Saturday, May 5, 2012

OpenVMS: How to install from PCSI files


A lot of software for VMS comes in PCSI files. An uninitiated person (or a forgetful one like myself) might run into the following problem. You set out to install a software package. You navigate into a directory containing a software distribution in the form of a PCSI file(s), like this:

$ set default DKA200:[TCPIP_ALPHA056.KIT] 
$ dir
Directory DKA200:[TCPIP_ALPHA056.KIT] 


Total of 2 files. 

Now, you know that the install command is PRODUCT INSTALL "something-or-other", but what is the name of the software package, exactly? You're not quite sure. You try $ PRODUCT INSTALL DEC-AXPVMS-TCPIP but this fails. You may wrongly assume that the task is very difficult or complicated, and get discouraged, when in reality it is easy (as if often the case with VMS -- you just have to know what to type!).

Here, the thing to remember is that you don't need to know the name of the package at all. Just use a wildcard, like so: $ PRODUCT INSTALL *

If there is more than one package in the current directory, a menu will be displayed. Can't get any simpler than that.

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