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HPE Integrity Server - OpenVMS: How to Manually Add a Boot Option with Flags from the EFI


One of the preferred methods to configure an OpenVMS host is to add it in a cluster environment. Depending on the configuration, this may force the use of the OpenVMS flags in order to specify different root flags for a determined host. In the event that the OpenVMS online utility "boot_options" is not available, the efi utility bcfg can be used to add the boot option. However, it will not allow specifying the flags. For this, use the vms_bcfg.efi utility that is included on the openVMS efi partition.


The vms_bcfg.efi is part of the OpenVMS distribution DVD and the system disk EFI partition. VMS_BCFG is an extension of the EFI bcfg to support OpenVMS device names and additional features required for FC boot devices. In addition to using the OpenVMS device name as a parameter, this utility allows users to set the optional VMS boot flags to the boot options entry using a familiar OpenVMS syntax.

For multipath devices, this utility can add all active paths to the specified OpenVMS device automatically. It also appends the WWID on the description so users will know which FC path is selected.

These are some steps to add a boot option using vms_bcfg:

  1. Get to the efi boot menu by interrupting the boot process then select EFI Shell.

  2. At the EFI shell do:

    Shell>reconnect -r

    Shell>map -r

    This will show up all the system devices. blk are regular disks and fs devices are file system disk partitions like a system boot disk, or firmware CD etc.

    If the server is configured to boot from SAN and the scan level is set to 1, all of the SAN devices will show up. This map command variant can be used in order to list only the fs devices:

    Map -r -Fs

  3. We will use as example that fs1 is one of the fiber system disk. Be at the VMS directory (called boot directory on some OpenVMS dvds). The dir command will show the available directories on the partition. Confirm it has the efI directory:



    Fs1:\>cd efi

    fs1:\efi\>cd vms


  4. Now there are two options in order to add the boot option. The device name, or the file name can be used.

    Using the Device name:

    If we already know what is the san boot disk device name it will be better as all other paths related to the device name will be added automatically. As an example, assume the device name is dga3730 and want to add it as second boot option on the boot menu:

    fs1:\efi\vms> vms_bcfg boot add 2 $1$dga3730 -fl 1,0 "DGA3730 Root 1"

    VMS: DGA3730 Fibre Device
    EFI: fs1: Acpi(000222F0,200)/Pci(1|1)/Fibre(50001FE10011B15D),Lun(D)
    vms_bcfg: Add boot option as 2

    vms_bcfg: Add the next available VMS path? (Yes/No) [YES]
    VMS: DGA3730 Fibre Device
    EFI: fs9: Acpi(000222F0,300)/Pci(1|0)/Fibre(50001FE10011B15C),Lun(D)

    vms_bcfg: Add boot option as 3

    vms_bcfg: Add the next available VMS path? (Yes/No) [YES]
    EFI Boot Manager ver 1.10 [14.61] Firmware ver 2.21 [4334]

  5. The boot option was successfully added with the two different boot paths. Reset the system and check on the efi boot menu how they were placed. It is better to do a reset and check on the boot menu:


    Boot menu example:

    Please select a boot option

    EFI Shell [Built-in]
    DGA3730 Root 1 Fibre(50001FE10011B15D)
    DGA3730 Root 1 Fibre(50001FE10011B15C)
    Boot Option Maintenance Menu
    System Configuration Menu

    Use ^ and v to change option(s). Use Enter to select an option.

    In case the device name is not available we will need to add the boot option using the OpenVms loader file name which is vms_loader.efi, example:

    fs1:\efi\vms> vms_bcfg boot add 2 vms_loader.efi -fl 1,0 "DGA3730 Root 1"

    This will work just as good as using the device name, however by using the file name we will need to add each path individually, so we would need to check each fs device and look for the efi/vms directory, for example, assuming that the next path to DGA3730 is on fs3, we need to do this:


    fs3:\> cd efi

    fs3:\efi> cd vms

    fs3:\efi\vms> vms_bcfg boot add 3 vms_loader.efi -fl 1,0 "DGA3730 Root 1 path 3"

    Once every option is added, a reset can be done and check on the boot menu. All the recently added boot options should be there.

Additional information can be found at:

HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual: Chapter 09 EFI Utilities for OpenVMS.

Click here to access the technical article .

Legal Disclaimer: Products sold prior to the November 1, 2015 separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc. may have older product names and model numbers that differ from current models.

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Document title: HPE Integrity Server - OpenVMS: How to Manually Add a Boot Option with Flags from the EFI
Document ID: emr_na-c02705567-4
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