VAX-Alpha Disc Recording Software

For those who have Digital VAX or Alpha computers running VMS operating system it has long been a problem to find a way to do CD-Recordable premastering directly on that platform. While it is possible to use the UN*X GNU program mkisofs to create an image file using POSIX conventions, there are obvious reasons for wanting to make discs in native VMS mode instead.

Over the years several people have asked me if I knew of any CD-R premastering software for the VMS operating system, and although I did contact several representatives of Digital to try to find some I'd heard rumors about, no one seemed to know where to get it. The consensus was that anyone who wanted to do this would have to write their own program.

New Solution

Now someone has done that. István Dósa was a systems manager for a county tax office in Hungary when he first contacted me. He also was a parttime teacher of Pathworks for Digital Hungary. He emailed me asking if I knew of any software like this, and after telling him I couldn't find one, he did his own search and also came up without it. So he wrote DFY VMSCD and has generously made it available here. Anyone who can use this is welcome to download the files here.


Isn't it always the way? You think you have finished a piece of software, and next thing you know someone -- yourself or someone else -- realizes there is more that needs to be done. Istvan has discovered this truth for himself, and has sent us his "fixes." Remember this is unsupported freeware, although it is copyrighted. Use at your own risk, but if you do have problems, please let Istvÿn know so he can try to provide a solution.

Please read the documentation section, then refer to the release notes.


There are text files included in the directory with the application, and this is what István had to say about it in email:

This program builds CD image file in FILES11B file format for VMS.
Similar to "mkisofs" for UNIX systems.
After writing image file to CD, you can use as other VMS CD-s,
but it is your edition.

The specified source directory is used on CD as [000000].
System files in CD root directory created by DFY$VMSCD
after read information of source files.
DFY$VMSCD copying all versions of files and directories.
Support linked files (created by SET FILE/ENTER command)
CD label can maximum 12 charaters.
The created image file can maximum 1344288 blocks.

If run DFY$VMSCD in source root directory you must have RWED privileges
and for all files below you must have RE privileges
(build image file recomended as SYSTEM user).
If running DFY$VMSCD, then source files and directories don't modify!

To use DFY$VMSCD you must 
   - copy it to SYS$SYSTEM and use MC DFY$VMSCD
   - create symbol DFY$VMSCD == "$ SYS$LOGIN:DFY$VMSCD.EXE"
     if DFY$VMSCD located in your login directory.

Two version of file exists:
	DFY$VMSCD_A.EXE - for Alpha systems
	DFY$VMSCD_V.EXE - for VAX systems
	(Alpha and VAX versions compiled from identical source)

DFY$VMSCD written in MACRO-32 and compiled on VMS 6.2 (VAX) and VMS 6.2-1H3 (ALPHA).

Tested hardware:
	Alpha 3000-600, CPU 175MHz, 128Mb RAM,
	VAX 3400, 36Mb RAM

On 3000-600 Alpha system build image for maximal CD size approx. 12-17 minutes.

How to write CD:

CD write tested with EasyCD Pro for Windows 95.

Hardware: P100 processor
          24Mb RAM
          HP 4325 CD writer
          Adaptec 2940U SCSI card

- The created file you can write to CD on PC, after copying to local

- The image file not standard ISO file, but it must write to CD as ISO file.
  EasyCD identify file as "raw data", it is correct.

- If you write you must select "disc at once" option for best result and must
  write CD in MODE 1!

- If you write FILES11B file system, then you can't use multisession!
  This CD can be read only on VMS.

If you have any problem, please send me email!

[from a later email]

We use DSM database, that use large files as datafiles.
I wrote datafile to CD (500Mb) and configure DSM to
use datafile directly from CD.
Use it without error, data integrity check completed
succesfully with 0 errors.

Release Notes

Version 1.9

This version of software compiled only on Alpha because the VAXs don't
have DVD readers. I plan the compilation of this code on Itanium (I
working on it with HP Hungary) which is the newest platform of VMS.

Version 1.8

Recently a user wrote to ask about a problem he had encountered:

I have used your application to create iso image for the past 4 years and it worked fine before we upgraded our system to v7.3-1 on AS4100. After the execution of the program, it creates the iso image but also a temporary directory DFY$TMP_DIR.DIR;1 which I am not able to remove. When I tried to delete it with [...]option, it deleted everything on the same volume but the temporary directory and system files!!!

Is there anyway I can remove this directory without initialize the volume again?

Istvÿn answered:

Sorry but this is the new "feature" in VMS 7.3. With older VMS versions no problem.

Because of this problem I created the new version. [ed. note: see version 1.9]

The DFY$TMP_DIR.DIR directory You can delete by next steps:

  1. set file DFY$TMP_DIR.DIR/nodir
  2. delete DFY$TMP_DIR.DIR

This problem You can recreate with DCL commands also (set file/enter ...) in VMS 7.3.

Version 1.4

I modified my program and send to you new version.
 - use less I/O if collect file information and open files.
 - if archiving system disk, then 2 files don't need to copy.
    ([000000]QUORUM.DAT, [000000]SECURITY.SYS)
   If these files are copied, then can't mount disk without error.
 - 000000.DIR as source directory now supported.

In text file I wrote how can create image file directly to PC,
if not enough free space available on VMS system.

My friends in Budapest tested V1.3 succesfully on Alpha 8400, all OK.

I tested the new version, system boot from CD not work, but if run
VMS all data on CD correct.

The next (last?) problem: boot from CD.
For boot, VMS uses a "boot block" (first 512 byte) and I don't know its structure.

I believe no other problems with DFY$VMSCD.

Version 1.3

My friends in Budapest tested dfy$vmscd v1.2. Bad news: error if archiving indexed or relative files. Good news: my program run normally on Alpha 8400 5/300. In VMS there are four file types: - sequential - relative - indexed - direct Now only direct files are not supported. (In my system this file type is not found). Indexed and relative files now copyed correctly. The new version I copy to you. In DFY_VMSCD_V013.TXT file I wrote how one can test an image file without writing it to CD. I tested the new version without writing to CD, but I think the result is the same. I copy the image file to disk that mounted as foreign. In this case VMS place bytes in sequential order (as if written to CD). After copy I mount disk as standard ODS-2 disk, and run compare. This method is inexpensive and quick.


Download Files

Use these links to download the appropriate file for your system.

The Author

István Dósa ("Doffy")
APEH Nógrád megyei Igazgatósága
Kassai sor 44

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