OpenVMS Notes: Linux

  1. The information presented here is intended for educational use by qualified computer technologists.
  2. The information presented here is provided free of charge, as-is, with no warranty of any kind.
Edit: 2019-08-xx (split this page into five)

Introduction (Linux on an OpenVMS information page?)


Okay so everyone reading this already knows that OpenVMS is an operating system that competes with Unix and Linux so why did I include this topic as part of OpenVMS Notes?


  1. In 2016 we were running MariaDB-5.5-25 on OpenVMS-8.4 (Itanium) where we were experiencing shutdown-related problems associated with large databases employing the XtraDB Engine (masquerades as InnoDB). Many self-support blogs claimed these issues were fixed in MariaDB-10 which is not (yet) available on OpenVMS. So setting up a nearby Linux box hosting MariaDB-10.1-19 would allow us to verify if the problem was fixed.
    1. we "only intended" to test "MariaDB-10 on Linux" from our OpenVMS business system. This is easily done by just changing the client connect strings on OpenVMS to send requests over to the Linux box via a private network (any network would do; a private network would be better). We moved our "database connect logic" into an OpenVMS "logical name" so switching between machines was easy-peasy!
    2. our test results were so impressive that we never went back. Our primary business system still runs OpenVMS but now relies upon a MariaDB database hosted by a Linux platform. IMHO this heterogeneous solution is not much different from running an OpenVMS which depends upon a SAN (storage area network) or NAS (network attached storage)
  2. Computer industry know-it-alls assert that every computer professional should be familiar with at least five computer languages and/or scripting environments. A similar case could be made for familiarity with 3-4-5 operating systems. These additional skills should translate directly into increased job security and employability (Happy Wife = Happy Life).
  3. Linux is the fastest growing computer ecosystem with 50% of all the computer systems on the planet are already running some sort of Linux. Got an Android phone? Android is a stripped-down version of Linux.

OpenVMS - Linux System Hybrid (heterogeneous computing)

as of 2017.01.xx

  • MariaDB-5.5-25 (the latest version of MariaDB for OpenVMS) experiences long shutdown problems when running large InnoDB (er, XtraDB) tables for longer than a month
  • experiments with MariaDB-10.1-19 on CentOS-7 were better than all expectations
  • so we permanently moved our production MariaDB files from OpenVMS to CentOS-7 and connect via a private TCP/IP network running 1000 Mb/s

as of 2018-08-xx

 +-------------------------+   +--------------------------+
 | server : HPE rx2800-i2  |   | server : HP DL385p-gen8  |
 | OS     : OpenVMS-8.4    |   | OS     : CentOS-7        |
 | client : MariaDB-5.5-60 |   ! server : MariaDB-10.3.11 |
 | net-1  : TCP/IP         +---+ net-1  : TCP/IP          |
| | +--------------------------+ | net-2 : TCP/IP +-> to internal corporate network | net-3 : DECnet +-> hub to other OpenVMS systems | net-4 : TCP/IP +-> Windows-7 PC (for offsite backups) +-------------------------+

as of 2019-08-xx

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Neil Rieck
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.