DIGITAL Unix (OSF/1) Upgrade Questions

DIGITAL Unix (OSF/1) Upgrade Questions

for Tru64/DIGITAL Unix/OSF-1 system administrators at Cornell University.

January 7, 1999
NOTE: This form is obsolete.

Gentle folk,

It seems that there are many people with Alphas running the operating system previously known as OSF/1 who are planning to upgrade. In order to be able to support this, the software librarian needs some information from you. This will help us decide how many copies of the CDs we will need.

If you do not respond to this survey, the necessary resources probably will NOT be available when you want to do your upgrade.

Specifically, I need to determine how many copies of which Digital UNIX CDs will be needed. Experience has shown that upgrading Digital UNIX over the campus network is unreliable, although one person has managed to do it. Also, we cannot afford to lend out our only copy of the discs. Too often they've been accidentally scratched or the borrower needed to keep them much longer than expected.

Fortunately, installing patch kits or the most recent versions of layered products like Fortran and C++ does work quite well over the network.

There are only six questions, but their background may cause you to reevaluate your plans.

You can either use this form, or use e'mail to send your response to the address below. The "Send" option will attempt to use e'mail to send the HTML form to me. Some older versions of MSIE can't do that. A summary will be posted when everyone has responded.

At the end I've appended some reasons why you might want to upgrade.



Selden E. Ball, Jr.

Cornell University Voice: +1-607-255-0688
Laboratory of Nuclear Studies FAX: +1-607-255-8062
230A Wilson Synchrotron Lab
Judd Falls & Dryden Road Internet: SEB@LNS62.LNS.CORNELL.EDU
Ithaca, NY, USA 14853-8001 HEPnet/SPAN: LNS62::SEB = 44284::SEB

<FORM ACTION="mailto:seb+upgrade@lns62.lns.cornell.edu" METHOD="post" ENCTYPE="text/plain"> Question 0:

What's your name and official e'mail address?

Question 1:

Often people like to schedule computer upgrades during a summer break between classes. If everyone plans to upgrade during the last week of August, we will need more CDs than if the upgrades can be spread out.

When are you planning to upgrade your systems running Digital UNIX?

Question 2:

As of January, 1999, the current major release of Digital UNIX is V4.0E

How many systems do you have running which version of Digital UNIX?

3.0? 3.2?

3.2C? 3.2G?
4.0? 4.0A? 4.0B?

Other? What Versions?

Question 3:

OSF/1 V3.0 and later versions require that you install the OSF/1 BASE PAK which came with your system. V2.0 did not require it.

An "Upgrade" perserves your system specific files like /etc/passwd. An "Upgrade" requires that you be running the previous major release of Digital UNIX: you can NOT upgrade directly from 2.0 to 4.0. Each upgrade takes about 3 hours even if you don't have any problems. Other than V3.2G, my list of versions includes only the major releases.

How many systems do you plan to "Upgrade" to which version of Digital Unix? (Please include all of the intermediate upgrades. These numbers should be less than or equal to your answers to Question 2.)

3.0? 3.2? 3.2C? 3.2G?

4.0A? 4.0B?
4.0C? 4.0D?
Other? What Versions?

Question 4:

An "Installation" reinitializes your system disk's partitions. An "Installation" takes about 4 hours plus the time needed for you to manually save and restore all of your modified files.

On how many systems do you plan to "Install" which version of Digital Unix? (These numbers should be less than or equal to your answers to Question 2.)
3.0? 3.2? 3.2C?

4.0? 4.0A? 4.0B?
4.0C? 4.0D?

Other? What Versions?

Question 5:

If you have only one or two systems, the easiest way to install a new version of Digital UNIX and its associated firmware is from a CD-ROM drive connected to the system. Installation from a non-DEC CD-ROM drive often does NOT work.

If you have several Alphas on the same network segment, then only one of those systems has to have a local drive. You can update that system first and then use RIS and bootp to install new software on the others.

Will you need to borrow a DEC CD-ROM drive from someone in order to upgrade your system(s)? Yes


If so, how long would you expect to have to borrow it?

Question 6:

Do you have any suggestions to help improve the situation? For example, should we try to schedule a meeting of everyone who subscribes to the CSLG? Yes No

Answers to Selden

Question 7:

Why would you want to bother to upgrade?


The new releases include bug fixes, including some for potentially serious security flaws. (Some security patches are available separately.) The newer releases of the operating system also include new features.

Here are some of the features which might be of interest:

Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)

/usr can be write protected (use a separate /var)
enhanced security (including hidden password file)
auditing of significant events
changing some kernel subsystem configuration parameters without rebuilding
loadable kernel subsystems
loadable device drivers
thread support in debuggers
REAL*16 in Fortran
32bit pointer support ( -xtaso)

multibyte (European and Asian) character sets
ATOM (Analysis Tools with Object Modification)
NFS v3 (64 bit filesystem support)
AccessX (enhancements for people with visual and mobility limitations)
DMS (Dataless Management Services: support for diskless clients)

new hardware:
PCI DEFPA - FDDI adaptor
PCI KZPSA - Fast Wide Differential SCSI

TC KZTSA - Fast Wide Differential SCSI
TC DGLTA - ATM adaptor
up to 14GB of main mamory on DEC 7000 processors
LSM support for root and swap mirroring
multivolume kernel core dump support
CDE advanced developers kit
X11R6 advanced developers kit
BIND v4.9.3
nfsd implemented as kernel threads

POSIX 1003.1b(.4) realtime signals

X/OPEN UNIX branding: product name change from OSF/1 to Digital UNIX
minimum system supports 24MB Desktop Workstation with 535MB disk.
new hardware:
AlphaStation 200 4/133
AlphaStation 500 series
AlphaStation 600 5/300
new single board VME systems

VME 2100 servers
PCI DGLPB - ATM adaptor
PCI DE500 - 100baseT Fast Ethernet
enhancements to PCI support
conformance to PCI V2.1
enhanced PCI interrupt support
tunable refresh rate on ATI Mach64 graphics adaptor
more than 70 bug fixes (a complete list is available)
e.g.: LAT: memory leak, kernel memory fault, crlf not echoed

various "kernel memory fault" bugs
UBC errors (Unified (disk) Buffer Cache)

new hardware support
AlphaServer 2100A (8 PCI slots)
AlphaPC single board computers
PCI/ISA token ring
Calcomp Drawing Board III tablet
extensible SNMP

improved kernel malloc() garbage collection
more than 60 bug fixes (a complete list is available)
e.g: DE500 framing errors
corrupted ethernet packets
NFS crashes
shared memory system crashes
various security holes
various SCSI bugs, including data corruption

CDE (Common Desktop Environment) is the default user interface
(Although it'll run on a 32MB system, it's painfully slow)
GUI interfaces for system administration utilities
DEC C is default system compiler
NFS over TCP (much more reliable than NFS over UDP)
System documentation in HTML

Topic revision: r2 - 09 Dec 2014, admin-dab66
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