HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS

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Chapter 2
Configuring Interfaces

OpenVMS systems running TCP/IP Services communicate with other internet hosts over a variety of physical media. Because TCP/IP is independent of the underlying physical network, IP addresses are implemented in the network software, not the network hardware. (See the HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS Software Product Description for a complete list of supported media.)

This chapter reviews key concepts and describes:

2.1 Key Concepts

A network controller is the hardware connection between a computer system and a physical network. Controllers perform the packet channeling to and from the physical medium of your network, usually a cable.

The network interface is a logical network controller --- a software component that communicates with your network software and the network controller.

For each interface, you can enable or disable the interface, set the subnet mask, and assign IP and broadcast addresses.

2.2 Configuring Network Controllers

TCP/IP Services automatically recognizes network controllers at startup. If you need to change the configuration (remove, modify, or add new network controllers to your system) after installing and configuring the product, follow the installation and configuration instructions that come with your hardware; then run TCPIP$CONFIG again. The TCP/IP Services software recognizes the new controller immediately, and creates new interfaces the next time the software starts up.


Hardware installation and configuration instructions are specific for the various network controllers. Be sure to read the instructions provided with your new hardware before installing.

2.3 Configuring Network Interfaces

The TCP/IP Services product supports one local software interface for loopbacks and one or more physical network interfaces for each physical network controller.

The configuration procedure initially configures your network interfaces. Use the following commands if you need to redefine an interface or configure serial lines. See Chapter 3 for more information about configuring serial lines.


To display information, use the SHOW INTERFACE command; to disable an interface, use the SET NOINTERFACE command.


If you are redefining an existing interface, enter the SET NOINTERFACE command before you enter the SET INTERFACE command.

2.3.1 Specifying the Interface

Interface names include the following information:

  • One letter indicating the interface type
    Interface types indicate the type of controller. The following table shows the letters you can use to indicate each type of controller:
    For this controller Use this interface type
    ATM I, L
    Ethernet B, C, D, F, I, N, O, Q, R, S, W, X, Z
    FDDI A, C, F, Q, R, W
    Token Ring C, R
    Local (loopback) L
  • One letter indicating the interface class
    For this controller Use this interface class
    ATM F
    Ethernet E
    FDDI F
    Token Ring T
    PPP P
    Serial L
    X25 X
    Local (loopback) O
  • An integer indicating the controller number. Controller numbers are decimal numbers in the range of 0 through 25, corresponding to OpenVMS hardware controller letters A through Z. The default is 0.

Primary interfaces for Ethernet controllers have names in the range SE, SE0, SE1, SE2, ...SE24, SE25.

Interfaces for PPP controllers have names in the range PP, PP0, PP1, ...PP998, PP999.

Interfaces for local (loopback) controllers have names in the range LO, LO0, LO1, ...L08, L09


OpenVMS network devices are always template devices and are enumerated as FWA0, FWB0, FWC0, ...FWY0, FWZ0.

If the system has multiple interfaces, you can configure failSAFE IP to provide automatic failover from one interface to the next. This is useful if an interface goes offline or fails. For more information, see Chapter 5.

2.3.2 Specifying the Network Mask

An IP address consists of a network number and a host number. The network mask is the part of the host field of the IP address the identifies the network. Every host on the same network must have the same network mask. To specify the network mask, use the /NETWORK_MASK qualifier.

TCP/IP Services calculates the default by setting:

  • The bits representing the network fields to 1
  • The bits representing the host field to 0

You can also divide the host field into a site-specific network and host field.

2.3.3 Specifying Additional IP Addresses

To establish an additional IP address for an interface, define a network alias. This can be useful when changing network numbers and you want to continue to accept packets addressed to the old interface, or for setting up a host with a single interface to act as a router between subnets. Network aliases can be added in two functionally identical ways:

  • Associate multiple addresses to an existing interface.
    You can use the ifconfig utility to associate multiple addresses with an existing interface. There is no limit to the number of aliases that can be created, and ranges of network addresses can be easily created. You should include the ifconfig command in SYS$STARTUP:TCPIP$SYSTARTUP.COM to ensure the network aliases are re-created whenever TCP/IP Services is restarted.
    For example, assume interface WF0 exists with a network address of and a 24-bit subnet mask. To add an alias with an address of with a 24-bit subnet mask, follow these steps:
    1. Define foreign commands:

    2. Display the current interfaces. Use quotation marks to preserve case. For example:

      $ netstat -n "-I" wf0
      Name  Mtu   Network     Address         Ipkts Ierrs    Opkts Oerrs  Coll
      WF0   4470  <Link>    0:0:f8:bd:bc:22     3049700     0  2976912   0     0
      WF0   4470  10.10.1     3049700     0  2976912   0     0
    3. Add the network alias:

      $ ifconfig wf0 alias
    4. Display the current interfaces. For example:

      $ netstat -n "-I" wf0
      Name  Mtu   Network     Address         Ipkts Ierrs    Opkts Oerrs  Coll
      WF0   4470  <Link>    0:0:f8:bd:bc:22     3049700     0  2976912   0     0
      WF0   4470  10.10.1     3049700     0  2976912   0     0
      WF0   4470  10.10.2     3049700     0  2976912   0     0

    A range of network addresses can be associated with an interface by using the aliaslist parameter to the ifconfig command. For more information, enter the following command:

  • Configure a pseudo-interface.
    A pseudo-interface can be created to associate another network address with the same physical interface also. Use the SET INTERFACE TCP/IP Services management command to create a pseudo-interface. See Section 4.4.3 for more information.

