Disabling unused DECnet interfaces

As may be obvious from some of my other recent posts I’ve been ‘playing’ with my AlphaServer DS10 recently. Actually it is more of an AlphaStation now as I’ve installed an ATI Radeon 7500 (3X-PBXGG-AA) which works quite nicely under both VMS 7.3-2 and Debian (lenny).

I’ve not posted details of my VMS installation yet because it was really quite straight forward, but when I rebooted after configuring DECnet I couldn’t help but notice a ‘problem’ with the network.

%%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 12-FEB-2017 22:26:56.75 %%%%%%%%%%%
Message from user DECNET on FULMAR
DECnet event 4.10, circuit up
From node 16.2 (FULMAR), 12-FEB-2017 22:26:56.75
Circuit EWA-1

%%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 12-FEB-2017 22:26:56.75 %%%%%%%%%%%
Message from user DECNET on FULMAR
DECnet event 4.7, circuit down, circuit fault
From node 16.2 (FULMAR), 12-FEB-2017 22:26:56.75
Circuit EWA-1, Line synchronization lost

%%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 12-FEB-2017 22:27:01.75 %%%%%%%%%%%
Message from user DECNET on FULMAR
DECnet event 4.10, circuit up
From node 16.2 (FULMAR), 12-FEB-2017 22:26:57.75
Circuit EWA-2

%%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 12-FEB-2017 22:27:01.75 %%%%%%%%%%%
Message from user DECNET on FULMAR
DECnet event 4.7, circuit down, circuit fault
From node 16.2 (FULMAR), 12-FEB-2017 22:26:57.75
Circuit EWA-2, Line synchronization lost

The ‘problem’ in this case is that the system has three network interfaces (EWA-0, EWA-1, and EWA-2) but only one of them is connected. The following commands will disable the unused lines and stop DECnet from repeatedly trying to bring the interfaces up.

$ mc ncp
NCP>set line ewa-1 state off
NCP>set line ewa-2 state off
NCP>def line ewa-1 state off
NCP>def line ewa-2 state off
NCP>exit
$

Note – Simply setting the line state is not enough, you also need to define the line state in the permanent database, otherwise DECnet will try to bring the interfaces up next time it starts.

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