The OpenVMS Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Finding and using Software
13.1 Where can I find freeware/shareware/software for OpenVMS?
- Details on many commercial OpenVMS products are available in the
catalog located at:
- An OpenVMS Freeware CD-ROM is distributed with OpenVMS, and is also
available separately (QA-6KZAA-H8). The contents of the OpenVMS
Freeware CD-ROM media are also available online at:
and at various other sites. The website also includes various
updates and new packages that become available after the CD-ROM
distributions are created.
Submissions to the OpenVMS Freeware can
be made via:
To acquire the OpenVMS Freeware CD-ROM distribution, you can order
an OpenVMS distribution from HP (the Freeware is included)(see the
OpenVMS SPD for part numbers), or you can specifically order a Freeware
distribution from HP under part number:
The Freeware CD-ROM set contains a large assortment of freeware,
and is a good starting point if looking for utilities. Many of the
packages listed below are also on the Freeware CD. Some of the most
oft-requested OpenVMS tools on the Freeware CD include ZIP and UNZIP
and GZIP (please see SOFT14), MMK (make), PINE, PERL, TAR, UUENCODE and
UUDECODE. Many other tools are available on the Freeware.
- The UUENCODE and UUDECODE tools and various other tools are also
as part of TCP/IP Services package. (Use the DCL command procedure
SYS$STARTUP:TCPIP$DEFINE_COMMANDS.COM available on V5.0 and later to
set up the necessary DCL foreign command symbols used for these and for
various other tools provided by TCP/IP Services.)
- OpenVMS software (formerly at Western Kentucky University (WKU)
is now available via Madgoat
and via Process Software
- The FILESERV packages are also available via anonymous FTP from:
- ftp.process.com, under [.WKU.VMS.FILESERV].
- ftp.vms.stacken.kth.se, under [.MIRRORS.WKU.VMS.FILESERV].
- ftp.ctrl-c.liu.se, under [.WKU.VMS.FILESERV].
- ftp.vsm.com.au, under kits and kits/decwindows.
- ftp.vsm.com.au, via the WWW instead of FTP.
The packages are also available via e-mail from
Send the commands HELP and DIR ALL in the body of a mail message to
this email address for further information on retrieving the files.
- Arne Vajhøj
operates an OpenVMS website, with software and other pointers, at:
maintains a summary of various public-domain and open-source software
ports, and specifically ports of packages for use on OpenVMS, at:
- The Kermit
file transfer package is available at:
is available at:
See the FILES file in that directory for further details. Note that
this freeware version of ZMODEM will interoperate only with ZMODEM
software that is licensed from Omen Technology. (This package is also
available on various of the Freeware distributions.)
- A good source of software for OpenVMS systems and for various other
platforms is the Encompass (formerly known as DECUS) library. Online
catalogs are available as well as some software via
- DECUS SIG Tape collections are available on Mark Berryman's system,
- David Jones's DECthreads-based HTTP_SERVER World-Wide Web server
for OpenVMS, often known as the OSU webserver:
- Secure Shell (SSH)
Server for OpenVMS:
Secure Shell (SSH) FISH
Client for OpenVMS:
Information on OpenSSL (SSLeay)
Information on OpenSSL (SSLeay) and OSU Web server interoperation:
OpenSSL is included with OpenVMS V7.3-1 and later.
- DECwindows Motif V1.2-3 includes NCSA
Mosaic 2.4 built for TCP/IP Services (UCX). V1.2-4 includes Spyglass
Enhanced Mosaic, which supports many of the Netscape enhancements.
Versions of the Netscape Navigator and particularly the Mozilla Web
Browser are also available for OpenVMS. The Compaq Secure Web Browser
(CSWB) kit is a packaged version of the Mozilla.org Mozilla Web Browser.
- A port of the NCSA Mosaic web browser that supports TCP/IP
Services, Multinet and SOCKETSHR/NETLIB is available from:
Versions of the Mosaic web browser are also available on the
- Lynx (a character-cell World-Wide-Web web browser) is available from
Versions of Lynx, a character-cell web browser, are also available
on the OpenVMS Freeware.
- The Netscape Navigator and Mozilla web browsers are available at:
- PGP (Phil Zimmerman's "Pretty Good Privacy") is available
distribution sites, including those listed in the PGP FAQ. Information
on PGP and on OpenVMS downloads of PGP is available. Relevant URLs
- GNU Privacy Guard (GPG, GnuPG)
Search the comp.os.vms newsgroup archives for
information regarding GnuPG; the source code, binaries for various
platforms, and documentation are all available at:
The OpenVMS source code and OpenVMS Alpha images can be found at:
As of this writing, the port only runs on OpenVMS Alpha, but an
investigation of an OpenVMS VAX port is reportedly under consideration.