Chapter 3
Configuring and Managing Serial Lines

A serial connection is made between two systems using modems and telephone lines or other serial lines. TCP/IP Services supports serial connections using the PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) and SLIP (Serial Line IP) protocols. SLIP includes CSLIP (compressed SLIP). You can use any standard OpenVMS terminal device as a PPP or SLIP line. (PPP is available for OpenVMS Alpha systems only.)

This chapter reviews key concepts and describes:

3.1 Key Concepts

If your OpenVMS system is part of a large network, you will probably use both PPP and SLIP for your serial connections. As an Internet standard, PPP is often preferred because it ensures interoperability between systems from a wide variety of vendors. PPP provides a way for your OpenVMS Alpha system to establish a dynamic IP network connection over a serial line without an additional router or additional server hardware.

SLIP has been in use for a longer period of time and is available for most terminal servers and in most PC implementations of TCP/IP. Because SLIP and PPP do not communicate with each other, hosts wanting to communicate must use the same protocol. For example, if your terminal server supports only SLIP, remote hosts that connect through this server must also use SLIP.

3.1.1 PPP and SLIP

One of the largest applications for IP over serial lines is dialup access. With this type of configuration, the OpenVMS host answers calls and establishes a connection initiated by a user on a client host. The client host can be another OpenVMS system, a UNIX system, or a PC. Or users on the host can originate the dialup connection to a remote host or terminal server running the same protocol.

Dedicated serial lines running PPP or SLIP can also be used to connect separate LANs into a single WAN. In such a configuration, the host at each end of the serial connection is always the same; no other hosts are allowed to connect to either serial device.

3.1.2 Assigning an IP Address to Your PPP or SLIP Interface

Every network interface must have its own unique IP address. Interfaces cannot share IP addresses.

If you configure PPP interfaces for multiple remote hosts, the remote hosts can obtain their individual IP addresses from your host when they connect. Similarly, you can configure a PPP interface on your system without knowing your own IP address and obtain it when you connect to a remote system.

Before establishing SLIP communication with a remote host, however, you must obtain the IP address for the host's serial interface and assign IP addresses for each interface you configure on the local host.

When using SLIP, consider placing each serial line in a separate subnetwork. You accomplish this by assigning the same subnet mask for the interfaces at either end of the link.

If you need to use an address in the same subnetwork as your site LAN, use the proxy Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) feature (see Section 3.3.4).

3.1.3 Serial Line Internet Protocol

SLIP sends a datagram across the serial line as a series of bytes. It uses the following characters to determine when a series of bytes should be grouped together:

Character Function Hex Value Decimal Values
END Marks the end of the datagram. When the receiving SLIP encounters the END character, it knows that it has a complete datagram. C0 192
ESC Indicates the end of the SLIP control characters. DB 219

The SLIP starts by sending an END character. If END is encountered within the datagram as data, the SLIP inserts an escape character, sending the two-character sequence DB DC instead. If the ESC character appears within the datagram as data, it is replaced with the two-character sequence DB DD. The datagram ends with the END character after the last byte in the packet is transmitted.

There is neither a standard SLIP specification nor a defined maximum packet size for the SLIP. The TCP/IP Services implementation of SLIP accepts 1006-byte datagrams and does not send more than 1006 bytes in a datagram.

Compressed SLIP provides header compression that is beneficial for small packets and low-speed serial links. Header compression improves packet throughput. You can enable the CSLIP by means of the /COMPRESS qualifier when you enter a SET INTERFACE command. See Table 3-3 for more information.

3.1.4 Point-to-Point Protocol

PPP uses a frame format that includes a protocol field. The protocol field identifies the protocol (for example, IP, DECnet, or OSI) to be used for communication between the two hosts. The PPP defines the network frame in a 5-byte header and 3-byte trailer. A PPP frame starts and ends with the control byte 7E hex (126 decimal). The address and control bytes are constant. The 2-byte protocol field indicates the contents of the PPP frame.

3.2 Setting Up a PPP Interface (Alpha Only)

Use the following commands to configure a PPP interface on an OpenVMS Alpha system:

  • SET INTERFACE PPn, where n is the number of the interface, takes effect immediately and stays in effect until the next TCP/IP Services shutdown.
  • SET CONFIGURATION INTERFACE PPn, where n is the number of the interface, makes the change part of the permanent configuration and takes effect at the next TCP/IP Services startup.


Specifying PP without the interface number is equivalent to specifying PP0.

If you enter a SHOW INTERFACE command, the address does not appear until a PPP connection is actually established.

