restarted.
The START/NETWORK command causes a network service to begin executing
on the local node.
Use the STOP/NETWORK command to pause the network.
This command starts the DECnet network service.
Starts or restarts the specified queue after it has been initialized.
You also can use this command to change the options of the specified
queue. The /QUEUE qualifier is required.
Requires manage (M) access to the queue.
Specifies the name of the queue to be started or restarted.
The START/QUEUE command restarts a queue that has been stopped or
paused. You must create the queue with the INITIALIZE/QUEUE command
before you can use the START/QUEUE command. To create and start the
queue at the same time, use the INITIALIZE/QUEUE/START command.
If the specified queue is an autostart queue, the START/QUEUE command
activates the queue for autostart.
The queue begins processing jobs when autostart is enabled with the
ENABLE AUTOSTART/QUEUES command for any node on which the queue can run.
You can specify with the START/QUEUE command most qualifiers that can
be used with the INITIALIZE/QUEUE command. The defaults for the
START/QUEUE qualifiers depend on the qualifiers specified when the
queue was initialized. For example, the default for /JOB_LIMIT with
INITIALIZE/QUEUE is 1. However, if the queue you are altering was
initialized with a job limit of 3, and if you do not specify the
/JOB_LIMIT qualifier with the START/QUEUE command, the job limit
remains at 3 for that queue.
Values or options specified with qualifiers on the START/QUEUE command
override the values or options of those same qualifiers that were
specified when the queue was initialized.
If the specified queue is running when you enter the START/QUEUE
command, the system returns an error message. To change the options of
a running queue, use the SET QUEUE command. To change queue options
that cannot be altered with the SET QUEUE command, use the following
- Stop the queue with the STOP/QUEUE/NEXT command.
- Restart the queue with the START/QUEUE or INITIALIZE/QUEUE/START
command, specifying the appropriate qualifiers for the options you
The /TOP_OF_FILE, /BACKWARD, /FORWARD, /SEARCH, /ALIGN, and /NEXT
qualifiers are effective only when restarting an output execution queue
from a paused state. They do not apply to queues that are stopped or to
batch queues. When you specify more than one of the first five of these
qualifiers, the print symbiont processes them in the following order:
Prints alignment pages to aid in aligning printer forms. Use this
qualifier only when restarting an output execution queue from a paused
After the alignment is complete, the queue enters a paused state until
you restart it by reentering the START/QUEUE command. Printing resumes
from the point where alignment data started; that is, the task is
backspaced over the pages printed for alignment.
Possible options are as follows:
Specifies that input data is masked by replacing alphabetic characters
with x's and numbers with 9s; nonalphanumeric characters are not
masked. Mask characters allow you to prevent the printing of sensitive
information. If you omit the MASK option, data is printed unaltered.
Specifies the number of alignment pages to print. The value of
n can be from 1 to 20. By default, one page of alignment data
Designates the queue as an autostart execution queue and specifies the
node, or node and device, on which the queue can be located. Both
node and device must be specified for output queues.
For batch queues, only node is applicable.
In an OpenVMS Cluster, you can specify more than one node (or node and
device) on which a queue can run, in the preferred order in which nodes
should claim the queue. This allows the queue to fail over to another
node if the node on which the queue is running leaves the cluster.
For autostart queues, the START/QUEUE command activates the queue for
autostart. The queue will begin processing jobs when the ENABLE
AUTOSTART/QUEUES command is entered for a node on which the queue can
This qualifier cannot be used with the /ON or /GENERIC qualifier;
however, you can specify the /AUTOSTART_ON qualifier for a queue
previously created or started with the /ON qualifier. Doing so
overrides the /ON option and makes the queue an autostart queue.
For more information about autostart queues, refer to the chapter about
managing queues in the OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.
Restarts a print queue n pages before the current page;
n defaults to 1. If you omit the page value, printing resumes
at the top of the current page. Use this qualifier only when restarting
an output execution queue from a paused state.
Using the START/QUEUE/BACKWARD=n command to restart a print
job that uses Fortran carriage control and that was printed with the
/NOFEED qualifier can have unexpected results, in particular:
- The page positioning in the restarted job may not be correct: the
output may not begin at the top of the page specified by n.