- An archive of the CENA DECwindows, X Windows, and VMS software
packages can be found at the following sites:
Other FTP mirror sites for the DECwindows archive include:
- axp.psl.ku.dk (Multinet)
- ftp2.cnam.fr (MadGoat)
ftp.x.org (in /contrib/vms) is effectively not a mirror, but it
does have various OpenVMS packages from the DECwindows archive.
list of the http mirror sites for the DECwindows archive is available
Various of these packages are also available on the Freeware.
is an X11 package for display and interactive manipulation of images.
The package includes tools for image conversion, annotation,
compositing, animation, and creating montages. ImageMagick can read and
write many of the more popular image formats (e.g. JPEG, TIFF, PNM,
XPM, Photo CD, etc.).
Versions of ImageMagick are also included on the Freeware.
- XV is a image viewing and editing tool and is available from:
- Many software packages are available for displaying various bitmap
files (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, etc) on OpenVMS. Xloadimage, Xli, Xv,
ImageMagick are the most common tools used under OpenVMS. Various web
browsers such as Mozilla (qv) can also display various file formats on
OpenVMS. You can find some of these tools at the DECwindows Archive:
- GHOSTSCRIPT (gs) and GHOSTVIEW (gv) are available from the Freeware
V5.0 and Freeware V6.0 distributions:
Versions are also available on the Freeware.
- XPDF, a viewer for PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files, is available from:
Also available on the Freeware.
Beware: the XPDF tool included
on OpenVMS Freeware V4.0 is dated, and has been found to have various
bugs. Use the Freeware V5.0 version of the XPDF kit, or later.
Java-based PDF viewer is available from Adobe, and is known to operate
on recent OpenVMS Alpha releases:
- Various OpenVMS-related tools---both freeware and shareware---such
as txt2pdf---are available from at:
- The MPEG library version 1.1 is available for OpenVMS VAX and Alpha
Various MPEG players and related tools are available on the
- An Archie clone is available at INFO.CS.PUB.RO. Telnet to that
and login as VMSARCI. It contains now listings for over 30 ftp servers
with over 14 gigabytes of OpenVMS software.
The most useful
commands are LIST, which generates a list of scanned ftp servers, and
FIND string, whichs looks for a file containing "string" in the name;
the search modes are only "substring" [default] and "exact", and regex
search is not supported (so FIND EMACS will work, but FIND *EMACS* or
FIND *EMACS*.* will not). The search is case-insensitive.
maintainer of the site (email@example.com) requests that anyone
submit notifications of FTP servers with OpenvMS software that are not
listed on the site.
- The Levitte (extended :-) Family (and OpenVMS) website:
- Robert Alan Byer's OpenVMS Hobbyist Systems, including OpenVMS
public domain software and various ports:
- CalTech Software Archives:
- DJE Systems Website (David J. Dachtera)
- Web Servers:
Apache Web server (HP (Compaq) Secure Web Server
The SOAP Toolkit is available at the OpenVMS website.
OSU Web server
- email list: VMS-WEB-daemon-Request@KJSL.COM
WASD Web server
Purveyor Web server:
- email list: firstname.lastname@example.org, no subject, one line
message: SUBSCRIBE PURVEYOR
FastCGI software is available from:
- CD-R (CD-Recordable) media tools are available, please see
- Grace (WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool)
- The POV-Ray ("Persistance of Vision" Raytracer) ray-tracing graphics
package is available on the OpenVMS Freeware.
- Majordomo mailing list handler:
- PINE (OpenVMS tools for sending and receiving MIME mail):
A MIME tool is available in OpenVMS V7.2 and later.
the mmencode base64 encode and decode available at:
- Menufinder (menu-driven system management environment):
- SYSLOGCLIENT (a client for processing SYSLOG requests) has
been provided for download by Mark Hemker at:
- tcgmsg, pvm, mpi, linda:
- OpenVMS software that can control a Tripp-Lite Uninterruptable Power
Supply (UPS) is available from:
UPShot web-based software for controlling a UPS is available from:
OpenVMS software for controlling Liebert UPS devices are available
from the Liebert website:
- Examples of using the OpenVMS Foreign MAIL interface are available
- For tools to manage or to search your OpenVMS MAIL file, see:
- AscToHTM attempts to convert any plain text file to HTML, while
AscToTab restricts itself to files that are plain text tables.
