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)



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 my 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 parameters" into an OpenVMS "logical names" 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 instance 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. Linux comprises more than 50% of Microsoft's Azure Cloud as well as more than 90% of other clouds including AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google.

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.