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VMSINSTAL is a command procedure that installs products from backup savesets.


@SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL product-list source: [OPTIONS option-list] [destination] [qualifiers]


Specifies the products that need to be installed. You can use the asterisk (*) wildcard.


Any of the following:

  • A drive that holds the distribution media; for example, a TK50 drive designated as the MUA0: drive.
  • A disk directory to which the product save set has been transferred from the distribution media for later installation.
  • A disk directory as the source when you select the Get Save Set option. For more information about this option, see Section 3.7.3.
  • A disk directory on another node.
  • A logical name.

If you do not specify the source, VMSINSTAL.COM prompts for it.


Letter Option Description Example
A Autoanswer Makes it easier to reinstall a product after an upgrade by providing responses to the questions and prompts during the reinstallation, usually after an upgrade. (Specify this option only when installing layered products.) If you specify the Autoanswer option when you install a product initially, an answer file is created in the form product.ANS in the SYS$UPDATE directory, where product is the product name parameter that you provide when you start VMSINSTAL.COM. The answer file contains a record of your responses to questions and prompts from VMSINSTAL.COM. For example, if you install the product NEWAID010 with the Autoanswer option, VMSINSTAL.COM creates an answer file called NEWAID010.ANS. When you reinstall the product and specify the Autoanswer option (typically after upgrading your operating system), VMSINSTAL.COM reads the answer file instead of asking you questions. If you want to create a new answer file when you reinstall a product, you must first delete the existing answer file. $ SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL.COM NEW$PRODUCT010 CSA1: OPTIONS A
AWD=dev:[dir] Alternate Working Device Lets you specify an alternate working device for the temporary working directory (defined as the logical name VMI$KWD). You can specify this option when installing layered products or applying updates. This option allows you to perform an installation with fewer free blocks on the system disk than are otherwise required. If you do not specify this option, VMSINSTAL.COM creates the temporary working directory in the following location: SYS$SPECIFIC:[SYSUPD.facvvu] $ @SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL.COM NEWAID010 CSA1: OPTIONS AWD=DUA2:[INSTALL]
G dev:[dir] Get Save Set Saves you time by allowing you to store product save sets temporarily on a magnetic tape or in a disk directory and store them temporarily to perform an update later. (Specify this option only when installing layered products.) With this option, BACKUP qualifiers can be specified. The directory you specify must exist, and the device must be mounted. $ @SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL.COM NEWAID010 CSA1: OPTIONS G USER1:[PRODUCTS]

If you specify more than one option, place the disk directory name after the last option, leaving a space between the last option and the disk directory name. For example:

L File Log Logs all file activity to the terminal during installation. File activity is any action that alters the disposition of a file, such as creating a new file, updating a library, or deleting a file. $ @VMSINSTAL.COM NEWAID021 MTA0: OPTIONS A,L
N Release Notes Displays or prints the online release notes file supplied by the layered product. The release notes file receives the file name facvvu.release_notes, where facvvu represents the product name code, version, and update numbers (see Product Kits); for example, NEWAID010.RELEASE_NOTES. $ @SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL.COM NEWAID010 CSA1: OPTIONS G,N USER1:[PRODUCTS]

If release notes are available and you specify option N, VMSINSTAL.COM asks you the following questions. (The default answers are indicated in brackets.)

Release notes included with this kit are always copied to SYS$HELP. 
Additional Release Notes Options: 
    1. Display release notes 
    2. Print release notes 
    3. Both 1 and 2 
    4. None of the above. 
(1) *Select option [2]: 
(2) *Queue name [SYS$PRINT]: 
(3) *Do you want to continue the installation [N]: 

If the product does not supply release notes, VMSINSTAL.COM displays two error messages. It also asks whether you want to continue or to end the installation, as follows:

%VMSINSTAL.COM-W-NOFILE, New File facvvu.RELEASE_NOTES does not exist. 
%VMSINSTAL.COM-W-NORELNOTE, unable to locate release notes. 
*Do you want to continue the installation [N]: 
R Alternate Root Lets you install the product on a system disk other than that of the running system. You might use this option to test a layered product without disturbing the running system. The operating system in the alternate root must be complete and have the same version or update level as the running system. All files and software products that the product installation refers to must be present in the alternate root. If you specify option R, the product is installed on the alternate root. However, you cannot create accounts or request a system reboot on an alternate root. Not all optional software products allow you to install a product on an alternate root. Consult the documentation of the specific product to determine whether you can install the product on an alternate root. $ @SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL CALENDAR020 MUA0: OPTIONS R DKA0:[SYS2.]

destination: The destination parameter is optional. By default, VMSINSTAL.COM assumes that the product is to be installed in the system common directory SYS$COMMON on the system disk. However, you must use this parameter in the following two instances:

  • to install the product in an alternate root: device:[SYSn.]
  • to copy the product kit save sets into a storage directory for later installation (see the Get Save Set option)

Product Kits

Product kits used by VMSINSTAL are backup savesets. They have one-letter extensions that run from A to Z; product names are in the facvuu format:

fac The product name code (1 to 36 alphanumeric characters)
vv The major version number (2 digits)
u The minor version number (1 digit), also known as update number

Example product kit names include VMS071.A, VMS071.B, VMS071.C etc.; CALENDAR020.A, CALENDAR020.B, etc.

Viewing Products Installed with VMSINSTAL

All products installed with VMSINSTAL are registered in SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL.HISTORY. If it does not exist, no products have been installed with VMSINSTAL yet.

See also