DECnet Network Protocol

This article contains information on how to use and configure available DECnet software as well as information on how the kernel code works.
The Future

Hopefully, we have given you a good overview of the Linux/DECnet connectivity available at the time of writing. However, we are still hard at work on new features and programs (see below), some of which may be ready by the time this is printed.

dapfs is a file system layer for Linux which will let you mount an OpenVMS file system onto your Linux machine.

fal is a file listener for Linux, which will allow users on OpenVMS machines to access files on network Linux machines without having to log in.

Router support is also being worked upon. This is expected to take the form of a small amount of kernel code and a user-level daemon. It will allow you to connect multiple DECnet networks to your Linux machine.

DECnet Proxies

OpenVMS File Types and Attributes



Steve Whitehouse is a research student at the University of Cambridge, England. His research topic is “Error Resilient Image Compression”, and he is sponsored by Racal Radio Ltd. In his spare time, he contributes code and bug fixes to the Linux kernel network code and DECnet. Please feel free to e-mail him about Linux DECnet or his research topic at

Patrick Caulfield is a software developer for the Santa Cruz Operation in Leeds, England. As most of his previous jobs involved at least 100 VAXs, he misses them a little and so got involved with the DECnet project. He lives in Leeds with Helen and six mad cats (who also have their own home pages) and can be reached by e-mail at