HP OpenVMS Version 8.3 Upgrade and Installation Manual > Appendix B Configuring OpenVMS I64 Hardware Operation and Boot Operations, and Booting and Shutting Down Your System

Overview of Using EFI

  Table of Contents



EFI is the basic interface between the operating system and firmware on all Integrity server systems; it is similar to SRM on Alpha systems. EFI provides a boot option menu and the ability to configure boot options. EFI is accessible when the operating system is not booted. On cell-based servers, EFI is available when the nPartition is in an active state but has not booted an operating system. Each nPartition has its own EFI interface and system boot environment that enables you to interact with the nPartition before an operating system has booted on it.

When you first power on a new Integrity server system, you see a series of diagnostic messages followed by the EFI Boot Manager screen (unless MP is available, in which case you see the MP login screen). However, if your Integrity server came with the OpenVMS I64 operating system installed, then the OpenVMS I64 operating system is the first option and it boots automatically.

NOTE: On some systems that include MP, you might first see the MP login screen. In addition, on cell-based servers, you initially must select the console for the nPartition you want to access. As noted previously, the behavior of Integrity server systems can vary significantly from model to model as well as from version to version of the firmware.

To select an option from the EFI Boot Manager menu, use the up or down arrow key to highlight an item (or for some (with some terminal emulators, you might have to use the letter v to scroll down and the caret (^) to scroll up), and then press Enter to activate the selection. You can use EFI to configure numerous options for your Integrity server and OpenVMS operating system.

For the first boot of a system on which OpenVMS is not preinstalled, you probably need to use EFI to get started. When you select the EFI Shell, the console displays much activity before the EFI Shell prompt is displayed. If you do not see the EFI Shell> prompt, press Enter. (Note also that the EFI Shell prompt might change, as explained in “General Notes About Using EFI”.)

The EFI boot menu lists boot options. Each item in the boot options list references a specific boot device and provides a specific set of boot options or arguments to be used when booting the device. You can add boot options to the boot menu. The OpenVMS installation procedure (as well as the upgrade procedure) can assist you in adding and validating a boot option for your newly installed system disk. The procedure uses the OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility (SYS$MANAGER:BOOT_OPTIONS.COM) to add and validate boot options. You can use this utility directly at the OpenVMS DCL prompt. HP recommends using either of these methods for configuring boot options rather than using EFI. The OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility is easier to use than EFI and enables you to configure the most pertinent options for your system (while OpenVMS is running), including the following:

  • Display boot options known to the EFI Boot Manager.

  • Add a boot option to the EFI Boot Manager so that your system disk boots automatically when the system is powered on or rebooted.

  • Remove or change the position of a boot option in the EFI Boot Manager list.

  • Validate and fix the boot option list.

  • Change how long EFI pauses before booting or rebooting.

Use of this utility is optional for most devices but is required for configuring boot options on Fibre Channel devices. HP recommends using this utility to add members of a multiple-member shadow set to the boot list and dump device list. (Be sure to add all members to both lists.) For instructions on how to use the utility, see “Configuring and Managing OpenVMS Booting on Integrity Servers ”. For more information about configuring Fibre Channel devices with this utility, see Appendix D “Setting Up and Booting Fibre Channel Storage Devices”. For information about using the OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility to display boot options, see “Displaying EFI Boot Entries and Mapped OpenVMS Devices”. For information about setting the pause length, see “Setting EFI Boot Option Countdown Timer (Timeout)”. The OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility also enables you to configure dump off the system disk (DOSD) devices and debug devices; for more information about this, see the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual, Volume 2: Tuning, Monitoring, and Complex Systems.

General Notes About Using EFI

Note the following:

  • Using EFI on cell-based servers: Remember that on an Integrity server with nPartition support, a separate EFI interface exists for each nPartition. Be sure to access the appropriate nPartition console.

    To determine which nPartition EFI interface you are using, use the info sys command at the EFI Shell prompt. This lists the local nPartition number and details about active cells. For processor details, use the info cpu command. (You can also use MP to provide information about the nPartition you are using, as described in the HP System Partitions Guide, Administration for nPartitions.)

    You can use the MP console interface to access any nPartition’s EFI console. Press Ctrl/B to move from EFI (or from your OpenVMS session) to the MP interface. Log in to MP if you are prompted. A menu then displays the names of all available nPartitions. Select from this list the nPartition that you want to access. To gain console write access for an nPartition console, press Ctrl/E and enter the letters cf. You can use the MP pd command to set a default nPartition for MP login; this helps to ensure you are brought to the intended nPartition (for example, to help prevent you from accidentally reconfiguring an nPartition you do not own).

