Upgrading Your Multics System

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Upgrading an Existing MR12.6 System to MR12.6f

There are two ways to upgrade an existing MR12.6 (a, b, c, d, e, or f beta) system to MR12.6f. The first is by far the simplest way -- by using the MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini emulator script. The second, which more closely mimics the historical way site administrators would upgrade a real hardware-based Multics system, uses a trivial emulator boot script that simply boots the Multics system tape and lets the operator enter all the commands manually. These two procedures are described below.

Upgrading Using the MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini Emulator Script

This process assumes you have a directory populated with an existing, runnable Multics system of an earlier release. The system should be shut down before you start.

  • Make a backup of your whole Multics host directory (or at least your *.dsk files)
  • In the directory with your existing system, add the following files from the MR12.6f distribution:
    • All 12 MR12.6f tapes (see Release Artifacts)
    • The MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini emulator script
    • The MR12.6f_boot.ini emulator script
  • Make sure your directory contains:
    • The Devices.txt file
    • All *.dsk files required to boot your system
  • If you have other logical volumes besides the root logical volume (RLV) in your existing system, update the MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini script to add each of these logical volumes. The script, as provided, only attaches the root.dsk (RLV) disk as disk0. If you have other disks, add additional lines of the form "attach diskN xxx.dsk" where N is an integer from 1 to 16 and where xxx is the name of the disk file containing your logical volume image.
  • Make sure you have a recent copy of the dps8 emulator on your path or in your Multics host directory.
  • Change directories to your Multics directory.
  • Run "dps8 MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini” (if dps8 isn't on your path, but in your Multics directory, you can use "./dps8 MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini" (Linux or macOS) or ".\dsp8 MR12.6e_to_MR12.6f_upgrade.ini" (Windows). Otherwise, reference the emulator executable by relative or absolute path.
  • Wait about 20 minutes (more if your system is slow).
  • Note that loading the tape 12.6fLDD_STANDARD_2 takes a very long time (due to its containing all the small include segments). Be patient.

When the script exits, you should have a bootable MR12.6f system in your current directory.

Boot your system by running the emulator with MR12.6f_boot.ini as the script parameter (e.g. "dps8 MR12.6f_boot.ini"). If you have more logical volumes than the root logical volume (RLV) be sure to update the MR12.6f_boot.ini script to include disk attachments for those other logical volumes.

Upgrading By Hand Using a Minimal Emulator Script

If you want to follow the instructions in the System Installation Bulletin (SIB) and perform an upgrade of a existing earlier release system the way site administrators would have done so in years past, you can following the instructions here.

This process assumes you have a directory populated with an existing, runnable Multics system. The system should be shut down before you start.

  • Make a backup of your whole Multics host directory (or at least your *.dsk files)
  • In the directory with your existing system, add the following files from the MR12.6f distribution:
    • All 12 MR12.6f tapes (see Release Artifacts)
    • The following (minimal) emulator script saved as "boot.ini":
attach -r tape0 12.6fMULTICS.tap
attach disk0 root.dsk
boot iom0 
  • Make sure your directory contains:
    • The Devices.txt file
    • All *.dsk files required to boot your system
  • If you have other logical volumes besides the root logical volume (RLV) in your existing system, update the boo.ini script to add each of these logical volumes. The above script only attaches the root.dsk (RLV) disk as disk0. If you have other disks, add additional lines of the form "attach diskN xxx.dsk" where N is an integer from 1 to 16 and where xxx is the name of the disk file containing your logical volume image.
  • Make sure you have a recent copy of the dps8 emulator on your path or in your Multics directory.
  • Change directories to your Multics directory.
  • Follow the instructions in Section 4 of the MR12.6f System Installation Bulletin (SIB), however, you can skip Step 1 (which has you deleting the unbundled directories while booted using your existing system). This is not necessary. Start with Step 2.
  • When you are asked to boot your system, run "dps8 boot.ini” (if dps8 isn't on your path, but in your Multics directory, you can use "./dps8 boot.ini" (Linux or macOS) or ".\dsp8 boot.ini" (Windows). Otherwise, reference the emulator executable by relative or absolute path.
  • Follow all the steps in Section 4.
  • Note that loading the tape 12.6fLDD_STANDARD_2 takes a very long time (due to its containing all the small include segments). Be patient.
  • At the end of the instructions in Section 4, you will be left with a running MR12.6f system.

When you shut your system down, you can boot it again using the same minimal boot.ini (but be prepared to manually enter all the pre-bce and bce commands required to bring your system up). Alternatively, boot your system by running the emulator with MR12.6f_boot.ini as the script parameter (e.g. "dps8 MR12.6f_boot.ini"). If you have more logical volumes than the root logical volume (RLV) be sure to update the MR12.6f_boot.ini script to include disk attachments for those other logical volumes.