OpenVMS running on X86_64!

But not in an emulator but as a native port! It seems the porting efforts of VSI (VMS Software Inc) are close to a running system. On their News section there is this small announcement:

OpenVMS for x86 V9.0 EAK goes to first customer on May 15, 2020

VSI will make the first V9.0 Early Adopter Kit available for the initial customer test site May 15, 2020. It will be a preconfigured Virtual Box guest. By the end of May an updated kit will be available for a few more customers. Support for KVM and VMware guests will soon follow. Thereafter regular updates are planned as more components of the system become available and more customers sites are added.

I know… it says “first customer” and VirtualBox… not booting yet on “real” hardware and not available to “regular” people… but still this is a major event for me as a (former) OpenVMS Hobbyist. I still have two Alpha’s – PWS600au and Alphaserver 1200, and there are several commercial emulators but having OpenVMS running native on accessible modern hardware – that is something that has been in discussion for about 15+ years (since the Integrity port)! That is SOMETHING! And related to to x86 – I have to mention FreeVMS – VMS like OS running on x86…

And as I mentioned “hobbyist” – at the SIMH mailing list it was announced that HP are terminating the Hobbyist program. And there seems no replacement announced by VSI… I just pinged them about launching a Hobbyist program and I hope more people will do and this may swing their opinion on that.

Long Live OpenVMS!

P.S. 30/04/2020 I have missed a very important announcement on VSI site from 22nd of April (it is at the bottom of the page):

You may be aware that HPE have announced they are “concluding the HPE OpenVMS Hobbyist license program in alignment with the HPE OpenVMS support roadmap” which essentially means that the Hobbyist program as you know it ceases at the end of 2020.
GOOD NEWS: There has been speculation that VMS Software, Inc. would take over this program, so let us end the speculation and say categorically that VMS Software, Inc. is bringing out a replacement program for the HPE Hobbyist license program. It will be called the “OpenVMS Community License Program”, and we are currently in the process of working out all the details, which will be available well before the end of the HPE Hobbyist license program.

VSI responded as well to my message and confirmed there will be a Hobbyist program!


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Veselin Kenashkov

Developer at Azonmedia
Loves PHP, frameworks and old computers. Currently interested in Swoole and Vuejs.
Veselin Kenashkov
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