    To return to the EFI console (when OpenVMS is not booted), enter the co command at the MP> prompt.

  • Navigating EFI file system directories: To switch to a different file system, enter the file system name. The following example shows how to switch to fs3: from the current location (top level of the EFI Shell):

       Shell> fs3:

    Note that the prompt is now fs3:\>. The EFI Shell prompt changes to reflect the file system currently accessed. The Shell> prompt is displayed again if you reset the system. Also note that the file system number might change when remapped after hardware changes are made to the server (for example, after an I/O drive is added to the server and the nPartition boots or the map -r command is issued).

  • File structure of EFI file systems: The file structure of an fs disk is identical to MS-DOS and the commands to move around the structure are similar to MS-DOS commands. For example, to move to directory efi on disk fs0:, enter the cd command:

       fs0:\> cd efi

    To display the contents of the efi directory, use the dir command.

  • EFI commands for OpenVMS: Most commands that you issue for OpenVMS purposes at the EFI Shell prompt are issued from \efi\vms on the file system associated with the system disk. You can enter such commands directly from the top level by specifying \efi\vms in the path for subsequent commands, or by first moving to \efi\vms and entering the commands without the path specification. The first example that follows shows how to enter commands from the top level. The second example shows how to move to \efi\vms before entering the commands. The vms_show command displays the equivalent OpenVMS device name for devices mapped by EFI, and the vms_set command can be used to set a debug or dump device. These EFI commands for OpenVMS, known as EFI Utilities for OpenVMS, are usable only when the operating system is not running. To display and set EFI-mapped devices while the operating system is running, use the OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility (SYS$MANAGER:BOOT_OPTIONS.COM), as described in “Configuring and Managing OpenVMS Booting on Integrity Servers ”. The EFI Utilities for OpenVMS are described in the HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual.

    Example 1. From top level:
    fs0:\> \efi\vms\vms_show device
    fs0:\> \efi\vms\vms_set dump_dev dga3730
    Example 2. Moving first to \efi\vms:
    fs0:\> cd \efi\vms
    fs0:\efi\vms> vms_show device

    fs0:\efi\vms> vms_set dump_dev dga3730
    NOTE: The directory structure and contents of the OpenVMS system disk differs from those of the OpenVMS I64 OE DVD. Note also that the bootstrap on the system disk is located at \efi\vms\vms_loader.efi, while on the DVD it is at \efi\boot\bootia64.efi. (These two files are identical in content.)
  • EFI aliases: You can define aliases for EFI commands that are easier to remember. For example, to define the alias dir for the ls command, use the alias command as follows:

       fs0:\> alias dir "ls"

    To define an alias for the command that boots OpenVMS from fs0:, enter the following command:

       fs0:\> alias bvms "fs0:\efi\vms\vms_loader.efi"
    NOTE: Setting an alias to point to a specific device can lead to unexpected results. For example, if you insert a DVD in the DVD/CD drive, fs0: now points to the DVD/CD drive. HP recommends using the OpenVMS I64 Boot Manager utility to set your system disk as a boot device for EFI, as explained in “Configuring and Managing OpenVMS Booting on Integrity Servers ”.

    To list the aliases currently defined, enter the alias command:

    fs0:\> alias
    dir : ls
    bvms : fs0:\efi\vms\vms_loader.efi

  • Boot device list: Any changes in storage configuration after the system is booted to EFI (such as inserting a DVD into a DVD removable drive or adding SCSI drives on storage enclosures) is not automatically detected by the EFI Shell environment. To have the EFI Shell recognize the device, you must reconnect the device driver (on cell-based servers, use the EFI search command; on other servers, use the EFI reconnect command).

    The EFI shell environment creates default mappings for all the device handles that support a recognized file system. After you change the system configuration or add a new device, you must regenerate these mappings. For information about reconnecting devices and regenerating mappings, see “Alternate Method of Using EFI to Boot the DVD” and your hardware documentation or the Web site listed at the end of this section.

  • Moving between EFI and MP: To move from MP interface to EFI, type co (for Console) at the MP> prompt. If you are in command mode (at the MP:CM> prompt), first press Ctrl/B to return to the MP> prompt.

    When you move to EFI from MP, confirm that you are at the main EFI main menu. If you are at a submenu, to access the main menu exit from the submenu and any subsequent submenus until you return to the main menu.

    To move from the EFI to MP, press Ctrl/B (this assumes MP is present and configured).

For more information about using EFI, see the documentation provided for your Integrity server. Extensive information can also be found online at: