[TUHS] Ultrix from CD on SIMH

Seth Morabito sethm at loomcom.com
Tue Nov 30 19:57:18 EST 2004

Tom Ivar Helbekkmo wrote:
> "Jose R. Valverde" <txomsy at yahoo.es> writes:
>>I've been trying but when it goes to device detection it always turns 
>>up with an empty list. I mean, the install kernel boots, detects the
>>virtual hard disk and the CD-ROM, the install program starts and reaches
>>the installation menu (options for BASIC or ADVANCED) and it's then,
>>when choosing any option that it does not detect any suitable install
> I know that I figured out, a number of years back, how to install
> Ultrix on non-supported media.  It involved aborting the install,
> editing the install script to "recognize" the target media, and then
> restarting the script.  You might want to experiment with this...
> -tih

I've managed to do this by editing the ULTRIX install script, 
'install.1', to support installing from RA disks.  It turned out to be 
quite simple.

I have media and licenses for ULTRIX and UWS V4.3 (My media is 
AG-ND76E-RE, September 1992), so that's what I used for this experiment. 
  I don't know how ULTRIX 4.2, 4.4, or 4.5 would differ, you will have 
to experiment.  I just used dd to dump the CD-ROM image (i.e.,
"dd if=/dev/cdrom of=ultrix.iso bs=512")

I then set up SIMH with the following commands.  You may be able to play 
around with this and choose a different disk setup, but this is what 
worked for me:

   set cpu 64M
   set rq0 ra90
   set rq1 ra90
   set rq2 cdrom
   set rq3 disable
   attach rq0 d0.dsk
   attach rq1 d1.dsk
   attach rq2 ultrix.iso

ULTRIX will see rq0 as /dev/ra0*, rq1 as /dev/ra1, etc.  RA90 is 
supported under ULTRIX 4.3, RA92 is not, and RA60 failed to work for me, 
so my disk choices were limited.  Your milage may vary.

At the sim> prompt, type "b cpu" to boot the CPU.  Then at the VAX
 >>> prompt, type "b dua2" to boot from the CD-ROM.

You'll be greeted by the ULTRIX installer.  It has a menu like:
Select one of the following options:

         1) BASIC Installation
         2) ADVANCED Installation
         3) System management

Choose "3", which dumps you at a standalone shell, so you can edit the 
installer script, 'install.1'

The only editor available in this environment is 'ed' (The Standard 
Editor!).  Invoke it with the command:

   # ed install.1

If you have the same ULTRIX media I have, then you can just use these 


If you have a different version of the installer, the line numbers might 
be different, so you'll have to poke around in the file yourself. 
Here's what to look for:  Line 173 reads "BTD=`btd`".  On SIMH, /bin/btd 
returns an empty string, so we're just explicitly setting BTD to 'ra2', 
the CDROM drive.  Line 193 is part of a case statement that switches on 
the value of $BTD, but there's no support for 'ra', so we'll just change 
the line that reads "rz *)" to "ra *)" instead.  Voila!  The script 
should now work.

Type "w" to write out the file, "q" to quit.  Then type ^D to exit the 
shell and return to the installation script.

This time, choose "2) ADVANCED installation", and select the first RA90 
device as the root disk.  You should be able to install normally from 
here on out.


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