Run OpenVMS at home and for free?


Ever wanted to use OpenVMS, but you thought that it would cost you tons to purchase the software, licenses and to power it all, along with the physical space potentially needed to store the compatible systems and assorted hardware?

You’re in luck, because there’s the [B]OpenVMS Hobbyist Program[/B]! For non-commercial usage, provided by [URL=“”]Montagar and sanctioned by [URL=“”]Hewlett-Packard. Like this you’re fortunately able to not only run the full OpenVMS operating system, along with lots of Layered Products; on VAX, Alpha (AXP) and I64 (IPF, Integrity IA-64) systems. But, you’re also allowed to run OpenVMS in an emulated environment! ([URL=“”]SimH for VAX/VMS and later OpenVMS VAX versions immediately springs to mind.) One must first sign up for membership with an HP user group. Think of [URL=“”]Encompasserve (formerly DECUServe), [URL=“”]Connect and so on. Best is to join one that is nearby, preferably in your country, or otherwise accessible. [URL=“”]Encompasserve, for instance, is free of charge and accepts international registrations.




Feel free to ask any questions here, or else in the on the OpenVMS Hobbyist Program forum. I’m sure that over on the [FONT=“Courier New”][URL=“”]comp.os.vms[/FONT] usenet/newsgroup there are people willing to help you out, with just about anything.


“Connect” is a good solution in any case. Do not forget to check your options in your profile there, or you will get e-mail messages from him quite regularly.


It’s strange, now that I think of it. From what I’ve heard, DECUS (and the associated DECUServe), or the later Encompass (and the associated [URL=“”]Encompasserve), both allegedly ceased to exist as ‘official’ (or, independent) user groups/associations. ([URL=“”]Even Wikipedia mentions it, although that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true.) It’s supposedly all part of [URL=“”]HP Connect Worldwide since sometime now.

Yet, regional groups like Interex (or [I]Interexperience[/I] nowadays) here in the Netherlands and [URL=“”]DECUS/Encompass in the USA still seem to exist, the latter perhaps just in name? Because, Interexperience still exists as an independent, HP-sanctioned, user group/association. This was even stressed at the [URL=“”]OpenVMS Technical Update Days 2011, here in the Netherlands, last month.

Not that it matters much, but I can imagine it can confuse new people (if they should care and are distracted by all the names).