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Appendix I
Terminals and Terminal Emulator


How to Login and Logout of OpenVMS

This basic module demonstrates how to LOGIN to an OpenVMS computer. It also introduces the LOGOUT command that is used to end your OpenVMS session.

"Logging on" to an OpenVMS computer, or almost any other computer, performs two primary functions. First it prepares the computer to accept and execute commands and secondly it lets the computer know who you are. Why should the computer care who you are? Well, identifying yourself with a username and verifying, using a password, that you are who you say you are, enables the computer to determine to what files and other resources you may be granted access. It's really just another type of I.D. Since sharing data and/or networking became a major part of computing, logging onto a computer or network has become necessary for security of the data and network. Very few people in an organization have access to EVERY file and resource on the computer. The majority of people sharing a computer can only run programs and manipulate files that have been authorized for them by the System Manager, also known as the System Administrator.

Since there are a number of different types of hardware and software which one could use to access and log into an OpenVMS system, the core of this lesson will be basic and common to all implementations of VMS systems. Specific details of how some types of hardware and software affect the login process are provided in Appendix I, Terminals and Terminal Emulators.

For this sample login and logout lesson, the goal is to show you how to log into a demo account on the CCSS Interactive Learning OpenVMS system and logout. The courses available through the CCSS Interactive Learning website provide an OpenVMS system and a web based, Java script terminal emulator for practice and labs. For this sample lesson we will use a generic account with the username CCSS_DEMO. If you continue and take other courses you will need a username and password for the CCSS Interactive Learning training OpenVMS system, which is created as a part of the course registration process.

You will notice in the upper right hand corner of this page the phrase "Telnet Lab Systems". Click on it to open a terminal window and connect to the class OpenVMS computer. The window opened will depend on what program your browser is set to use when invoking telnet.

When the terminal window comes up on your screen, you will be presented with a LOGIN prompt as shown below. On some other types of equipment this prompt is obtained by pressing the [RETURN] key several times. This is explained in Appendix I, Terminals and Terminal Emulators.

Type the username from above, CCSS_DEMO, and press [RETURN] or [ENTER]. (The [ENTER] key or the [RETURN] key is the large key on right side of the main keypad on the keyboard, it is similar to the carriage return key on a typewriter. In all future references we will only reference [RETURN].

The OpenVMS login process and most OpenVMS commands are not case sensitive so you can use all capitals, all lower case, or any combination of the two. You will then be prompted for your password.

Type the password. The password for this demo account is CCSS_PASSWORD. Note that for security reasons, the password is not echoed (i.e. you type it but you don't see it on the screen.) Now press [RETURN]. The password on most VMS systems is not case sensitive. However certain VMS systems released in the last two years and which use Windows NT for security or user authentication now require that the password be case sensitive. This is not the case on the CCSS Interactive Learning training OpenVMS system; the password will not be case sensitive.

LOGOUT Command: Leave the system gracefully, don't crash.

Once you have logged into the class OpenVMS system you will be presented with a short welcome message and a DCL prompt (the $ prompt). Logging out is very easy. Simply enter LO (short for LOgout) and your session is ended. When finishing your work with the OpenVMS system it is a very good habit to stop or exit from applications and then use the LOGOUT command to end your OpenVMS session.

Some users, without realizing it, damage the health of the system and safety of data by just turning their terminal off or clicking on the "X" box on their terminal emulator software. There is no telling what damage terminating your session in this manner might do to your files since it's not possible for the programmers to predict what you are doing when you turn off the power. They can predict what is happening if you use the LOGOUT command and that is why it's safer. This is not such an unusual concept since Windows, Mac, and Unix all ask that you go through a planned shutdown procedure.

Welcome Messages and Announcements

On your own company's OpenVMS computer, a "welcome" message may be displayed both before and after your login. These messages often contain information about when the computer will be shut down for maintenance and other important news that you should know. Many companies also use this login message to explain the company policy regarding use of the computer. Often this message states that bad things will happen to people who do bad things to the computer and is sometimes humorously called the dis-welcome message.

This sample course is very similar to the first lesson of the Introduction to OpenVMS course offered on this site. It is only different in the extent of coverage and the fact that the formal course introduces you to your own account on our training OpenVMS system, rather the demonstration account used in this sample lesson. Your personal OpenVMS training account will be used as your personal training area and will allow you to experiment with the various commands and their options.

If you have any additional questions about our courses or offering please do not hesitate to contact us.


© 2000 - 2008 -- CCSS, William A. Pedersen

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