DUnix Installfest

Thursday 20th January 2011, 09:15 PM Posted by urbancamo

OK, so where to start! I've been on a bit of an installfest for Digital Unix. I posted a message to the comp.unix.tru64 newsgroup asking what the last version of Digital Unix was before it got rebranded to Compaq Tru64 after the buy out.

I got the following reply:

  • Digital UNIX V4.0D Operating System - Dec 1997 AG-QTM9E-BE
  • Digital UNIX V4.0E Operating System - Nov 1998 AG-QTM9F-BE
  • Compaq Tru64 UNIX V4.0F Operating System - Apr 1999 AG-QTM9G-BE

A very nice man, Roy, posted an image of the 4.0E installation CDROM and I swapped out one of the two hard drives in the DEC 3000/600 (the one with V3.2C on), replaced with a spare Quantum Atlas III drive, 18GB, 80 pin SCA to narrow SCSI converter, and got on with the installation. I had to swap the internal CDROM drive for one that came out of a DEC 3000/800 because it was only working now and again, and I was getting sick of having to take the box apart. The replacement is a caddy load drive which I really like because it is very 'tactile', makes a lovely sound when operating and the LED is backlit onto the caddy in the drive. Call me sad. You wouldn't be wrong! The only downside is it's either a single speed or double speed drive so loading a full disks worth of operating system or freeware is a painful process!

Digital Unix 4.0 includes CDE and a number of CDE graphical administration tools. In fact if you have the console set to graphics mode and a compatible graphics card the whole installation is run graphically, which is very nice!

Here are a few screenshots of some of the utilities:

System Management Configuration Checklist


Disc Configuration


Account Manager


System Tools


Help Viewer


It's all running very nicely, but once again, I'm starting from scratch. I've installed my user with the same user id and group id so that I can easily NFS mount my documents folder from the server, which is how I'm writing this now (back to the old faithful nedit text editor).

I've also installed tru64 version 5.1 on the AlphaServer 300. I got a brand spanking new 73 GB 68 pin SCSI hard drive for it the other day from ebay, and installed 5.1 on that. The only problem is that the graphics card I installed in it, an S3 trio 64+, is absolutely rubbish. The picture quality is really horrible, muddly and washed out. Again, I consulted the news groups and was told that as a 'PC' quality card I should expect a poor picture quality. The solution is to find a TGA graphics card, which is one of the supported options. What happened to Compaq?. There are some on ebay, both 8 bit or 24 bit, but they're a few quid, so I have to make up my mind whether it's worth the cost.

It's amazing what you'll do to avoid doing involving programming! I'm beginning to wonder whether I shouldn't have taken that system administration position all those years ago after all - if this is what I do for fun!