Wednesday, January 8, 2020

HPUX 10.20 on HP 9000/778 PA-RISC Guest Virtualization using QEMU on FreeBSD Host: VUE Desktop Nostalgia

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: HP-VUE VUE Visual User Environment graphical desktop on HP-UX 10.20 on Qemu HP PARISC 9000 700 series server under FreeBSD

I recently brought up an emulated HPUX 11.11 PA-RISC server using QEMU on my Dell PowerEdge 2950 running FreeBSD 12 release as documented in "HPUX 11i v1 (HPUX 11.11) PA-RISC Guest Virtualization using QEMU on FreeBSD Host" including CDE desktop environment. But I was nostalgic about HP VUE graphical desktop environment and decided to relive VUE by installing a separate HPUX 10.20 server also using QEMU's PARISC 1.1 emulator on the same host.

The HPUX 10.20 installation CD-ROM is freely available at

An Open-Source GNU software collection for HPUX 10.20 is now easily available thanks to Astr0baby's efforts, from his FTP site. Check out his comment on January 3, 2020 in this post for information on his FTP server.

There are four HP-UX 10.20 Application Software CD ROM images also available at
  1. HP-UX 10.20 Application Software for HP 9000 Series 700 (December 2001) (Disc 1) [B3782-10519]
  2. HP-UX 10.20 Application Software for HP 9000 Series 700 (December 2001) (Disc 2) [B3782-10520]
  3. HP-UX 10.20 Application Software for HP 9000 Series 700 (December 2001) (Disc 3) [B3782-10521]
  4. HP-UX 10.20 Application Software for HP 9000 Series 700 (December 2001) (Disc 4) [B3782-10522]


I use VDE (Virtual Distributed Ethernet) to attach all of the SANYALnet Labs virtual machines to networks, as I have documented in detail in "Virtualization on FreeBSD Host and Oracle VirtualBox Guests with VDE Networking".

VDE has the great advantage of allowing me to extend a virtual layer-2 switch across multiple hypervisor hosts so that all VM guests are logically connected to one big ethernet switch irrespective of the physical locations of their hosts.


As is usual for all of my QEMU virtual machines, I use a shell script to launch the HPUX 10.20 instance with the QEMU monitor and HPUX 10.20 console in two different "screen" sessions.


# Launches Guest:
#    hpux1020.sanyalnet.lan hpux1020

# Change -boot to d to boot from cdrom or c to boot from hdd

# Careful of MAC address conflicts in network! Last HEX pair of MAC = last byte of guest IP.
# Also, VNC screen, if any, on dispaly number = last byte of guest IP
# And Console TELNET port = 20800 + last byte of guest IP

screen -m -d -S HPUX1020-QEMUMON \
        ./qemu-system-hppa \
            -boot c \
            -m 512 \
            -drive if=scsi,bus=0,index=0,file=./hpux10.20-striped-8gb-disk-1.qcow2.dsk \
            -drive if=scsi,bus=0,index=1,file=./hpux10.20-striped-8gb-disk-2.qcow2.dsk \
            -cdrom ./ISO/hpux-10.20.iso \
            -net nic,model=tulip,macaddr="58:9C:FC:52:54:3A" \
            -net tap,ifname=tap6,script=no \
            -serial telnet::${TELNET_CONSOLE_PORT},server \
            -serial mon:stdio \
            -nographic \
            -d nochain \
            -vnc :58 \
            -accel tcg,thread=multi
            ####-smp cpus=2

sleep 2

screen -m -d -S HPUX1020-CONSOLE telnet localhost ${TELNET_CONSOLE_PORT}

echo At this point, qemu should be on screen HPUX1020-QEMUMON and console telnet session on screen HPUX1020-CONSOLE
echo You can launch a VUE Graphical Desktop Session using Xephyr like the following:
echo Xephyr -screen 1200x720 -ac -query :58

exit 0


HPUX 10.20 HP-VUE VUE Login Screen on Qemu on FreeBSD qemu-system-hppa PARISC

To launch HPUX 10.20 VUE (Visual User Environment) graphical desktop, I use Xephyr from the QEMU host and other machines on the network that have a X11 server running:

$ Xephyr -screen 1200x720 -ac -query :58


I installed (using SAM) Netscape Communicator 4.75 (Netscape Navigator web-browser and an email client) from Application Software Disc 4, and added the MOZILLA_HOME environment variable to /etc/profile to point to the installation location /opt/netscape as indicated by the Netsccape README file. This was after I tried an older version of Netscape Communicator (version 4.04) for HPUX 10 operating system on HP PARISC 1.1 processor architecture available here.

Netscape Communicator - both the 4.75 and 4.04 versions - install fine but unfortunately so far I have been unable to launch the applications successfully; executing netscape shows me netscape is running and using considerable CPU but the window does not come up and there are no messages on the terminal session launching netscape either. I will have to revisit this to see what is going on here. (As a side note, Mozilla browser works fine on the HPUX version 11.11 installation).

Netscape Navigator / Communicator for HPUX 10.20
Netscape Communicator for HPUX

I tried to compile the text-based Lynx web-browser from the sources of a couple of versions, but will need to come back to it - one version I tried could not link with htons family of functions, and another one tried to compile with HP's cc compiler instead of gcc so the configure script needs adjustment.


Astr0baby's GNU tools collection includes working GNU C and C++ compilers gcc and g++  (GCC) 4.2.2. I could successfully compile and run my favorite ASCII terminal clock program written in C - Antoni Sawicki's aclock-vt100.c:

aclock vt100 C ascii art clock program by Antoni Sawicki running on HPUX 10.20 under QEMU PARISC HP-9000 700 series server
 Antoni Sawicki's aclock vt100.c on HPUX 10.20

In addition, I installed HP Micro Focus Object COBOL/UX and Java development environments from Application Software Disc 3. The HP Micro Focus Object COBOL/UX Release Notes for Version B.12.35 HP 9000 Computers on HP-UX 10.20 release notes are still available here. For setting environment variables needed by the COBOL compiler as indicated by the release notes, I added the following to /etc/profile:

# HP Microfocus Object Cobol Environment Variables
export COBDIR

Object Cobol/UX Developer Bundle and Java Development Kit for HPUX 10.20 Installation
Object Cobol/UX Developer Bundle and Java Development Kit for HPUX 10.20 Installation

Unfortunately, Micro Focus COBOL is also not working yet as the license file is missing.

$ cobol
HP Micro Focus Object COBOL licensing request failed.
FLEXlm Message: Cannot find license file (-1,73:2) No such file or directory
$ ls  /usr/local/flexlm/licenses/license.dat
/usr/local/flexlm/licenses/license.dat not found

Otherwise all works fine so far. I will have to come back to the HPUX 10.20 parisc QEMU virtual machine to try to close out the Netscape browser and COBOL licensing issues.


  1. Nice work :)
    How to create image file from working HPUX system and boot this image in the QEMU environment? Is there any chance to do this?

    Best Regards,

    1. Sorry not sure. Perhaps you can ask the question at the QEMU mailing list?

  2. Hi! Local graphics should work starting from Qemu 5.0

  3. Awesome! Will try it, of course. Thank you.


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