- The output from the print job may be preceded by extra meaningless
Specifies the base process priority at which jobs are initiated from a
batch execution queue. By default, if you omit the qualifier, jobs are
initiated at the same priority as the base priority established by
DEFPRI at system generation (usually 4). The base priority specifier
can be any decimal value from 0 to 15.
Limits the size of print jobs that can be processed on an output
execution queue. This qualifier allows you to reserve certain printers
for certain size jobs. You must specify at least one of the parameters.
The lowlim parameter is a decimal number referring to the
minimum number of blocks that are accepted by the queue for a print
job. If a print job is submitted that contains fewer blocks than the
the lowlim value, the job remains pending until the block
limit for the queue is changed. After the block limit for the queue is
decreased sufficiently, the job is processed.
The uplim parameter is a decimal number referring to the
maximum number of blocks that are accepted by the queue for a print
job. If a print job is submitted that exceeds this value, the job
remains pending until the block limit for the queue is changed. After
the block limit for the queue is increased sufficiently, the job is
If you specify only an upper limit for jobs, you can omit the
parentheses. For example, /BLOCK_LIMIT=1000 means that only jobs with
1000 blocks or less are processed in the queue. To specify only a lower
job limit, you must use a null string ("") to indicate the upper
specifier. For example, /BLOCK_LIMIT=(500,"") means any job with 500 or
more blocks is processed in the queue. You can specify both a lower and
upper limit. For example, /BLOCK_LIMIT=(200,2000) means that jobs with
less than 200 blocks or more than 2000 blocks are not processed in the
The /NOBLOCK_LIMIT qualifier cancels the previous setting established
by the /BLOCK_LIMIT qualifier for the queue.
Specifies one or more characteristics for processing jobs on an
execution queue. If a queue does not have all the characteristics that
have been specified for a job, the job remains pending. If you specify
only one characteristic, you can omit the parentheses. Each time you
specify the /CHARACTERISTICS qualifier, all previously set
characteristics are canceled. Only the characteristics specified with
the qualifier are established for the queue.
Queue characteristics are installation specific. The characteristic
parameter can be either a value from 0 to 127 or a characteristic name
that has been defined by the DEFINE/CHARACTERISTIC command.
The /NOCHARACTERISTICS qualifier cancels any settings previously
established by the /CHARACTERISTICS qualifier for the queue.
Prevents jobs from being entered in the queue through PRINT or SUBMIT
commands or as a result of requeue operations. To allow jobs to be
entered, use the /OPEN qualifier. Whether a queue accepts or rejects
new job entries is independent of the queue's state (such as paused,
stopped, or stalled). When a queue is marked closed, jobs executing
continue to execute. Jobs already pending in the queue continue to be
candidates for execution.
Defines the default CPU time limit for jobs in this batch execution
queue. You can specify time as delta time, 0, INFINITE, or NONE. You
can specify up to 497 days of delta time.
If the queue does not have a specified CPUMAXIMUM time limit and the
value established in the user authorization file (UAF) has a specified
CPU time limit of NONE, either the value 0 or the keyword INFINITE
allows unlimited CPU time. If you specify NONE, the CPU time value
defaults to the value specified either in the UAF or by the SUBMIT
command (if included). CPU time values must be greater than or equal to
the number specified by the system parameter PQL_MCPULM.
For information on specifying delta times, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual
or the online help topic DCL_Tips (subtopic Date_Time). For more
information on specifying CPU time limits, see the CPU Time Limit
Specifications and Actions table for the INITIALIZE/QUEUE command.
Defines the default CPU time limit for all jobs in this batch execution
queue. You can specify time as delta time, 0, INFINITE, or NONE. You
can specify up to 497 days of delta time.
If the queue does not have a specified CPUMAXIMUM time limit and the
value established in the UAF has a specified CPU time limit of NONE,
either the value 0 or the keyword INFINITE allows unlimited CPU time.