Table 3-1 shows the command qualifiers used for configuring PPP interfaces.

Table 3-1 Configuring PPP Interfaces
Qualifier Description
/COMPRESS=[ON|OFF|AUTOMATIC] Optional. The default is ON. Use to negotiate header compression.
/DESTINATION=[ host_name| IP_address] Optional. The default is no destination host. If you do not specify the client host's address, the PPP obtains the correct address from the client host.

If the host is used as a dialup provider, use this command to specify a unique IP address for a client. In this case, you must also specify your host address with the /HOST qualifier.

/HOST=[ host_name | IP_address] Required when setting up a host as a dialup provider; otherwise optional. Host name or IP address using the interface. If your host is multihomed, specify the unique IP address if the two IP addresses map to the same host name.
/NETWORK_MASK= IP_address Optional. The subnet mask of the local PPP interface in dotted-decimal notation.
/SERIAL_DEVICE= device Required for hard-wired or dedicated modem connections. Identifies the OpenVMS device name assigned to the PPP interface, for example, TTA1.

3.2.1 Setting Up Your Host for PPP Connections

In the client/server model for PPP connections, a host can function as a server, or dialup provider, to respond to incoming PPP connection requests. A host can also function as a client dialing in to a dialup provider.

  • A PPP dialup provider answers modem calls from PPP clients, assigns IP addresses, and establishes PPP connections initiated by client hosts.
    Typically, a PPP dialup provider is permanently connected to the network through an interface such as Ethernet. The dialup provider services PPP clients that initiate temporary, dialup connections because they do not have permanent connections.
  • A PPP client establishes a temporary PPP connection to a dialup provider or a terminal server.


    For information about establishing a PPP client connection from a UNIX system, refer to the UNIX documentation. For a connection from a PC, refer to the PC's dialup networking instructions. You will need to configure your modem correctly as outlined in the Section

Setting up an OpenVMS Alpha host as a PPP dialup provider or client involves a series of tasks. These tasks are listed in Table 3-2 in the order you should complete them, and are explained in Sections through

Table 3-2 Set Up Tasks Required for an OpenVMS Alpha PPP Dialup Provider or Client
Step Task OpenVMS
Dialup Provider
1 Install the correct terminal driver. Yes Yes
2 Configure your modem. Yes Yes
3 Set up an asynchronous port for modem connections. Yes Yes
4 Configure an interface for a serial PPP connection. Yes Optional
5 Enable IP forwarding and dynamic routing, as appropriate. Yes No
6 Initiate a PPP connection. NETMBX and OPER privileges required. No Yes Installing the Terminal Driver

Confirm that the virtual terminal driver SYS$LOADABLE_IMAGES:SYS$TTDRIVER.EXE is installed on your host. If it is not installed, run the System Management utility (SYSMAN), connect the device, and load the driver, as shown in the following example:



After you run SYSMAN, confirm that the VTA0 device was created. For more information about SYSMAN and its parameters, see the HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual: M-Z.

For OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.1, you must also install the ASNDRIVER remedial kit to prevent the system from crashing. To obtain the driver and associated corrections, access a remedial kit and accompanying cover letter from:

http://ftp.service.digital.com/public/vms/axp/v7.1/alppppd01_071.CVRLET_TXT Configuring the Modem

To configure the modem, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the serial port and modem cable support modem control signals. (HP's BC22F cable is an example of such a cable.)
  2. Determine whether there are any baud rate restrictions associated with your phone line or on your connecting cable (when using a null modem or modem eliminator).
  3. Adjust the settings on your modem to enable AT commands, as appropriate for your modem. Some modems require you to set DIP switches, while others require you to specify software settings.
    Sample DIP switch configuration settings for U.S. Robotics Courier modems are as follows. Note the following designations in these samples:
    X = setting on (although different settings might work)
    X** = setting on (required)

    Dialup provider settings:

    DTR normal                X**     DTR always on
    Verbal result codes       X       Numeric results codes
    Suppress result codes     X**     Display result codes
    Echo offline commands     X       No echo offline commands
    Auto answer on ring       X**     Suppress auto answer
    Normal carrier detect     X**     Carrier detect override
    Display all results codes X       Result codes orig. mode only
    Disable AT command set            Enable AT command set       X
    Disconnect with +++               No disconnect with +++      X
    Load NVRAM defaults       X       Load &FO settings

    Client settings (defaults):

    DTR normal                X     DTR always on
    Verbal result codes       X     Numeric results codes
    Suppress result codes           Display result codes        X
    Echo offline commands     X     No echo offline commands
    Auto answer on ring             Suppress auto answer        X
    Normal carrier detect     X     Carrier detect override
    Display all results codes X     Result codes orig. mode only
    Disable AT command set          Enable AT command set       X**
    Disconnect with +++       X     No disconnect with +++
    Load NVRAM defaults       X     Load &FO settings
  4. If possible, also configure the modem so that it does not assert the Data Terminal Ready (DTR) signal until it asserts the Carrier Detect (CD) signal. This configuration ensures that the terminal driver does not drop the DTR signal prematurely.

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