(Versions are also availabe on the OpenVMS Freeware).
- Information on the SAMBA package, a package that provides
SMB-based Microsoft Windows PC disk and print services for OpenVMS, is
To subscribe to the SAMBA-VMS mailing list e-mail
email@example.com with no subject line and the following single line
subscribe samba-vms Your Full Name
- The Perl
language is available for OpenVMS, see Section 13.10 for details.
is available for OpenVMS.
Source code of an XML Parser is available
An XML parser is available as part of OpenVMS V7.3 and later.
(The GIMP GUI Tookit) for OpenVMS:
- The OpenVMS Porting Library now available, and is intended to
permit easier porting of C and C++ applications from UNIX systems to
GTK is also available.
- Mlucas (specialized FFT):
- Tools to monitor the terminals and the activity of other OpenVMS
users (in addition to existing auditing capabilities in OpenVMS) are
Peek and Spy (Networking Dynamics) and Contrl (Raxco) are two of the
commercial packages, while the freeware Supervisor
package is available on OpenVMS VAX.
Also see the OpenVMS Freeware.
- Various packages for OpenVMS:
- TSM (Terminal Server Manager) is available via:
- http://www.hp.com/go/openvms/freeware/, look on Freeware V5.0 URL.
- Beware: The TSM saveset shipped on the Freeware V5.0 disk media is
known to be busted. Download a new copy of the saveset from the
Freeware V5.0 FTP server or from the Freeware V5.0 website.
- make, gmake, mmk and other build tools are available on the
- An OpenVMS port of the ht://Dig web search engine is available at:
- A mySQL
database client is available at:
For additional information related to the mySQL port, please search
the comp.os.vms newsgroup archives. A MySQL port
is also available on the OpenVMS Freeware.
- If you need to change the file modification date and are looking
for a utility such as the UNIX touch tool, look at DFU on the
OpenVMS Freeware (DFU SET or simular), or use an existing DCL commands
$ SET FILE/PROTECT=(current_protection_mask) [...]*.*
- A table listing translations between UNIX shell and OpenVMS DCL
commands was posted to comp.os.vms by Christopher Smith some time ago.
This page should be available from the google newsgroup archives.
- The UNIX touch tool is available via various means:
$ RENAME filename.ext;version *
MadGoat FILE tool (see the MadGoat archives)
- use /REVISION_DATE or /CREATION_DATE
The DFU tool (see the OpenVMS Freeware)
$ set file 'p1' /acl=(ident=[system],access=none)
$ set file 'p1' /acl=(ident=[system],access=none) /delete
The following hack:
$! Command procedure SETDATE.COM
$! Changes the DATES for an input file to a
$! file named OUTFILE.
$assign/nolog 'p1' outfile
$convert/fdl=sys$input 'p1' outfile:
The following RMS system service sequence:
- sys$open(), with the XABRDT XAB structure chained.
- set the desired values within the XABRDT XAB.
13.2 Where can I find UNIX tools for OpenVMS?
13.2.1 POSIX-compliant versions of POSIX routines and utilities
lex, yacc, grep, tar, uuencode, uudecode, rcs, man, cpio, make, awk,
ar, mail, etc., the POSIX shell, the POSIX C programming interface, etc.
POSIX utilities can be used from within the POSIX shell, and via the
DCL `POSIX/RUN POSIX$BIN:tool.' command.
POSIX is a separately-installed package, and is licensed with OpenVMS
V5.5 later. The POSIX installation kit is included on the consolidated
distribution CD-ROM kit, and installation kits are also available
The POSIX package is no longer supported on OpenVMS, components of the
POSIX standard such as parts of the POSIX API are being added into
OpenVMS. Versions of POSIX generally do not operate on V7.x OpenVMS VAX
and OpenVMS Alpha releases.
13.2.2 C system and library routines
Common C system and library routines are present in the DEC C run-time
library, which is available for V5.5 and later, and is shipped in V6.1
and later. DEC C is the upgrade for VAX C, DEC C and VAX C can coexist
on the same system OpenVMS VAX system, and both compilers can be
enabled via the "C" license PAK.
Also see SYS$EXAMPLES:, and (if either is installed) the DECW$EXAMPLES:
and TCPIP$EXAMPLES (or prior to V5.0, UCX$EXAMPLES:) areas.