If you specify NONE, the CPU time value defaults to the value specified
either in the UAF or by the SUBMIT command (if included). CPU time
values must be greater than or equal to the number specified by the
system parameter PQL_MCPULM. The time cannot exceed the CPU time limit
set by the /CPUMAXIMUM qualifier. For information on specifying delta
time, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual or the online help topic DCL_Tips
(subtopic Date_Time). For more information on specifying CPU time
limits, see the CPU Time Limit Specifications and Actions table for the
Establishes defaults for certain options of the PRINT command. Defaults
are specified by the list of options. If you specify only one option,
you can omit the parentheses. After you set an option for the queue
with the /DEFAULT qualifier, you do not have to specify that option in
your PRINT commands. If you do specify these options in your PRINT
command, the values specified with the PRINT command override the
values established for the queue with the /DEFAULT qualifier.
You cannot use the /DEFAULT qualifier with the /GENERIC qualifier.
Possible options are as follows:
Controls whether two file flag pages with a burst bar between them are
printed preceding output. If you specify the value ALL (default), these
flag pages are printed before each file in the job. If you specify the
value ONE, these flag pages are printed once before the first file in
Specifies whether a form feed is inserted automatically at the end of a
Controls whether a file flag page is printed preceding output. If you
specify the value ALL (default), a flag page is printed before each
file in the job. If you specify the value ONE, a flag page is printed
once before the first file in the job.
Specifies the default form for an output execution queue. If a job is
submitted without an explicit form definition, this form is used to
process the job. If no form type is explicitly specified with the FORM
keyword, the system assigns the form "DEFAULT" to the queue.
See also the description of the /FORM_MOUNTED qualifier.
Controls whether a file trailer page is printed following output. If
you specify the value ALL (default), a trailer page is printed after
each file in the job. If you specify the value ONE, a trailer page is
printed once after the last file in the job.
When you specify the BURST option for a file, the [NO]FLAG option does
not add or subtract a flag page from the two flag pages that are
printed preceding the file. For information on establishing mandatory
queue options, see the description of the /SEPARATE qualifier. For more
information on specifying default queue options, refer to the
OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.
Specifies a string of up to 255 characters that is used to provide
operator-supplied information about the queue.
Enclose strings containing lowercase letters, blanks, or other
nonalphanumeric characters (including spaces) in quotation marks
The /NODESCRIPTION qualifier removes any descriptive text that may be
associated with the queue.
Controls whether batch jobs executed from a queue can be swapped in and
out of memory.
Specifies whether files queued to a generic queue that does not specify
explicit queue names with the /GENERIC qualifier can be placed in this
execution queue for processing. For more information, see the
description of the /GENERIC qualifier.
Specifies the mounted form for an output execution queue.
If no form type is explicitly specified, the system assigns the form
"DEFAULT" to the queue.
If the stock of the mounted form does not match the stock of the
default form, as indicated by the /DEFAULT=FORM qualifier, all jobs
submitted to this queue without an explicit form definition enter a
pending state and remain pending until the stock of the mounted form of
the queue is identical to the stock of the form associated with the job.
If a job is submitted with an explicit form and the stock of the
explicit form is not identical to the stock of the mounted form, the
job enters a pending state and remains pending until the stock of the
mounted form of the queue is identical to the stock of the form
associated with the job.
To specify the form type, use either a numeric value or a form name
that has been defined by the DEFINE/FORM command. Form types are
installation-specific. You cannot use the /FORM_MOUNTED qualifier with
the /GENERIC qualifier.
Advances the specified number of pages before resuming printing the
current file in the current job; the default is 1. If you omit the page
value, printing resumes at the top of the next page. Use this qualifier
only when restarting an output execution queue from a paused state.
Specifies a generic queue. Also specifies that jobs placed in this
queue can be moved for processing to compatible execution queues. The
/GENERIC qualifier optionally accepts a list of target execution queues
that have been previously defined. For a generic batch queue, these
target queues must be batch execution queues. For a generic output
queue, these target queues must be output execution queues, but can be
of any type (printer, server, or terminal). For example, a generic
printer queue can feed a mixture of printer and terminal execution